it’s hard to think of a lovelier seaside spot than Whitstable. Kick off a day there at Blueprint Coffee and Books with a pot of something strong and ethically sourced (and maybe a mini orange-and-rosemary bundt cake). Next, rent a bike from Whitstable Cycle Hire and pedal your way along the five-mile seafront Oyster Bay Trail. And for lunch? Oysters, natch – watch them being shucked in front of you at The Forge. Stay on the beach for a drink as the sun sets: Whitstable is one of the few in the UK with a pub, the Old Neptune, right on the shingle.
Margate, Deal, Whitstable… The Kent coast is dotted with picture-perfect towns. Pretty Whitstable, with its brilliantly fresh seafood and annual oyster festival, has long attracted stressed Londoners in desperate need of a little fresh air, but it’s proximity to the capital is far from the only reason it’s worth a visit. With pastel-painted shopfronts and beach huts, the fishing town feels tailor-made for snap-happy day trips. There’s also a thriving arts scene, genuine community spirit and loads going on.