When you’re living in a busy city like London, it can be quite claustrophobic at times, so every once in a while we quite like to take a train down to the coast to get some fresh sea air.
Let’s face it, as a Londoner the first place that springs to mind is Brighton. Only an hour and a half way, it’s the quickest way to get to a beach from London. However having done Brighton countless times over the years, for Summer 2016 we decided to explore further afield.
I had often heard about Whitstable so I thought August would be a great time to visit, as many people would be away for their summer holidays.
We were so wrong! It seems Whitstable is a favourite beach destination for British families judging by the sheer number of parents with babies and toddlers. Having said that, it wasn’t overwhelmingly busy which makes it a very thriving but pleasant seaside town to explore.
After a 2.5 hour journey from London Victoria, passing through beautiful Kent countryside, we arrived at Whitstable. A short 15 minute walk from the station and we were at the harbour.
The beaches at Whitstable stretch along a narrow coastline and in true UK style, is pebbled. Bring your picnic blankets or deck chairs along to sprawl and the pebbles won’t bother you!
We walked around a bit soaking the sights and smells of the sea till we found an area of bench seating so we parked ourselves there for a few hours over beers and views. In the distance we could spot the famous Maunsell Forts.
We love our beers and right next to the beach were some good options to grab a few pints in the sun.
The local craft beer from Whitstable Brewery was available for £4 a pint from a nearby beach bar. Another popular option was carrying a few beers to begin with and an ice bucket!
If you are in Whitstable , you have to try their oysters, which are the freshest you can find. We ordered half a dozen fresh ones which were further spiced up with some red onion relish and tabasco.
The beaches of Whitstable are relatively clean and the temperature pleasant enough for a dip during August. One the day of our visit, it was a scorcher of a day so there were plenty of takers for swimming in the sea.
Lunch was simple fish and chips. The cod was meaty and fresh and the chips well cooked. At £5 for two pieces of succulent fish we were quite happy!
After a few hours of lazing around in the sun, we walked till the end of the beach, crossing some beautiful houses along the coast.
We ended up in a pub called the Old Neptune for some ice cream, more beers and sausages from their barbecue.
Judging by the friendly crowds and cheery banter all around, this seems to be a favourite of the locals.
Our final stop for the evening was Lobster Shack. It was recommended by a friend and did not disappoint.
This place seemed more upmarket but nevertheless popular place for some seafood and drinks.
We ordered a pint of prawns that came with some freshly baked bread and some salad.
We also ordered their signature dish – fresh lobster baked in garlic and parsley butter which came with chips and salad.
I would definitely recommend visiting Whitstable for a day trip or a weekend. It’s clean, pure and packed full of family fun. The arts and culture scene seems to be big in this coastal town, something which we hope to discover next time we are back.
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