I recently had the pleasure of spending a weekend on the beautiful Kentish coast, at Seasalter. And I would highly recommend it. I stayed in a beach bungalow with a picture window, and the view didn’t disappoint.
20 minutes walk along the beach to the left and you will end up at the highly desirable Sportsman pub. Unfortunately they were fully booked. Note to self: be more organised in the future! (You apparently need to book 4 or so months in advance).
45 – 50 minutes along the beach to the right and you will find yourself in the picturesque seaside resort of Whitstable. Famed for it’s Oysters, Whitstable is a buzzing and historic sea side town.
Having never tried Oysters before. I decided to give it a go in Whitstable. I really don’t know if I like them or not, but they went down and I was quite proud of myself! Observing the busy Oyster industry in the town was really quite something, piles of spent Oyster shells are piled up everywhere, people are wandering about Oysters in hand, glugging them down with a slice of fresh lemon. And when the tide recedes the fascinating Oyster farms emerge.
The tide comes in very high, so be warned at high tide there is not much room to walk! And at low tide the stones are uncovered, leaving a muddy flat. It is definitely not a ‘pretty’ beach, but it is breath-taking nonetheless. The beach goes on for miles and miles. And there is a coastal path and routes along the beach which will lead you for miles around the Kent coast.
The view out to sea is quite remarkable. With an inspiring view of the offshore wind farm in the foreground, your eyes dart from big ship to big ship as the gigantic container ships cruise majestically through the shipping channel. At night, the wind farm is lit up with red flashes in a synchronized routine that is simply mesmerising. I have never in my life seen anything like it, that view alone is something to behold.
Also on the horizon the eagle eyed (ie. those with binoculars), will spot the historic sea forts. From Seasalter you can sea two clusters of sea forts. But it was impossible to capture them in a photo. At 9 miles or so off shore, they are mere specs on the horizon. I did some reading on the forts though, and their history is absolutely remarkable. Having in the past housed hundreds of war time military personnel, the forts have also been home to pirate radio stations and an abundance of wildlife. Currently they are deserted, housing only the ghosts of their past. Boat trips do run to the forts, but unfortunately entry is forbidden.
There are lots of abandoned sailing boats on the Seasalter and Whitstable and Seasalter shore. Some crying out to be cared for and used once again, and others just resting until the next season. There is a very active yacht club in Whistable with regular dinghy races and regattas. I stopped briefly to watch the expert dinghy sailors handle their boats with ease, at high speed, and in what looks like a chaotic manner – with 20+ out on the water – but in reality they are the opposite of chaotic, they speed towards their special marker bouys, cheering and shouting, boats whizzing in all directions as they travel around the course. It looks so fun. But unfortunately there are no hires available.
A beautiful place for lovers of the sea, do go there if you ever get the chance.