From London to the beach at Whitstable

From London to the beach at Whitstable

If the sun comes out we want for nothing more than to head to the seaside, and the beach at Whitstable is absolutely accessible by train from London to Whitstable for a day trip or weekend.

Whitstable is a quaint seaside destination in Kent. The train London to Whitstable is just over an hour’s ride from St Pancras (at Kings Cross).

Escape to the beach at Whitstable

A Whitstable day trip on the train from London means you can enjoy quirky shopping, seafood aplenty, oysters, oysters, oysters… and best of all, there are dogs everywhere!

Kent is a beautiful and accessible destination from London.

We love it because it’s easy to get to the beach in around an hour; the scenery, energy and vibe of similar beach-side destinations like Broadstairs and Botany Bay means that just one day away from the big city energises you! Well worth the time.

For those seeking swimming opportunities, do your research – the beach at Whitstable is great for paddling and water sports, as well as people watching and lounging about.

It’s not the sandiest of beaches, from what we saw, but it has the best of any seaside experience.

Beat the crowds on your Kent beach day trip

Our major travel tip is be to go early, because if you strike a lovely day, by around midday this little town (and others like it) is packed.

Whitstable is famous for its an annual mid-year Oyster festival.

To give you some idea of how popular this is, the town’s is population is around 32,000 and during this festival attracts an additional 40,000!

Take a look around at our Whitstable beach and seaside escape.

Hopefully you’ll be inspired to book your train from London to Whitstable next time the sun is out.


Got questions about travel in and around London? Or your own travel tips? Let us know in the comments… 


Magical light tunnel: Norwich’s Tunnel of Light for Christmas

Magical light tunnel: Norwich’s Tunnel of Light for Christmas

We’re Australian and while we sometimes miss the sun and prawns at this time of the year, there’s a certain magic to Christmas in England.

We found extra sparkle in a special light tunnel – the Norwich Tunnel of Light, an easy day trip from London.

*Update: the Norwich Tunnel of Light is back in 2018 – make your way there to have a look, and let us know in the comments below what you think of it.

Christmas in England and a magical light tunnel

This unique Tunnel of Light Norwich installation is a one-of-a-kind in Europe and intended to simulate the Northern Lights (or aurora borealis).

The trip from Liverpool Street is about two hours to Norwich, and it’s well worth it for a few reasons:

  1. The city has a really nice vibe and boasts clean streets, pretty views, a cathedral and cool pubs (important here in England!).
  2. There are lovely markets in the city, undercover so it doesn’t matter if it’s raining. At the markets you’ll find sweet hand-made goods and delicious fresh food to get stuck into after a hard day’s worth of shopping. At Christmastime there are festive markets open too.
  3. We discovered a fab little shop called Cupcakes & Bubbles – yep, champagne and sweet treats. Amazing.
  4. Plenty of cute dogs in the area too, and it was lovely to see a group of people in the town centre raising awareness for Action for Greyhounds, an organisation that campaigns for these lovely dogs who can sometimes be mistreated when their owners are finished racing them.
  5. If you visit Norwich, don’t miss a lovely waterside dining and entertainment precinct (just around the corner from the train station), Riverside Norwich.

Then of course there is their very special light tunnel, the Norwich Tunnel of Light, right in the city centre.

Light tunnel: magic in Norwich


For more on the area and the Tunnel of Light, take a look at the city’s official tourism site, Visit Norwich. We bought train tickets in advance on Trainline which meant for two of us it cost around £35 return trip on Greater Anglia trains.

There’s plenty of amazing festive experiences on offer at this time of year. You can travel within the UK, or might we suggest further afield to Amsterdam or Paris?

Let us know in the comment what your favourite thing to do in the holiday season is.

Days out in Kent – Broadstairs and Botany Bay

Days out in Kent – Broadstairs and Botany Bay

Updated for 2024

There’s something timeless about the Kentish coastline; its rugged beauty never fades, nor does the allure of its seaside towns.

In 2024, Kent, often referred to as the ‘Garden of England’, continues to be a treasure trove of experiences, from its historical gardens to the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.

We recently revisited the serene shores of Broadstairs and Botany Bay.

Much has changed since my last visit, but the charm of these best beaches in Kent remains unaltered. In 2024, the area is buzzing with excitement, celebrating a host of anniversaries and new events, like Leeds Castle’s 50th year as a charitable trust and the Historic Dockyard Chatham’s 40th Anniversary. These special occasions offer more reasons to explore this stunning part of England.

Setting off from London, the journey to Broadstairs is a pleasant reminder of how accessible Kent is. A direct train from London brings you to this coastal haven in no time, making it an ideal destination for a quick getaway or a leisurely day trip.

