When you live in a big city like London it’s easy to assume that escaping to the seaside for the day requires planning and a long journey. Then places like Whitstable prove that looking out to an endless blue sea, listening to waves lap against the shore and eating ice cream on the beach isn’t that far away after all.
I had fully planned to spend my birthday last week in the city, the night before the weather was looking optimistically sunny and my sister suggested we head down to the Kent coast. Less than an hour to drive or 1.5 hours from Victoria on the train Whitstable is definitely doable at the last minute!
I had the luxury of enjoying the journey in the comfort of my sister’s car. We packed our beach bags and a picnic and before we knew it we were excitedly making our way down to dip our toes in the cool Kent waters.
Having always lived in a big city I always get excited by the sea!
It’s such a treat being able to relax by rippling waves.
You’ll spot that Whitstable is a pebble beach so there’s no golden sand here, but there are lots of colourful beach huts to nose at. Traditional seaside colours…
Homage to the Union Jack flag. Red, white and blue…
Alongside plenty of beach huts where their owners weren’t afraid of experimenting with colour.
My sister and I discussed what colours we’d paint ours and how lovely it would be to own one and enjoy glasses of wine at sunset. At £20,000 it’s a cheaper investment than a London home!
Picnics are recommended here, it means that you can pull out a Pimm’s from the cool box when you need to quench your thirst!
And also surprise your company with cakes. Sadly birthday candles will not say lit for very long though.
After lounging in the sun on what might be the sunniest birthday I’ve had for a very long time I went exploring for ice cream.
It was mid week and very calm, children playing in the sea and families relaxing in the sun.
Whitstable is infamous for oysters, they’ve been collected there since Roman times. Should you wish to take a longer walk or a cycle, and hopefully satisfy your seafood appetite along the way, you can follow the Oyster Bay Trail.
I was more interested in finding a local ice cream vendor so I headed upwards towards the sailing club.
Just behind there’s a little cafe selling 99 Flake ice creams, a British seaside must!
The rest of the afternoon was spent lounging on the pebbles and dipping our toes in the sea (I wasn’t brave enough to get into the chilly waters!)
Then at that golden time of day we picked up some local fish and chips and enjoyed them on a bench with this view.
I couldn’t have pictured a better way to spend my birthday. It was also a great reminder that seaside city escapes are doable without much planning or effort. I’ll definitely be heading back soon.
Have you visited Whitstable? Or have you discovered any other great British seasides this summer?