We all love a good beach holiday – fortunately living in London means we can easily jump on a train and head down to the coast in less than two hours (most of the time!) When there was just LO, I took him to Westgate-on-Sea with my friend and her daughter (you can read about our trip here) a couple of years back in August. It was so hot I even got sunburnt that day!
Fun in the sun
Bank Holiday weekend was going to be sunny, especially on Saturday so I asked Daddy P if we should all go to the beach for the day. He was a little reluctant – he’s very shy – and was a little anxious about being on the beach with people but I assured him it would be lovely, chilled and NOT busy like Margate. Whilst Margate is great for older kids and teens, I think Westgate is perfect for younger children and babies.
We set off on Saturday morning at 10am to arrive at London Victoria station. It was packed! I think everyone had the idea of going to the beach that day – luckily for us I booked our tickets the night before. There was the longest queue for the ticket machine but a member of staff told us we could just show our ticket reference at the gate and collect the tickets when we got to Westgate. We boarded on the 11:37 train and reached Westgate-on-Sea by 14:05 – the train was late and this was probably because it was so busy. There was an announcement on the train that said First Class was open because it was so busy – lucky for those who managed to get a seat in First Class but we were happy enough to hoteget spacious priority seats on the train when we got on.
Arriving at Westgate-on-Sea station, we picked up a few beach items before heading down to the beach. We got a sun canopy tent for £13.99, Daddy P picked up a fisherman-style hat and I got the kids a couple of buckets and spades. Food and snacks too, of course! When we got down to the beach which was about a 5-10 mins walk from the station, we arrived at St. Mildred’s Bay – it looked beautiful in the sunshine. The only problem was that it was still high tide! I hadn’t checked the tide times – oops!
NOTE TO ALL – CHECK TIDE TIMES BEFORE GOING!
High tide at beach
It was not a big problem for us. Plus, it was a lovely day and the sun was shining so we didn’t mind. It was a little windy but sometimes, a welcomed breeze. Apparently the local cinema (Carlton Cinema) only costs £3.50 per ticket so we could’ve looked for it but we weren’t that fussed.
We decided to head up towards West Bay beach which is where I went with my friend a couple of years ago. We sat on the side of the walkway like the locals, watching other people pass by. After we had finished eating, we decided that it would be nicer to head back down to St. Mildred’s Bay as it seemed less windy there.
On our way walking back, we stopped off at the local cafe for clotted cream ice cream which was so yummy! I went for the caramel one and got Daddy P a boozy rum & raisin one though he picked out the raisins… they were really big raisins and he’s not a fan of fruit in things. He’s a fussy eater.
The tide had gone down a little as it was around 4pm so we found a little spot on the sand and pitched up our sun canopy tent. It’s one of those pop-up ones so easy to set up but because it was windy it was so hard to keep it secure. We ended up folding the stroller and put it at the back of the tent to weigh it down haha! I let the kids roam free on the sand and in the shallow waters. LO was in his element and I really think he wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture out by himself if it was a crowded beach. He took his bucket and went looking for shells and sea snails on the side of the small rock cliffs whilst Baby Girl sat happily in the sunshine with her bucket and spade eating sand… she ate A LOT of sand. She ate so much that when we got home, we were met with a big sand-poo nappy. Nice. Nothing better than an exfoliating poo to wash off.
We stayed on the beach until toughly 7pm. It was starting to get even more quiet and we thought it would be best to head home before the mad rush of people from Margate got on the train. For the whole day we only lost one pair of Baby Girl’s sandals and LO’s sun hat. Not too bad for a full day out to the beach, I thought we’d lose much more than that. 🙂 When we got on the train, it wasn’t too busy. LO and Daddy P managed to get a seat so I stood up with Baby Girl in the stroller. Daddy P would’ve been the one standing but he’s not great with the stroller so I took one for the team.
It was a great day out and I would definitely love to take the kids again, perhaps to stay for a night or two. I really think that Westgate-on-Sea is a great UK beach for families with young kids. It’s less chaotic and packed like Margate but just as lovely. Upon coming to Westgate, we passed Whitstable and Herne Bay, they looked amazing too. I know Botany Bay is not too far and we’ve agreed that might have to be our next beach getaway to review. 🙂
There isn’t much to do around Westgate in terms of attractions or games so if you’re looking for a beach that offers that I’d suggest going to Margate instead. However, if you’re looking for beach destination where your little ones can roam free but still be within your eye line, head down to West Bay beach or St. Mildred’s Bay at Westgate.
Here’s some useful links on Westgate-on-Sea before visiting:
General info – http://westgate-on-sea.kent-towns.co.uk
Weather – www.accuweather.com
Tide times – www.tidetime.org
Things to do (not much) – www.aboutbritain.com
Nearby hotels – via Tripadvisor (affiliate link)