With the rising cost of living, it’s great to be able to access your own little slice of paradise so close to home. Before autumn sets in, catch a sunny day and take the family out to one of these delightful seaside towns. You’ll soon feel as if you’ve flown two hours closer to the equator, combined with all the charm and nostalgia of a British day out at the beach.
This timeless seaside resort on the Kent coast can be reached from London St Pancras in just 1 hour and 21minutes, thanks to England’s brilliantly connected railway network. Once there, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Broadstairs as the town boasts seven sandy beaches, complete with beach huts and boat rides, clifftop walks and even a surf school. Walking its unspoilt streets lined with fisherman’s cottages and quaint shops, it’s easy to see why Broadstairs was the favourite holiday destination of author Charles Dickens and you can even visit the Dickens House Museum during your stay or take a costumed tour.
Leigh-on-Sea is a picturesque seaside town that you can reach in just over an hour by train direct from Fenchurch Street. In 2018, the town was named the best place to live in the UK and it’s certainly well worth a visit, with plenty of attractions for day-trippers. From its small sandy beach, famous cockle sheds and fish restaurants to Leigh’s art galleries and Belfairs Park and Nature Reserve, there’s something for everyone.
The largest town on the Essex coast, Clacton-on-Sea, can be reached direct from Liverpool Street Station in 1 hour and 26 minutes by train. This traditional seaside town has a sandy, pebbled beach and a pier with a wide range of attractions, including an arcade, adventure golf, soft play and a Seaquarium, making it ideal for young families. If getting the sea air is more your thing, you can take a walk through the seafront gardens or visit the historical Martello Tower E. Clacton also has two theatres and an airfield.
Deal is an underrated seaside town with a lovely quiet beach. The town has good transport links and you can take a train direct from London St Pancras and arrive in Deal within an hour and a half. This peaceful town has a castle, built by Henry VIII, which overlooks a pebbled dog-friendly beach, perfect if you’re visiting with your four-legged friend. If you’re looking to get out on the water, Deal offers a range of watersports including windsurfing and kite surfing. Or if you prefer, you can easily while away the hours browsing Deal’s independent shops and boutiques. There’s also a farmer’s market on the first Saturday of each month and lots of delicious places to eat, including plenty of choices for fish and chips!