Days out in Kent – take the train to Broadstairs


Broadstairs – A Beachside Beauty for a Day Out in Kent

Broadstairs has always been a family favourite, and in 2024, it’s no different. The town retains its classic English seaside charm, with its beachside promenades and quaint cottages. This year, more than ever, Broadstairs is a hub for cultural festivities. The whole county is abuzz with the Medway’s Festival 2024, a year-long program brimming with creative events that bring together Kent’s rich history and vibrant local communities.

Strolling along the beach, I couldn’t help but reflect on Charles Dickens’ love for this place. His affection for Broadstairs is well documented, and it’s easy to see why. The beach, with its powdery sand and gentle waves, is as inviting as ever. Families still gather here, building sandcastles and enjoying the sun.

For those who aren’t keen on taking a dip in the sea, there’s a plethora of activities to indulge in. You can explore Broadstairs’ historical pier and boathouse, or visit the Dickens House Museum, which offers a fascinating glimpse into the life of the famous author.

The town has also embraced its hop-growing history, with local pubs serving an array of Kent’s local beers. It’s a perfect way to taste a bit of the county’s heritage.


Days out in Kent: Broadstairs town


Botany Bay – A Gem on the Kentish Coastline

Just a short drive from Broadstairs lies Botany Bay, a place of dramatic natural beauty. In 2024, Botany Bay continues to captivate visitors with its towering chalk cliffs and expansive sandy beach. It’s a photographer’s paradise, offering a multitude of vistas that change with the tides.

This year, Botany Bay is more than just a scenic spot. It’s part of a larger celebration of Kent’s coastline, tying into events like the Kent & East Sussex Railway’s 50th Anniversary. These events highlight the region’s natural splendor and historical significance, making a visit here all the more special.


Whether you’re here to soak in the sun, take a leisurely walk along the coast, or engage in a bit of history, Botany Bay never disappoints. It’s a reminder of the unspoiled beauty that Kent has to offer.

As I wandered along the beach, I marvelled at how Botany Bay’s cliffs stand as natural sentinels over the sea. This year, these cliffs are not just a backdrop for beachgoers but also a part of a significant celebration. 2024 marks Hornby’s 50th anniversary, and nearby Margate is hosting WonderWorks, a family-friendly event celebrating this iconic brand. It’s a fun addition to any day out in Kent, especially if you’re traveling with kids.


Days out in Kent: Botany Bay cliffs


Exploring Beyond the Beach

Kent, with its diverse landscapes, offers more than just seaside experiences. The Kent Downs, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, is a short drive from the coast. It’s a fantastic place for those who love the outdoors. The area’s rolling hills, ancient woodlands, and picturesque villages are perfect for hiking and exploring. This year, the Kent Downs is more captivating than ever, with its historical ruins and scenic beauty drawing visitors from all over.

For history enthusiasts, 2024 is a year of rich offerings in Kent. The county is commemorating 250 years since the birth of JMW Turner. The Turner Contemporary in Margate, inspired by Turner’s life and work, is showcasing a range of exhibitions and art installations. It’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the arts and culture of Kent.


Days out in Kent with dogs and their humans


A Taste of Kent’s Culinary Delights

No trip to Kent would be complete without indulging in the local culinary scene. The county’s hop-growing history and vineyards are more renowned than ever in 2024. Sampling the sparkling wines from Kent’s vineyards is a delightful experience, combining the joys of beautiful landscapes with exquisite tastes.

Seafood lovers will find themselves at home in Kent. Places like Whitstable are famous for their oyster bars, offering fresh and delicious seafood. The Taste of Kent Food Festival is another highlight this year, showcasing the best of local produce. It’s a celebration of the county’s rich agricultural heritage and a testament to its burgeoning food scene.


Broadstairs and Beyond – Connecting with Kent’s Heart

In Broadstairs, the connection between past and present is ever-present. The town’s historical pier and boathouse, Bleak House, and Admiralty Cottage are testaments to its rich history. A self-guided walk through Broadstairs is like stepping through pages of history, with each corner revealing a new story.

This year, the town is also part of a larger narrative that celebrates Kent’s heritage and natural beauty. From the Medway’s Festival 2024 to the Castle Concerts in Rochester, there’s a wealth of cultural experiences to be had.

As we wrapped up our day in Broadstairs and Botany Bay, I couldn’t help but feel a deep appreciation for Kent. Its blend of natural beauty, historical depth, and cultural richness makes it a unique destination. Whether you’re here for a day trip or a longer stay, Kent offers an escape into a world where the past and present coexist beautifully.


