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Top 5: Seaside trips out of London

Whether you’re planning a day trip or a weekend getaway, we’ve got you covered

Summer is coming, and we very much like to be beside the seaside – whether you’re planning a day trip or a weekend getaway, we’ve got you covered, with plenty of great options not too far from the capital. See our top tips on where to go for a seaside trip out of London.

Margate

Described by Tracey Emin as “edgy and sexy”, Margate’s slightly dystopian vibes are almost behind us, and the city’s regeneration efforts have made it a top destination in recent years. The sea front offers sandy beaches and classic arcade games, as well as the recently re-opened Dreamland, Margate’s historic theme park. In the old town you will also find the Turner Contemporary, a free museum that, on a stormy day, offers beautiful views of what J. M. W. Turner described as the loveliest skies in Europe. For a bite to eat we recommend GB Pizza Co (one of the UK’s top pizzerias) and a stop at the Cupcake Café for dessert. For a more unusual attraction, make sure to visit the Shell Grotto, an underground passage entirely covered in seashell mosaics whose origins remain unknown to this day.

Brighton

Of course we had to mention the quintessence of the British seaside town. Like hot donuts or fish and chips by the pier, Brighton is a classic for a reason. Only an hour away from London by train, Brighton is a great destination for a weekend of coastal fun. Stroll through North Laine for independent cafes and eccentric flea markets and take a spin on one of the pier's famous fairground rides. If the beach is too hectic in the Summer sunshine, we recommend a trip to the nearby Devil’s Dyke, a picturesque National Trust site perfect for cycling and picnics.

Swanage

As well as being the perfect place for fossil hunting the Jurassic coast is also one of Britain’s greatest natural wonders, and with its long beaches and high cliffs we can see why. Visit the legendary Old Harry rocks on your way down to Swanage town centre, and if you’re lucky you might walk away with your very own fossil. If you’re caught in a storm, treat yourself to one of Chococo’s fantastic specialty hot chocolates, and make sure to purchase some treats for the journey home. For a unique retro experience book a trip on one of Swanage Railway’s steam trains and take in the beautiful scenery as you pass through the ruins of Corfe Castle. This year Swanage is also hosting the Purbeck Pirate Festival from 29 – 31 July, which is guaranteed to be fun for all the family.

Whitstable

Whitstable is a Kentish pearl only 20 minutes away from historic Canterbury, and makes for a delightful day out. Originally a small fishing village, Whitstable used to export oysters across the Roman Empire and continues to celebrate its (delicious) heritage with the annual Oyster festival. You can sample the local delicacy at the aptly named Whitstable Oyster Company, or stop by The Forge on your way to the harbour. If you’re looking to sate your cultural hunger, the high street is peppered with vibrant art galleries in between the quirky shops and cafes. Make sure you also catch this year’s Whitstable Biennale; it runs between 4 – 12 June and will feature a rich programme of performance, film and sound.

Broadstairs

Also in Kent, Broadstairs is a lovely town with strong literary connections. Charles Dickens lived in Bleak House between 1837 and 1859, where he wrote several of his novels.  You can learn all about his connection to Broadstairs at the Dickens House Museum, whose building was the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood’s home in David Copperfield, and celebrate the local heritage at the Dickens Festival in June.

After your literary tour of Broadstairs make sure to stop by Morelli’s Gelato for some authentic Italian ice cream, and walk off the Chocolate Sundae with a brisk walk from Viking Bay to Dumpton Gap.

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