Earlier this month we packed up our car and headed down to Kent for a four day break. With a car filled with just about everything but the kitchen sink (how do babies need so many things?), we made the drive from London to Margate. Having never stayed in Kent before, we were keen to explore the local area including the seaside towns of Whitstable, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
With the on-going pandemic, there’s never been a better time to opt for a staycation, over travelling abroad. That being said, we still remained careful. We were away Monday – Thursday, hoping they would be quieter days. We went out early each day and spent evenings in. A routine that works very well with a baby.
There are so many beautiful places to holiday in our own country. Many counties we’ve often overlooked, preferring to spend our money on a trip overseas. So it was lovely to get away for a few days and explore an area of England that we knew little about.
How did we get there?
We’re fortunate that we own a car, so we drove down to Kent from London. It took around 1 hour 30 mins, so was perfectly doable with a baby.
Where did we stay?
We stayed in Margate, which we had never visited before. Margate is a seaside town with lots of bars, restaurants and cafes. Unfortunately most of which are only open Thursday – Sunday, so bear this in mind if you visit. Dreamland is still closed due to Covid19, but most other amusements were open, and the beach wasn’t busy at all.
What did we do?
Although we stayed in Margate, because we had our car, we spent most of the week pottering around other towns nearby. We stopped in Whitstable on our way down, and found it to be just as beautiful as all the photos depict. There’s a couple of really cute streets lined with quaint cottages, lots of sailing boats, and a number of spots to eat fresh fish. Although we were there on a Monday for lunch, it was by far the busiest place we visited during our four day break. As it’s not a very big place anyway, we decided to not stay for too long.
Our second day was spent exploring Margate itself. We began the day by getting coffee at Cliffs on Northdown Road, as we were staying nearby. It came recommended, and I can see why – their coffee is fantastic. We enjoyed a flat white each whilst making our way to Margate beach front, where we continued to stroll the full length of the beach. We spotted a couple of street food spots, but had already bookmarked Forts for lunch. Forts have only been open a couple of months, but due to their incredible coffee and delicious sandwich menu, they’re already proving popular. And you’ll be happy to know, they’re open all week!
After lunch we headed further along the coast to Botany Bay. Within walking distance from Margate, Botany Bay is a stunning beach nestled inbetween white cliffs. There’s a small beer shack on the beach, with a larger pub and restaurant at the road side above. Although we were there on a Tuesday, it was fairly busy, so it’s clearly a spot for locals as well as tourists, but never the less, it’s worth a visit.
The following day we drove further around the coast to Ramsgate and Broadstairs. Ramsgate has a lovely harbour and plenty of food and drink options. The town centre is similar to a lot of other towns, but we found a cafe gem just off the high street. Zest serves a wonderful menu of tacos, wraps and sandwiches. Plus a variety of coffees, soft drinks and cocktails. They were very well setup for Covid with screens between tables, plenty of hand sanitiser, and staff wiping down tables and chairs after each customer. The staff were super friendly too – would highly recommend.
We spent the afternoon doubling back on ourselves and stopping off at Broadstairs. Much smaller than both Ramsgate and Margate, Broadstairs is a very quaint seaside town. Think narrow streets, pretty cottages, colourful beach huts and beautiful flowers. It reminded me of a lot of towns and villages in the likes of Devon and Cornwall. We wished we’d spent longer there. Although it isn’t big, there are a couple of lovely restaurants and bars overlooking the bay, where you could easily spend an afternoon soaking up the sun.
Castle Farm Lavender Field
On our way back to London we stopped in at Castle Farm to enjoy their lavender field walk. We caught the field just before harvest, but it was still beautiful. With brilliant sunshine and blue skies, the purple of the lavender really popped. Although it’s just the one field, it’s lovely to walk up and down the rows of scented lavender. There’s also a farm shop at the end where you can buy other produce, as well as lavender scented everything.
Where did we eat?
I mentioned a couple of cafes above, where we got lunch. But in the evening we opted to eat in. For our first night we actually took some food from home with us, but on the second night we found a lovely spot in Margate that sold home cooked frozen meals.
Ouma’s Kitchen, also located on Northdown Road, is owned by Brenda. From South Africa, she cooks fresh food each day which you can either enjoy in their cafe, grab and go for lunch, or pick up a frozen option for later that day. We did the latter and enjoyed a chickpea, kale and sweet potato curry, plus a lentil & butternut Bobotie – a South African dish traitionally made with spiced mince meat and egg. It reminded me a little of Greek mousakka. Dishes are priced from £4 – £6, making them great value for money. Highly recommend if you find yourself in Margate.
Staycation or Travel Abroad?
Are you opting for a staycation this year, over travelling abroad? If so, where are you thinking of heading? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
*In collaboration with Hotels.com, but all views are my own.