There’s nothing quite like a British seaside town. The sound of the arcade machines ringing, the sea breeze ruffling through my hair, the promise of ice cream and salty fish and chips by the sea for lunch or dinner. It still creates the same sense of excitement in my thirties as it did in my childhood. But instead of burning off my excitement running back and forth to the sea and making sandcastles, afternoons are spent stretching legs along the shoreline.
A few weeks ago, before I went to Costa Rica, I was feeling particularly desperate for the endless sight of the ocean and the refreshing sea breeze so I persuaded my sister to take me to Broadstairs on the Kent Coast. It’s about an hour and a half by car from Crayford, where my sister currently lives, and just a little bit longer by train from Central London.
We’d both had a leisurely lie in so we departed late morning and arrived just in time for lunch. Isn’t the first sight of the sea front from the car one of the best feelings? I was sitting straight up as if I could get a better view as soon as it caught my eye. I was surprised at how quickly we found a great car park that had a clean toilet and a path straight down to the coast.
As soon as we got to the seafront it felt like we’d gone back in time to so many different eras. One minute I could picture the town in Charles Dickens’ time, with its old fashioned gas lamps and simple yellow and blue beach huts.
Another minute and I was back in the 90s and the days of my childhood as we walked past arcades rattling with pennies and shops selling all sort of beach ‘neccessities’.
Then I was picturing how many beach huts it would be acceptable to Instagram in one day.
It was a little cloudy to begin with so we went in search of some fish and chips to enjoy on a bench with a sea view. It didn’t take long before we were hot-footing it from the chip shop to a bench, eager to satisfy our
It was such a nice change of pace after a busy week at work and we sat for a while enjoying the view before eventually deciding we should go for a wander. There didn’t seem to be a lot to see in town, so we returned to the entrance of Viking Bay and carried on going, leaving the sounds of a British seaside town behind for the simple echo of crashing waves.
The only other visitors being a small crowd scavenging for lunch.
Or the odd group quietly enjoying the views.
Whilst the British seaside doesn’t always offer the most tropical sandy views, it does have its very own charm.
I could have made our walk a much lengthier one if I’d have photographed all of my favourites, instead I just stuck to the ones I really liked.
As the beach huts came to end the cliff top climbed higher into quite a spectacular sight.
Another one of those moments where human life seems so small in the face of nature.
With hardly anyone else around we reverted to childhood sibling silliness, using Boomerang to support our silly mood.
As we arrived later in the afternoon we decided not to walk too far and after a few star jumps and cartwheels we made our way back to town for ice cream.
Of course I was repeatedly distracted by pretty streets and corners of loveliness.
I’d read in the car on the way down that Morelli’s Gelato was the best ice cream in town and even if it was the other side of the bay, there was no chance I was missing out.
I love the story behind this family run business, starting out selling ice cream from a bicycle in 1902, to opening its first parlour in Broadstairs in 1932, and now running ice cream parlours around the world.
I also love how the original parlour has managed to keep its Art Deco look over the years, transporting me back to yet another era.
There were some delicious flavours on offer. I eventually chose a scoop of white chocolate and millionaire shortbread.
Both flavours were delicious but I particularly loved the huge chunks of millionaire shortbread in sweet vanilla ice cream. I’ll definitely be checking out the London branch in Harrod’s sometime.
We agreed that we still hadn’t filled our lungs with enough sea air so with sticky fingers (funny how that is still inevitable as an adult!) we went for a little wander along the promenade.
A beautiful breezy, easy afternoon by the sea. I’m definitely keen to return to Broadstairs one day and go for a much longer walk by the sea.
For now, a trip to Brighton this weekend will be giving me my next seaside fix!
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Have you visited Broadstairs? Do you have a favourite British seaside town?