Following on for from the popularity of my post on Arundel I have decided to also write up the fantastic weekend away we had in Whitstable.
From South-West London it took us 1 hour 40 minutes to drive down there on a weekend morning. We arrived to torrential rain so detoured into Canterbury where we spent a lovely few hours roaming the shops (it has a great mix of chains and boutiques) and then drove out to a huge camping shop (Go Outdoors) which was a perfect playground for the The Terrorists (and heaven for LSH) affording me an hour of peace to browse supplies for the camping trips we have planned for next year.
Finally the rain let up so we drove to Whitsable itself. We had booked into the Continental Hotel which offered a family room. The hotel itself is undergoing a re-furb so you have to excuse the scaffolding and a bit of noise! The plus side was our room was brand new and perfect with 3 interconnecting spaces offering us the chance to each have our own sleeping space. It had 1 double bed and 3 singles and was just lovely with a very sea-side feel. The downside was the restaurant (not yet done up!) which whilst offering excellent tasting food did feel a little like you were sat in a posh fish and chip shop with the smell of the kitchen (which is not partitioned off) throughout.
We went for a roam along the beach, which is pebbly but lovely, and (given the pretty ferocious wind) was the perfect spot to fly our new pocket kites (available from Waitrose for less than £5 they are one of my best purchases of the summer). We stopped off at the Whitsable Brewery which is right on the beach and tried some great home brew (according to LSH), some great bubbles for me and a brilliant pizza for The Terrorists.
Thanks to our room layout we were able to enjoy an evening of wine and TV while The Terrorists slept (something which can be tricky in a hotel room all together).
The next day we went off to explore the town. The Terrorists were kept well amused in the fish market where they loved seeing all of the catches of the day. There was a fantastic high street of shops with bakeries and green-grocers where the kids both loved choosing and paying for their favourite fruits.
We escaped the rain through coffee shop hopping and then had a fantastic lunch in the lovely Whitstable Oyster Company where the food was faultless, the children were made very welcome (despite it being quite posh) and Bollie discovered a taste for mussels and polished off most of mine!
After lunch we went down to Whitsable Leisure Centre (which is one of the nicest local authority ones I have been to) and enjoyed an hours swim and splash about for less than £10. We then took a drive along the coast to Herne Bay where The Terrorists were enthralled by arcades, beach front amusement rides and a fabulous playground.
Al in all the weekend was somewhat limited by the bad weather but we loved Whitstable and the hotel so much we have said we will go back again soon and plan next time to take in some of the local attractions which include DiggerLand (somewhere I suspect The Bear will think it heaven on earth!). As a break from London (it feels a world away) that takes you less than 2 hours to get to it really is the perfect destination.