Days out in Kent: Broadstairs beach


Venturing Further: The Charm of Kent’s Countryside

Leaving the coast behind, the allure of Kent’s countryside beckons. Here, the Kent Downs and the High Weald unfold in a tapestry of lush greenery, chalk streams, and quaint villages. This area, steeped in natural beauty, offers a tranquil contrast to the lively beaches. The Kent Downs, in particular, are a haven for walkers and nature lovers, with its diverse topography and historical ruins. In 2024, the area is as inviting as ever, perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat into nature.

As I ventured through the Kent countryside, I was reminded of the county’s rich agricultural history. The hop gardens and vineyards tell a story of a land deeply rooted in farming and brewing. This year, with events like the Taste of Kent Food Festival, the spotlight is on the local producers who are the heart and soul of Kent’s culinary scene. Their dedication to quality and tradition adds an authentic flavour to any visit.


Days out in Kent - Botany Bay offers lovely scenery


Engaging with Kent’s Cultural Tapestry

Kent’s cultural landscape is as varied as its natural one. The county is a mosaic of history, art, and tradition. In 2024, Kent’s cultural calendar is particularly vibrant. The commemorations at the Historic Dockyard Chatham and the Turner Contemporary in Margate are just a few examples of how the county celebrates its rich heritage.

The Medway’s Festival 2024 is a centrepiece of this cultural celebration. It’s an amalgamation of local creativity and ambition, showcasing the best of what Kent’s communities have to offer. From music and theatre to art and craft, the festival is a testament to the county’s thriving cultural spirit.


Days out in Kent: beach fun and paw prints


Broadstairs – A Conclusion to Our Journey

As our day in Kent drew to a close, we found ourselves back in Broadstairs, the starting point of our adventure. This quaint beachside town, with its historical significance and seaside charm, had been the perfect introduction to all that Kent has to offer.

In the evening, the town’s streets came alive with the sounds of local musicians playing at the pubs, and the scent of fresh seafood wafted through the air. We ended our day with a meal at one of Broadstairs’ renowned eateries, reflecting on the day’s discoveries and the endless possibilities that Kent presents.


Days out in Kent: Kingsgate town and Botany Bay




Days out in Kent: Kingsgate Bay and Botany Bay beach landscape


Looking Ahead

Kent in 2024 is a place where the past and present merge seamlessly. It’s a county that celebrates its history while embracing the new. As we plan our next visit, we’re excited to explore more of what Kent has to offer.

From its iconic seaside towns to the rolling hills of the Kent Downs, from its historical sites to its vibrant festivals, Kent remains a destination that continues to surprise and delight.

Whether you’re a returning visitor or discovering Kent for the first time, there’s always something new to experience. So, pack your bags, set off on your journey, and discover the myriad charms of this enchanting county.


Days out in Kent: Kingsgate Castle on a hill



Out and about on a day trip in Kent

Life certainly is better at the beach, and our day trip to Kent included breathing in the fresh ocean air, patting plenty of puppies, enjoying a pub lunch with a view and feasting on the scenery this coastline offers.

We can’t wait to get back this way, and would highly recommend the easy trip if you want to experience the English seaside.

A gorgeous alternative (also in Kent) is Whitstable, or head for the bigger fun of Brighton.


Trip details

Time: about an hour and a half by train to and from King’s Cross in London; we would suggest four to six hours here for a decent day trip.

Train booking: we booked our tickets through

Cab: Broadstairs Taxis, phone 01843869999. 

Tourist information: try Visit Thanet or Visit Kent.


While in Kent, you might also like to check out Margate :) Find out more here


30 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rugby in England (updated 2024)

30 Reasons Why You Should Visit Rugby in England (updated 2024)

Hey there, fellow explorers! It’s Sarah here. I recently revisited Rugby, a charming market town nestled in the heart of England, and oh my, how it’s blossomed since our last jaunt here in 2016! If you’re mulling over where to venture next, let me share with you 30 compelling reasons why you should visit Rugby in England.


Visit Rugby in England: video guide


Travel to Rugby in England: A 2024 Guide


  1. Rugby Art Gallery & Museum: A Cultural Hub

The Rugby Art Gallery & Museum, one of the town’s cultural highlights, offers free admission to all visitors​​. It’s a fantastic spot for art enthusiasts with its range of events and exhibitions, including the Rugby Open 2023 exhibition and engaging drawing workshops.

  1. A Calendar Brimming with Events at The BENN Hall

The BENN Hall in Rugby is bustling with events in 2024. Notably, the Phantom Revival Concert on January 20, priced at £17.50​​, and the Bay City Rollermania on February 23, for £29.00​​. The New Year’s Eve Party is another highlight, with tickets at £28.99​​.

