Canterbury is an ideal holiday destination which blends the history and culture of a city break with its proximity to some of the most stunning beaches and coastlines in the UK. There are so many beaches within a short drive of Canterbury, that we thought we would choose our top three destinations to help you plan your trip.
No holiday to Canterbury would be complete without popping to Whitstable. Just twenty minutes’ drive away, this seaside resort is one of our favourites to recharge our batteries and breathe in the fresh, salty air. When the weather is fair, you can even walk or cycle to Whitstable along the Crab and Winkle Way which leads directly from Canterbury to Whitstable and wends its way through the stunning Kent countryside to the coast. Being the closest seaside destination to London, it is very popular with seasonal tourists so it can get busy in high season, but the hustle and bustle tends to add to its charm. Whitstable is famous for its oysters and there are plenty of places along the seafront where you can watch the oysters being prepared fresh from the sea, before continuing your walk along the coast to the harbour. The beach is mainly shingle, and since it faces west it is perfect for admiring the stunning sunsets that Kent has to offer.
To the south of Canterbury, you will find the beaches of Folkestone which are perfect for fossil hunting. The Warren (CT19 6NQ) in particular is a great place to look for ammonites and if you time your trip with low tide, it is amazing how many fossils are left uncovered by the sea. The trick is to look for gault clay which is grey in colour and conceals the distinctive curled shells of the ammonites. For a different experience at Folkestone, head to Lower Leas Coastal Park along a zigzag path which leads from the main promenade to the beach. The park is just perfect for younger children to burn off their energy as it is a free adventure playground complete with pirate ship and its own amphitheatre. The main beach here is shingle, but further along you can find Sunny Sands (CT19 6AU) which, as its name suggests, is a beautiful sandy beach. Look out for the annual sandcastle competition here in July!
For stunning sandy shores, nothing beats Broadstairs with its various bays, all of which boast beautiful golden sand. At Botany Bay (CT10 3LG), which was once famous for its smugglers, there is a huge expanse of sand at low tide, along with lots of little rock pools for you to explore. The white cliffs act as a spectacular backdrop, but just be careful to time your visit carefully as it can get cut off at high tide! Further down the coast there is Joss bay (CT10 3PG) which is a surfer’s paradise. This 200m long sandy beach is well known for its watersports and is also famous for its close proximity to North Forelands Golf Course. It is the perfect destination for a more active beach day! Finally, Viking bay (CT10 1NB) is situated in the heart of Broadstairs, below the main promenade. This beach is laid out in a crescent and is beautiful with its coloured beach huts, abundance of deckchairs and children’s beach activities such as trampolines and swings.
We are so lucky to have so many beautiful beaches close to us in Canterbury. Why not book a trip in the Summer to experience all that Kent has to offer?