Tuesday, 8 May 2018

My railcard's last hurrah

By some form of miracle, the weather this May bank holiday has not been at all bad. Floaty skirts have been a theme as I've enjoyed an afternoon tea, brunch, a picnic, and an impromptu trip to the seaside.

Whitstable's been on my list for a while; although after our Dungeness experience, I was a little hesitant. However, following recommendations from friends and family, I booked two tickets for myself and Emily to head down to the coast for an afternoon of sun, sea, and sand (somewhere beneath the pebbles).

Only around an hour and a quarter out of St Pancras, it wasn't long until we spied the sea from the train window. Wishful thinking led us to hope that most fellow passengers would be going on to Margate, but in fact plenty alighted with us and together we trooped towards Whitstable Harbour.

The Great British Seaside revival is real. The harbour and seafront were bustling, so valiantly we walked on with the intention of getting away from the crowds. It took a while, but the beach did eventually quieten down. The only downside to this was that it also ran out of food and drink options. Not wanting to appear too defeatist, we looped back, walking this time along the quiet backstreets as opposed to along the seafront.

Queues wherever we went, we decided that we would have to stop being so stubborn, and joined one to order chips (and a crab sandwich for me, whitebait for Emily) and beer; all local, of course.
We perched on a wall by the quay, thoroughly enjoying our food, drink, and people watching. Suitably stuffed, we took our drinks for a walk back to the quieter end of the beach.

Here we sat for the rest of the afternoon, basking in the sun. We got as far as a toe dip in the sea, but my gosh was it a cold shock! So, despite thinking that we would be bold and go for a full dip.. we didn't.

Early evening came and a short walk took us back to the station. This time the platform was even busier than before and the train that pulled up was already rammed with people who had been further afield to find their patch of seaside.

First impressions of Whitstable were good. If I can handle the full fare, I'm sure I'll return one day in the middle of the summer holidays when hopefully it won't be quite so teeming with tourists..