Sundays by the sea: Whitstable

I’ve heard much chat of late that there is nothing better than a free weekend. A weekend with no plans is bliss. I could not disagree more strongly if I tried.

Some live for the weekend. I live for my weekend plans – carefully constructed at my desk throughout the week, ready to over-enthusiastically consult with my long-suffering boyfriend in the evenings. The majority of my favourite plans are decidedly London-based and follow the standard formula of brunch plus something fun. This weekend though, I thought we would try something a little different.

As the sun was shining (on a side note – how awful has the weather been?!) I suddenly felt the need to calculate just how quickly I could get out of London to the seaside. Now, I love a day trip to Brighton as much as the next person, but it felt time to try something a little different. Southeastern High Speed came to the rescue and we whipped off to Whitstable, arriving to bright sunshine and a salty sea breeze in just over an hour.

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Whitstable is a cute little fishing and harbour town in north Kent. Some had described it as “undiscovered” in my online research but there was a fairly healthy load of Londoners disembarking the train alongside us – so that was definitely an exaggeration. That said, you certainly aren’t fighting crowds and there’s more than enough room on the beach for everyone.

Whitstable is the perfect place for a day trip (or even for a lazy Sunday afternoon – we weren’t overly strict on setting our alarms). There’s enough to see to keep you occupied but you still don’t leave feeling as though you’ve missed the majority. Whitstable is still a working fishing village, so everywhere you go you are tripping over fresh oyster stands and endless seafood. We weren’t quite so authentic and instead opted for a classic fish and chip lunch, and highly recommend Ossie’s Fish Bar on the High Street. It looks like a very standard chippy from the outside, but the people were lovely and the food was delicious. We were even given extra chips while we were waiting (winning them all the brownie points).

Don’t over-plan your day and just go for a wander. You can take a fairly long walk along the sea-front, choose your perfect beach house and don’t miss Tankerton Beach. Perching just beneath the castle this stretch of beach has huge grassy slopes ideal for picnics and hundreds of beach huts – it could take you all day just to pick your favourite! If you are feeling a bit trapped in London and especially if the sun is shining, Whitstable really is the perfect way to spend a Sunday.

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