Looking through the pictures for this post really made me realise how no matter what the weather – rain or shine – a trip to the seaside is always brilliant. The inspiration for this post has actually come about whilst I’ve been planning a surprise staycation trip for my boyfriend’s birthday and it really made me realise all the options we have here in ol’ Blighty if you’re after a seaside trip – whether for just the day, or a weekend away.
With that in mind I wanted to kick off a 2 part post with the best seaside towns in the UK I would recommend. for a little break. I have to obviously put a disclaimer in that these are only the beaches I have visited and loved so I have focused it to the South East of England, as this is where I grew up and currently live!
Sorry to start with the obvious, but I obviously had to include the big one – and arguably the most famous for beach getaways in the UK – Brighton Beach. It’s an absolute treat on a sunny day, but guaranteed you’ll be battling everyone else in the UK for a spot on the beach as it’s a very popular destination.
It’s great for more than sitting on the beach and catching some rays, as you can also explore the Brighton lanes for independent shops and designers alike. If shopping isn’t your thing, it’s also great fun to talk a walk down the pier and lose some pennies to the arcade machines.
The whole of Brighton has a great feel to it, and even though you might be battling the crowds for a deckchair, it’s definitely worth a trip.
Arguably Brighton’s better little sister – with only a 30 minute train away from the popular seaside town is a sleepier, calmer option to visit. You still have plenty of options of places to grab some fish and chips, and a pier to walk along to admire the view.
If you’re heading to the beach for a weekend away, then Worthing should be top of your list, as it’s full of cute and quiet Airbnbs and still only a short ride away from Brighton so you can still visit if you wish. If it’s sunbathing you’re after, then definitely head to Worthing beach as it’s vast but quiet, so plenty of room to spread all your bits out.
Worthing is my personal favourite out of the two – as you certainly don’t have to battle as many people to sit yourself down on the beach. Whereas it doesn’t have the infamous Brighton lanes or pier, it’s still a lovely beach side town which is filling up with cute little cafes and bars to spend your time.
As I’ve harped on about enough here, I certainly have a soft spot for Norwich and the Norfolk area as it’s where I spent my three years of uni, and absolutely loved every minute of my time there. When my parents used to come and visit me at the weekend we would hop in the car and go off to visit the seaside towns dotted around the Norfolk coast, and it was a great way to experience the little towns and seaside culture – a nice lot of fish & chips by the beach.
Cromer is a fab option for all the beach usual – pier, tick. Fish & Chips, tick. Crabbing? Sure! It’s a great spot to stay for the weekend and only a short train ride away from Norwich if you want to visit the city.
Infamous for it’s oyster trade, and also for hosting an oyster festival every Summer (check it out and book in advance if you want to visit!), Whitstable is one of my favourite places to take people in Kent (my home county).
It’s a perfect little town for strolling the vintage shops and stopping off for an oyster or two with a glass of wine. You can walk along the beach to admire the piles of oyster shells and – of course – pick up some fish & chips to snack on.
It’s funny how an old seaside town that you used to visit as a kid suddenly turns into the go-to Kentish getaway, but that’s Deal! A picture of the multicolored houses that line the seafront has been hanging on my parent’s bathroom wall since I was a little kid, and nowadays it appears on everyone’s Instagram!
Now, as a non-Kent-dwelling resident, Deal is our first request for when we come back to Kent at the weekend. It’s similar to Whitstable in it’s quiet-little town vibes, and has become really popular in recent years for cute Airbnb spots to stay for the weekend. The row of vintage and antique shops are a fun way to lose a couple of hours perusing, in addition to new shops and installations you’d be likely to find along Carnaby street.
Personally my favourite is an old family tradition of visiting Sea View fish and chips, but there are plenty of cosy pubs – including the Royal Hotel which has a beer garden stopping at the beach’s edge.
If you’d have told me years ago I’d be recommending Folkestone as somewhere to go for a weekend break then frankly I wouldn’t have believed you. Having grown up a stones-throw away from Folkestone it was hardly the desirable place you wanted to go when I was a kid, but oh how times have changed!
In recent years there’s been a huge investment in the harbor and after visiting it recently I can see why it’s such a popular spot to visit. The Harbour Arm is filled with coffee spots, wine bars and food stalls which means you can spend a good afternoon – and evening – stopping off all the way down to the lighthouse at the end.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and perhaps even I’ve inspired a staycation somewhere along the South East Coast. how I’m planning our trip to Australia, I can’t wait to go back. In the meantime, you can find my other Insta snaps on my Instagram @GrundyTravels
Thanks for reading x