Being on maternity leave the last few weeks has given me the opportunity to have days out exploring with Esme. It’s so nice to discover home ground for a change. We are the worst offenders when it comes to jetting off. Realistically there is so much on our doorstep to see! London is a great hub for getting out of the city on the train. It always surprises me how quickly the view changes from a concrete jungle, to pretty fields with animals grazing. Our most recent adventure took us to Kent, the garden of England. Here is what we got up to on a day trip to Whitstable with kids.
A day trip to Whitstable with kids
Getting to Whitstable
With having a toddler and being heavily pregnant, I will always seek out the easiest way of planning a trip. I downloaded the Trainline app to my phone to search and purchase tickets. You know how easy it is to get a takeaway via Deliveroo? Or a cab on Uber? Trainline is kind of the same thing, except for trains.
I searched our preferred dates and found the most reasonably priced tickets. With a couple of clicks it was all done and I got notification reminders of departure time and date. In true parent style, I was running late on the morning of our trip. Luckily the app had live information so we could go straight to the platform.
It’s so easy travelling on the train with kids. Just wheel the buggy straight on, theres loads of space for our stuff and Esme can move around freely. It makes such a change from automatically taking the car or flying when it comes to adventure and exploring.
Whitstable is a Fishing village on the East Coast of Kent. It has a medieval feel with windy streets, oodles of vintage shops, independent cafes and restaurants. I love escaping the high streets of London where everything is the same.
With the town coastal, the seafood options are endless! Whitstable is particularly popular for its oysters which is evident from all of the shells on the nearby beach. The train station is an easy 15 minute stroll from all of the attractions. Its pretty much one long road so you can’t get lost.
Whitstable Castle is based a ten minute walk south of the main town. The walk around the harbour and along the beach to get there is quite nice. The castle structure itself is picture perfect, with pretty grounds and a lovely tea room onsite. We had planned to have afternoon tea but realised you need to book in advance. Nonetheless, we had really good cake and coffee sitting on the outdoor patio whilst Esme played in the garden. There were lots of kids around so she was really enjoying herself.
The castle offer free guided tours if that takes your interest. Or if you have a busy toddler, maybe a walk around the gardens, followed by the playground might suit better. Esme loved the pirate-themed playground complete with a wooden ship.
I have to be entirely honest and say Whitstable beach is not a swimming beach in my opinion. It has pebbles rather than sand and the water is a little murky. This is probably because of the nearby harbour has many trawlers coming in and out on a daily basis with the catch of the day. Nonetheless there were plenty of kids playing in the water and having an awesome time.
We really loved the pretty coloured beach huts that brought a nice spark. We took tonnes of pictures with them and Esme enjoyed knocking on all of the coloured doors. Lucky no one was in!
There are some huts near the harbour that sell things like coffees and hot chocolates or oysters and fish and chips. You can’t really go to the beach in England without having fish and chips, right? You can’t beat it mixed with the sea breeze. They are some of my fondest memories of going on day trips with my parents when I was a kid.
The best restaurant for families in Whitstable
We are huge lovers of seafood in this family. Knowing Whitstable is a great place to sample some of the best oysters and other seafoods, I wanted to do my research on the best place to eat for families. The Lobster Shack came up in my search time and time again so we booked ourselves a table for an early dinner.
Long bench style tables fill the marine themed restaurant. Lobster Shack is literally on the beach so you can dine indoors, or outside, with the sea breeze, perched on a blue and white striped deck chair.
They have a big ice tray filled with oysters and lobsters for patrons to see. Equally the kitchen is on show, so you can see and smell the food being prepared. We opted for oysters to start. Followed up with their garlic and parsley butter lobster special. Served with a fresh green salad and chips that are to die for! The food was spectacular.
They also have a kiddies menu which included fish, chicken and sausage options for a really good price. They were welcoming of families and I saw a few high chairs knocking around. All up it was a lovely finish to our day before strolling back to the station.
Have you been on a day trip to Whitstable with kids? Did you discover anything different? I love to hear from you so make sure to leave a comment.
This post is sponsored by Trainline.