  1. Family-Friendly Performances at Macready Theatre

The Macready Theatre offers delightful family-oriented shows, like The Man Who Wanted to be a Penguin, with ticket prices ranging from £0.00 to £14.00​​. It’s a perfect venue for families seeking entertainment in Rugby.

  1. Alexmas at The Alex: An Artistic Christmas Celebration

The festive event Alexmas at The Alex, located at Alexandra Art, 72-73 James Street, is a free event​​. It combines art with festive cheer, offering a unique experience during the Christmas season.



Rugby UK - ideal to visit on days out in Warwickshire

  1. Rugby Town Concert Band: Melodies that Resonate

The Rugby Town Concert Band performs at various venues, including St. Peter and St. John’s Church. Their concerts are priced at £12.00 – £14.00, with some events being free​​​​.

  1. Santa and the March of the Penguins: A Festive Delight

This charming free event in Rugby’s town centre runs from late November to early January, bringing the magic of a winter wonderland to life​​​​.

  1. A Glimpse into the Past: Celebrating Rugby’s Heritage

The 200th anniversary of Rugby football at Rugby School in 2023 was a milestone for the town. The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum, which commemorates this heritage, offers adult tickets for £8, concessions for £5, and free entry for under 12s​​.

Days out in Warwickshire - explore Rugby


Rugby’s Rich History and Modern Charms


  1. Rugby School Shop & Tours: Walk Through History

Rugby is synonymous with the game that shares its name, and no visit is complete without exploring the Rugby School Shop & Tours. Walking through the corridors of this prestigious school, where the game was born, was like stepping into a historical novel. The tours are insightful, and the shop is a treasure trove for rugby enthusiasts.

  1. The Outdoor Splendour of Rugby: Draycote Water and More

The town isn’t just about history; it’s also about embracing the outdoors. Draycote Water has become one of our favourite spots for a peaceful walk or a bit of bird watching. And if you’re into nature, don’t miss the Swift Valley Nature Reserve and the Great Central Walk – perfect for those who love to explore the natural beauty of the English countryside.

  1. Fun for Kids: From Toft Studio to Elliotts Field

Rugby is incredibly family-friendly. Take your little ones to Toft Studio – they’ll have a blast. For a day of shopping and leisure, Elliotts Field Retail Park offers a great mix of stores and eateries. It’s ideal for families looking for a variety of activities.


Days out in Warwickshire - Clifton upon Dunsmore


The Culinary Scene: A Taste of Rugby


  1. The Bull Inn: A Culinary Delight

We loved The Bull Inn on our last visit. It’s still there, offering the same warm, inviting atmosphere. The food is as delicious as ever, and the vibe is just perfect for a relaxing evening. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for authentic English pub cuisine.


  1. Summersault: More Than Just a Vegetarian Café

We revisited Summersault, and it remains a gem in Rugby’s culinary crown. The vegetarian fare is scrumptious, and the quirky gift shop adds to its charm. It’s a place that leaves you feeling content, both in heart and stomach.


The Architectural Beauty of Rugby


  1. St. Marie’s Church: A Historic Marvel

On our stroll around town, we were drawn again to the architectural splendour of St. Marie’s Church. The history embedded in its walls and the welcoming community make it a must-visit for anyone interested in architecture and local history.

Wrapping up the Day


  1. A Country Escape in Clifton upon Dunsmore

Our stay in a quaint Airbnb in Clifton upon Dunsmore, just outside Rugby, was the cherry on top of our visit. Overlooking the serene countryside, it was the perfect blend of rural tranquillity and proximity to the town’s attractions.

Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby school


Rugby: Where Every Street Tells a Story

  1. Caldecott Park: A Green Oasis

Amidst the bustling town lies Caldecott Park, a verdant oasis that offers a tranquil escape. Its well-maintained gardens and playgrounds are perfect for a family day out or a quiet stroll to enjoy nature’s beauty. It’s amazing how this park combines the charm of old England with the vibrancy of modern landscape design.

  1. Rugby Theatre: A Cultural Beacon

The Rugby Theatre continues to be a cultural beacon, showcasing a variety of performances. Whether it’s a gripping drama or a light hearted comedy, the theatre’s vibrant community spirit makes every visit memorable. It’s a testament to Rugby’s thriving arts scene.

  1. The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum: Celebrating Rugby’s Legacy

No trip to Rugby would be complete without a visit to The Webb Ellis Rugby Football Museum. This small yet fascinating museum offers a deep dive into the history of the game and its roots in this very town. It’s an absolute must for sports enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

Days out in Warwickshire, Rugby architecture


Discovering Rugby’s Hidden Gems


  1. The Adventure Zone: Family Fun Unleashed

For those travelling with kids, The Adventure Zone is a gem. It’s a place where laughter and excitement fill the air, and children can have a blast while parents relax. We loved the vibrant atmosphere and the range of activities available.

