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Can anyone tell me about Whitstable or Herne Bay?

(41 Posts)
georgeclooneyfan Fri 19-Jun-09 13:53:57

We are stuck for holidays this year and we were thinking of flying from Aberdeen to London and staying in London for a while and then driving towards Kent, (am I right by saying this would be over an hours drive from London?) I wondered if Whitstable and Herne Bay are nice places? We looked at self catering in Canterbury. We would also be looking for things to do with kids aged 10 and 7. Thanks in advance

pinkteddy Fri 19-Jun-09 13:57:39

I would say Kent coast would be a good 1.5 hours drive from central London possibly 2 hours if you hit traffic. Whitstable is lovely very picturesque, good cafes/restaurants but beach is pebbles IIRC. Good long coastline with grassy areas though.

Not been to Herne bay for many years so can't help with that.

pinkteddy Fri 19-Jun-09 14:00:14

If you are looking for south coast area with lots of things to do for kids maybe Bournemouth or Weymouth might be better? Lovely sandy beaches and very touristy not as pretty as Whitstable though and further to drive from London.

georgeclooneyfan Fri 19-Jun-09 14:07:53

Thanks very much pinkteddy will have a look at Weymouth and Bournemouth. I think there are flights Aberdeen to Bournemouth will have a look at the price.

Bucharest Fri 19-Jun-09 14:10:26

Whitstable is gorgeous, but not much to do, fab seafood eateries on the beach etc. (best ish meal I ever had in my life in Whitstable, sole with black olives.....)
Herne Bay- tacky version thereof.
Bournemouth- old ladies in white cardies.
Weymouth- more family oriented....

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 19-Jun-09 14:10:35

Herne Bay is full of retired people. its nice enough, but not really a family location. Whistable similar but less so. However I have not been there for a while so maybe better to get a more recent opinion. Its about 1.5 hours or so.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Fri 19-Jun-09 14:12:00

Oh yes, bournemouth - old ladies I agree! Lots of retirement homes there !

Weymouth is good, as is many other places in Dorset. I hart dorset. You could fly to Bournemouth and use that as a base to the rest of the Jurrasic coastline. Its fab.

Work2hard Sat 20-Jun-09 22:07:10

whitstable is very cute - fisherman's huts on the beach you can rent via the hotel whose name I can't remember (owned by same family that own royal oyster fishery so check via website)
what about camber sands? south kent, amazing beach, sand and sand dunes and it is just by Rye which is one of the most beautiful towns in the country - magical. Stay at The PlACE, cAMBER sSands or in Rye at a B and B. Less than 2 hours drive from London unless rush hour. I heart Dorset too but that takes longer!

blueshoes Sat 20-Jun-09 22:52:24

Whitstable is like a Boden catalogue, all twee beachhuts, sailboats, oyster shacks and pebbly beach. Agree that it has nice restaurants. Also has good shopping in the little lanes.

Dh and I loved it. But as Bucharest says, probably not much to do with children to entertain.

I think the pebble beach makes it less commercialised. Much beloved for second homes by the London crowd.

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 22:56:29

My IL's live in Herne Bay, I call it sleepy hollow. The passport into Herne Bay is a walking frame! grin It is dull. Very dull. They do have a New Look in the town now though. Which is good for DD, because it means she'll be alright for Christmas and birthday pressie for a few years! grin

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 22:58:33

TBH, you'd be better off going towards East Sussex (not much futher) That way you'd get Hastings. Much more family friendly.

Zinaide Sat 20-Jun-09 22:58:49

Kent coast MUCH cheaper than Dorset coast, esp. in school holidays
Inland Kent there is loads to do - the coast is just the start.

Zinaide Sat 20-Jun-09 23:01:30

e.g. within striking distance of Canterbury...Romney Hythe & Dymchurch Railway & Dungeness...Howletts and Lympne Park zoos...Wildwood...Dover Castle, Deal Castle, Walmer Castle...
Walks in the Kent countryside...

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 23:07:16

Yes, there are loads of great things to do in Kent, just don't include Herne Bay! Whitstable is fine for a couple of hours, for lunch or dinner maybe, but no more than that if you are specifically looking for things to do with children.

blueshoes Sat 20-Jun-09 23:08:31

Agree with Zinaide that Kent has lots to offer. I live in SE London but only recently started exploring Kent, our nearest home county. There is lots. We were going to Chatham Dockyards one day and on the way stumbled on the town of Rochester when looking for a place to have lunch. It was so interesting we stayed there for the day.

To add to Zinaide's list, Groombridge Place, Leeds Castle, Chartwell ...

Zinaide Sat 20-Jun-09 23:12:35

Rochester Castle blueshoes - and do they still take the Kingswear Castle steamer up the Medway?
Do go back to Chatham Naval Dockyard, which is fabulous IMO
We love Groombridge too...and Bedgebury, and doing the Kent and East Sussex line up to Bodiam Castle smile

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 23:12:40

Hop Farm in Paddock Wood too. They have a great website and there's something going on there most weekends.

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 23:13:42

Oh that train to Bodium is lovely! If you time it right, you get the Thomas the Tank Engine train too!

Zinaide Sat 20-Jun-09 23:14:31

I think the nicest built-up resort on the Kent coast is Broadstairs...and there are lots of other sandy bays on Thanet
Down near Camber there are Rye and Winchelsea, two of the Cinque Ports, and the Romney Marshes
Have we all convinced you yet GCF?

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 23:17:21

I stay in Winchelsea every August Bank holiday. Rye is the most beautiful little town. (That's one of the other Cinque ports) Most fabulous Olde Sweet Shoppe. You queue for ages to get you quarter of midget gems, but so worth it! grin

SoMuchToBits Sat 20-Jun-09 23:17:22

Whitstable is a nice little place, but very trendy, and not much to do for children. Herne bay is a bit run down and boring. But there are lots of good things to do in kent, e.g. Canterbury, Dover, lots of castles (Dover, Deal, Walmer, Reculver, Rochester, Leeds near Maidstone), Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway.

If you want sandy beaches, then I would recommend Broadstairs. Several nice bays, and the town is quite nice (unlike Margate, which has fairly ok sandy beaches, but is a bit of a dive!).

I think Kent is cheaper and less touristy than Dorset (although Whitstable is quite trendy, which makes me laugh, as my ancestors came from there, where they were all oyster dredgers, and it was never posh then!)

RachieW Sat 20-Jun-09 23:17:45

Hiya- we are SE London too and there is a lot to do in Kent. If you are looking for a seaside town then I'd say Broadstairs. It's about 2 hours from London and is an easy drive to Canterbury if you wanted to go there too. It's small but has a lovely sandy beach which is all all enclosed and seems really safe for children. Last time we went it even still had a Punch & Judy so reminded me of my childhood trips to the seaside. There are also good rockpools for exploring. As well as a great ice-cream shop on the sea front and some nice restaurants. You could drive to Whitstable from their too, it's nice but I agree with what others have said about the beach and lack of things for kids to do.

MaureenMLove Sat 20-Jun-09 23:18:04

Oh, you said that! blush Sorry, it's late and I have had a drink!

SoMuchToBits Sat 20-Jun-09 23:19:16

Ok, we're all agreed then that Broadstairs is the place to go!grin

Zinaide Sat 20-Jun-09 23:20:53

So thats Broadstairs 1, Weymouth 0
Where are all the Dorset Defenders!

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