05 September 2016

Day trip from London: London to Whitstable

This time last week I was returning from Whitstable, a charming coastal town, east of London. Being a bank holiday, the lovely Emma and I were more than happy to whisk ourselves away to spend the fleeting summer days by the seaside. We were lucky as the weather held up and stayed warm and sunny.

Aside from Margate, I've yet to visit another sandy beach in the UK. But Whitstable was charming. Maybe it was the last of the summer sun, maybe it was just the bank holiday weekend or maybe, Whitstable really is just that warm and welcoming.

Sandy beaches, sexy lifeguards, sun loungers, beach bars with amazing cocktails, ice cream every 100 meters, girls in bikinis and makeup, fit boys in budgie smugglers – you won't find any of this at Whitstable. What you will find is a long pebbly beach (similar to that of Brighton but minus the pier), lots of fresh oysters for sale, rows and rows of colourful beach huts, a pub with the best beach view in the country (I'm guessing!), a charming village high street, lovely sunsets and a chilled local vibe. To be honest, aside from the sandy beach part, Whitstable is my kinda beach.

Aside from the cute beach huts (which I'm now obsessed with and totally want to rent one come next summer), I just loved the vibe of the place - is it weird if I say it was 'homely'? We saw so many friends and families hanging out together in front of their beach huts or having a meal on the beach. It was comfortable, friendly and familiar - that's not the usual vibe I get from a beach so it was a pleasant surprise and made it difficult to leave at the end of the day.

We were there at low tide and boy, was it out...meters and meters away from the shoreline and I'd barely reached the edge of the water. For those with swimming, they could wade even further out and still only be knee deep in water. The water was calm, clearer (and warmer) than I expected - next time I'm taking swimmers!

We spent the day walking along the shore line, snapping photos of the colourful beach huts, exploring a bit of the town itself and of course, grabbed a bite to eat.

If you fancy heading down the coming weekend, here are some handy tips.

Tips for visiting Whitstable

  • Try and grab a direct train from London Victoria rail station, it'll take roughly 1.5hrs so bring a book! 
  • Whitstable is only half an hour north of Canterbury so you could travel from there too.
  • To get to the harbour front from Whitstable station, just follow the signs, or easier still, follow everyone else...
  • Whitstable is known for fresh seafood – oysters specifically – we ate at Crab & Winkle but in hindsight, it would have been better to buy freshly shucked oysters and fish and chips and eat them on the beach.
  • Be sure to check out the charming Harbour street
  • Bring flip-flops! It is a pebbly beach so not the best for walking barefoot! 
  • Have an ice cream! You're on a beach, you cant not have an ice cream!
  • Stay till sunset, its beautiful

I know not everyone is a fan of beaches, and with us entering Autumn, you might prefer a different day trip...in which case, have a look here...I have 10 other day trip ideas to choose from!

As always, if you have your own tips or experiences you'd like to share, do leave me a comment :)