Would love it if there was a museum to visit too, and some gardens etc, basically somewhere safe for a lone woman to explore (some nature reserves near the seaside seem very isolated) and also somewhere that isn’t just sea because its too cold to stay there all day the way i would in warmer weather. Have already been to Brighton, Portsmouth, Eastbourne, Rye, Margate and Broadstairs in the past couple of years so none of them. Thanks! Don’t mind if it is a stony beach too
Whitstable is lovely.
Leigh on Sea
Rye is very nice (ie…tory), not really a seaside town as such though.
Has a castle/ museum and art shops/galleries, antique shops and that.
It is very close to the coast but probably a bus ride away.
…Ffs you said rye in the op didn’t you
Seconded, plus Herne Bay too.
I never would have recommended this years back but Folkestone is great for a day out these days. Lots of fun quirky shops, a really cool costal park right by the sea front and the harbour has lots of nice places to eat. Only been in the summer, no idea how much might be open right now mind you.
Second Folkestone, lots of art everywhere because they hold the triennial there and a lot of the big pieces become permanent.
Hastings is pretty nice, or has some pretty nice bits at least. Good art gallery down on the front, pretty sure there’s a funicular railway too…
Would say somewhere like Chichester is a good bet. On a direct train from Victoria (1hr 45 or so iirc). Can get multiple busses to places like West and East Wittering, Bracklesham Bay for beaches, Birdham for the marina and access to Chichester Harbour (the walk along Salterns Way from the Marina to Dell Quay is lovely and the Crown and Anchor at Dell Quay is a nice waterfront pub). Bosham is a 10 minute bus ride away and is an amazing place (possibly my favourite place in the world, but it’s not beachy). Chichester itself is lovely, but a bit away from the coast.
Leigh on Sea and Whitstable are good if you like sea food (not so much if you’re vegetarian).
Prospect Cottage and the rest of Dungeness are worth a visit, but would require changing onto a bus to transfer onto the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch light railway.
I’ve got a lot of time for Clacton, too. Frinton and Walton-on-the-Naze have a fair bit of charm as well.
Yeah, +1. Depending on where you live you could catch the train to Leigh from Fenchurch Street or West Ham. Old Leigh is quite interesting, and you can walk to Benfleet Station via Hadleigh Castle in about an hour and get the train home from there.
Not been since I was a kid - possibly a little isolated…
yeah getting off at Leigh and then walking up to the castle and then down to Benfleet is a really nice idea. We used to do that as a loop all the time when kids.
Or maybe opposite direction thinking about it? A few nice pubs and cafés in Old Leigh, don’t know any in Benfleet (there might be some now, not been in maybe 20 years).
there are some decent veggie/vegan options in Leigh now, I mean up in the centre of Leigh, not down at Old Leigh. The Oak Tree is a little bit of a walk from Old Leigh but for a day trip out you could get the train to Old Leigh, chill at the beach, have a look in the Heritage Museum and little shops, walk up to Leigh Road (where The Oak Tree is) and the Broadway (lots of nice indie shops and cafes and places along there), walk all the way along Marine Parade and enjoy the view (hopefully!), and then up to Hadleigh Castle and train home from Benfleet.
From Leigh if you want a nicer bit of ‘beach’ then just walk along to Chalkwell station where the beach opens up more.
Benfleet isn’t really my area of expertise. My sister lives in Chalkwell and is literally a stones throw from the beach and it’s really nice down that area now, nice cafes and always quite a bit going on.