The best seaside towns on the southeast coast

Whatever the weather, a trip to the seaside is the perfect choice for a fun, relaxing day out. Breathing in the sea air, taking a dip in the ocean or enjoying some delicious treats on the beach, are all guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. On the southeast coast of England, you’re spoilt for choice with beautiful sandy beaches and pretty pebbled coastlines. Read our rundown of the best southeast seaside towns, then grab your sun cream (or coat!) – the shores await.

Margate, Kent 

Home to some of the best sandy beaches in the southeast. Whether the sun is shining, or the heavens have opened, a walk on the beach with gentle ripples or crashing waves is guaranteed to clear your mind and leave you feeling refreshed. Margate has become a must for art lovers in recent years, showcasing outstanding artwork at the world-class Turner Contemporary Art Gallery or the Carl Freedman Gallery. If art isn’t quite your thing, there is still plenty to enjoy with lots of unique shops and fun arcades. The Old Town has also got itself a must-see reputation, filled with vintage shops, unique cafés and quirky restaurants.

Whether you’re visiting for the day, want to make it a long weekend of it – or even a week – there is a wide variety of accommodation to choose from, whether you want to camp beneath the stars or to cosy up in a nice Air BnB, the choice is yours.

Camber Sands and Rye, East Sussex

Located about 4.5 miles southeast of the ancient town of Rye, Camber Sands is the perfect choice if you’re a lover of sandy beaches. Bring a picnic and a blanket, and enjoy a day at the beach, taking in the view, building sandcastles, or enjoying activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, and board surfing. It is also known as one of the best places for beachcombing, so keep your eyes peeled while you enjoy this beach.

Once you’ve explored all that the shore has to offer, head into the quaint town of Rye to explore the historic streets filled with plenty of charming pubs to spend your evenings in, or if you’re not quite done with getting in touch with nature, there are plenty of different walks through the beautiful surroundings to enjoy.

Brighton, East Sussex 

Known as ‘London by the Sea’, Brighton is a popular choice for many, especially those looking to have a break from the daily grind of city life. With endless quirky bars, cafés, and restaurants, you truly will be spoilt for choice. Grab some fish and chips, or an ice cream, and head to the beach to enjoy them while watching the waves crashing against the shore – watch out for those pesky seagulls though! Spend the afternoon taking in everything the pier has to offer, from fairground rides to delicious treats and fun amusements. Don’t forget to take a walk through the famous lanes while you’re visiting. 

Whitstable, Kent 

With colourful huts and pretty fishing boats lining the coast, Whitstable has stayed true to its original charms. With a thriving fish market, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious fresh fish straight from the ocean and if this isn’t enough to convince you to visit, then the Old Neptune – a pub situated on the beach – just might. 

There are lots of independent shops, from record stores and secondhand clothing to handmade jewellery, as well as a lot of art galleries to peek at. This traditional fishing town has a true community spirit which makes you feel right at home from the second you arrive.

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