  1. Great Central Walk: A Journey Through Nature

The Great Central Walk is a hidden treasure for nature lovers. It’s a peaceful trail that takes you through some of the most picturesque parts of the Warwickshire countryside. Ideal for a leisurely walk or a cycling adventure, this path is a wonderful way to experience the natural beauty surrounding Rugby.

  1. A Peek into Rugby’s Artistic Side: Local Art and Craft

Rugby’s artistic scene is vibrant and diverse. From local galleries to craft shops, the town is brimming with creativity. We stumbled upon several local artists’ studios and were mesmerised by the talent and variety of artwork on display.


Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby, Sommersault


Rugby: A Blend of Tradition and Modernity


  1. A Taste of the Local Life: Markets and Shops

Exploring the local markets and shops in Rugby is a delight. From fresh produce to artisan crafts, these markets are a window into the everyday life of the town. The friendly vendors and the quality of goods reflect the town’s commitment to maintaining its rich heritage while embracing modernity.


  1. Rugby’s Culinary Diversity: From Traditional to Contemporary

Rugby’s culinary scene has something for every palate. From traditional English fare to contemporary cuisine, the variety of dining options is impressive. We enjoyed everything from cosy cafes to elegant restaurants, each offering a unique taste of the local culture.


Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby, St Marie Church


Rugby: Where Past Meets Present


  1. Rugby’s Festive Spirit: A Victorian Christmas

One of the highlights of our trip was experiencing Rugby’s festive spirit. The Victorian Christmas events at the Rugby Art Gallery and Museum were a delightful journey back in time. Making our own Christmas crackers and listening to readings from A Christmas Carol truly captured the essence of a traditional English Christmas.

  1. Engaging Workshops at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum also offers a range of engaging workshops. A popular recent example friends of ours attended was the Drawing Workshop with Jamie Boots, focusing on wildlife themes like elephants and tigers. These sessions are not just educational but also a fun way to interact with local artists and like-minded art enthusiasts.

  1. Exploring Rugby’s Outdoor Adventures

Beyond its historical and cultural offerings, Rugby has plenty of outdoor adventures. Draycote Water is ideal for water sports and picnics, while Swift Valley Nature Reserve offers tranquil walks amidst diverse wildlife. For the more adventurous, The Adventure Zone provides a thrilling experience for all ages.

Days out in Warwickshire - stay in an airbnb in Rugby


Rugby’s Community Spirit


  1. Rugby Town Concert Band: A Musical Treat

Another gem we discovered was the Rugby Town Concert Band. Their performances, filled with energy and community spirit, are a testament to the town’s vibrant cultural life. The blend of classic and contemporary pieces makes their concerts enjoyable for everyone.

  1. St. Marie’s Church: Architectural and Spiritual Grandeur

A visit to St. Marie’s Church is a journey into Rugby’s spiritual and architectural heritage. The church’s stunning architecture and the warm community make it a serene and welcoming place for reflection and admiration.


Days out in Warwickshire, Rugby, St Marie church


Unwinding in Rugby’s Serene Countryside


  1. A Country Retreat in Clifton upon Dunsmore

Our stay in Clifton upon Dunsmore offered the perfect balance between rural tranquillity and accessibility to Rugby’s attractions. The countryside’s scenic beauty, combined with the cosy and comfortable Airbnb, provided a much-needed retreat after our days of exploration.

  1. Rugby’s Culinary Delights: A Gastronomic Adventure

Rugby’s culinary scene is as diverse as its culture. Whether you crave traditional English pub food or contemporary vegetarian dishes, Rugby’s restaurants cater to every taste.

Days out in Warwickshire - Rugby school


A Town That Leaves You Wanting More


  1. Rugby: A Tapestry of Experiences

As our reminiscing on Rugby comes to a close, I’m reminded of the town’s unique charm. From its historic roots in the sport of rugby to its lively arts scene, vibrant community events, and picturesque natural surroundings, Rugby is a tapestry of experiences waiting to be discovered.

So, there you have it – 30 reasons why Rugby should be on your travel radar in 2024. Whether you’re seeking history, culture, nature, or culinary delights, Rugby offers an enriching and diverse experience. I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in this captivating English town! Drop us a line in the comments to share :)

Looking for other ideas on easy trips out of London? Have a browse here for inspiration.


Do you have any tips on this part of England, or questions? Let us know in the comments.