This past Saturday, despite the weather being quite cold and windy, we felt the urge to drive out of London and get ourselves to the seaside. Friends laughed at us when we told them we were going to drive two hours only to spend a cold day at the beach, but it turned out to be the medicine we all needed. Even though the English coastline doesn’t really resemble the one where I grew up, I still always feel at home when I’m standing on those rocky beaches with the smell of saltwater in the air.
We bundled ourselves in woollen hats and scarves, we packed a big picnic and brought kites and board games (and blankets!), and we spent the entire day outside in the prettiest setting, tucked away from the wind. Birling Gap in Beachy Head is one of my very favourite spots, and I thought I would mention it in case you’re also in need of a beach day to blow away the cobwebs or planning a trip to the UK and want to see these stunning white cliffs.
After a day at the beach, we always stop at the Tiger Inn for dinner on our way back home. They have several outdoor tables that often catch the evening sun (if it’s out) and a big grassy field where the kids can play while you wait for your food. We always drive back home feeling re-charged and inspired by a day out of the city. (We’ve also stayed overnight in the nearby Blue Door Barns B&B and it’s really lovely!)
I feel like I’ve just shared a secret with you. It’s such a special spot!
Thanks for this! I really want to go here! Would love to see more England road trip ideas!
Yes, yes, yes! You know I love every bit of this. We escaped the city to live by the sea and we’ve never looked back. Beautiful photos, Courtney. Thinking of you all xx
There are nicer beaches with sand for the children and nice shops and restaurants 2 hours drive from London, subjective of course ! However that hotel does look lovely. Such a good find.
It’s funny because, while I love a sandy beach, I also think it can be annoying to get sand everywhere, especially when picnicking. Also, having grown up on rocky beaches, they don’t bother me at all.
If you have suggestions for other beaches, please share!
I wanted to apologise if what I wrote sounded rude. Sorry! I was typing quickly as it was late.
It’s funny because I thought that everyone loved sand, the pinker or whiter the better! I shared a few beaches I like below but if you like pebbles have you tried Brighton ? Very busy but it has the train for kids and pretty cool shopping down the Lanes for both clothing and interiors if thereafter should turn as is often the way here. You should also head to Wales and Scotland for secluded, pretty coves and dramatic rocks. Xxx
I meant if the weather should take a turn for the worse.
I don’t know Mel – beachy head is very pretty – a lot of beaches near London are not that great even if they are sandy – it does seem the further you go the more spectacular the beaches (N devon, cornwall, Gower, west coast scotland). We’ve tried the witterings, then botany bay in kent which a big sandy beaches within 2 hours but not sure I’d recommend them over beachy head. Any other suggestions? Always nice to share good family friendly beaches near London 🙂
I find pebbles not great for kids, maybe it’s just mine. Beachy Head is pretty but you could try the Suffolk coast, Aldeburgh and Southwold are just over 2 hours drive. Camber Sands isn’t too bad either for wide expanses of sand and sand dunes. Horses for courses though. Of course the prettiest are in the Southwest but are too far from London for a day trip.
Ps whitstable in Kent is lots of fun! Not quite wild open nature but v pretty beach huts, fab pub (the neptune) on the beach and fantastic oysters and seafood at the Oyster stores. It’s getting more and more London on sea but that’s no bad thing! We’re just back from a weekend in Norfolk – that was like chelsea on sea!
We live in London and got married in Whitstable as it’s one of our favourite seaside day trips from London! http://jamiebottweddingphotography.com/the-lobster-shack-kent-wedding-photographer/ We also love the Suffolk coast (Southwold, Aldeburgh plus the RSPB Minsmere reserve of Springwatch fame has a great bit of coastline), Margate in Kent is a very interesting place to go now with the Turner Contemporary and all the recent gentrification. For wilder beaches day tripping distance from London I don’t think you can beat Camber Sands and West Wittering.
I love Whitstable! I went to university in Canterbury and it was such a lovely beach to escape to
So in love with this beach… We visit it at our last UK holiday in march and the kids had so much fun… It’s an amazing place…
We used to spend so much time there when we lived in London. It brought back some lovely memories and it makes me want to go back even more.
Thank you for sharing.
Thanks Courtney – looks lovely and is now on my ‘to go to’ list! x
Ooooh, how very beautiful! Last Spring your travels to the dessert inspired me to fly to the USA and travel around Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Well sweet Courtney, I cannot thank you enough. My husband works throughout the summer so I flew solo and took my two little boys with me. It was just wonderful and without your blog post I could never have imagined how beautiful and awe-inspiring a place like Zion could be. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
You are so generous to share so much of your life and ideas with us. I hope you will tell us about your little break in Portugal very soon. I am truly grateful for your generosity and inspiration. You and Esther deserve all the success in the world! xXx
What kind words. Thank you so, so much.
I’m so glad you loved Zion. Isn’t it such a magical place? My heart skips a beat when I think of it.
(How brave of you to travel alone with your boys! I bet they’ll remember that trip forever.)
Thanks again for your lovely comment. xx
BTW I am a big fan of pebble beaches too btw, great for collectors!
They are look so beautiful!! <3
Thank you for reminding me about this beautiful place! Used to go there often, but never since my daughter was born 2 years ago! I think this summer we are going to introduce Her to this magical place and kites of course! 🙂
I live in Sussex and this is a local spot for us. Love the Tiger Inn too. You’re brave taking the kids up on the cliffs 🙂 looks like a fun day x