No car & no passport. You’d imagine I’d have nowhere to travel to but quite the reverse is true- there are so many places to see, things to do, that I find I have to be really disciplined or I won’t get to see them all!

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1. Brighton

Brighton Pier is world-famous so why not visit and take a promenade along the beach? For other things to do in Brighton, check out my day trip here. 1 hour by train from London Victoria or London Bridge, followed by a leisurely 10 min stroll to the waterfront, it’s a perfect trip for people with no car! To read about my visit, check out this page.

 

 

2. Portsmouth

This waterfront city is a mere 1 hour 20 min from London Waterloo. Founded around 1100, Portsmouth received its 1st charter from no other than the famous Richard the Lionheart. Although I do wonder whether King Richard was quite the saint they made him out to be- he did leave his lands alone to go off and make war after all- and apparently Prince John wasn’t quite as terrible as popular fiction makes him out to be (he offended the monks of his time who were the writers of all the history books!) But back to Portsmouth! History lovers should visit the 800 years old historic Dockyard whilst bargain hunters should check out Gunswharf Quays- something for everyone then 🙂

 

3. Whitstable

Oysters! Need I say more? 🙂

1 hour 30 min from Victoria but learn from my mistake and make sure  you are in the right part of the station! They have 1 part that has trains only for Kent & another for non-Kent trains so there could be 2 trains leaving at the exact same time but, of course, going to different places. I ended up in Brighton! Right time, wrong train 😛 Next time, I shouldn’t cut my journey times so fine 😛

 

 

 

4. Margate

The English have been going to this seaside town for 250 years and it comes highly recommended by Rough Guides. But it’s also been dissed by many. So I want to check it out for myself. After all, it’s only 1h 50-2h from London Victoria/ Charing Cross or 1h 30 min from Kings Cross 🙂 Stay tuned to see what I think of it. If you’ve been- tell me, is it weird or wonderful? 🙂

 

5. Bexhill-on-Sea

Before I started my #hapinesswithoutapassport series (Euphemism for travelling within the UK), I’d never heard of this place! UK’s 3rd best seaside town to live in is 1 hour 50 minutes by train, direct from London Victoria. (You can also go from London Bridge or Charing Cross)

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First place in UK to allow mixed bathing

 

6. Colchester

1h 10 min from London Liverpool Street Station to Britain’s oldest recorded town with over 2000 years of history. And they have oysters! Yum

 

7.  Camber Sands, Rye

Under 2 hours from London to Rye, followed by a 15 minute bus journey to 5miles of unspoilt beaches and lolling sand dunes. Rye in itself is an amazing historic village full of cobbled streets so you can head back there when tired of the water- or if the weather turns bad which in the UK is more probable!- so why not?

 

1 hour from Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness + a 5 minute walk brings you to 2 awarded beaches. It also has the longest Pleasure Pier in the world (what on earth is a Pleasure Pier?!) and the UK’s shortest cliff lift… interesting… but not as interesting as the water sports you can indulge in here. I’ve always wanted to try wake boarding 🙂

5. Clacton-on-sea, Essex

Safe swimming & Cliff top gardens can be found at the perennially popular Clacton-on-sea. 1h 30 min direct train from Liverpool Street. There’s even a 5D cinema- I must be really behind the times because I’m still only at 3D!

 

 

7. Bournemouth, Dorset

Just under 2 hours from London Waterloo. If you are into aviation, visit during end August-early September for the Bournemouth Air festival- not really my kind of thing. I’ve already participated in the inaugural Singapore Airshow and don’t see what all the fuss is about!

 

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8. Broadstairs, Kent

Just another 2 hours direct from London Bridge but weirdly enough a shorter journey if you go from St Pancras and change! Botany Bay is one of UK’s most photographed beaches with its chalk stacks or follow in the footsteps of giants and visit Viking Bay which is where Charles Dickens used to holiday.. another thing to add to my literary day trips from London collection!

 

9. Sunny Sands Beach, Folkestone

1 hour from St Pancras to Folkstone Central + 20 min walk – this is 1 of the few sandy beaches within day trip-reach of London so get ready to build sandcastles! Building a giant one is 1 of my bucket list items! 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Zen

2 Comments

Nikoleta Míchalová

I have been to England once (London – so typical), but in my mind it is a dark, rainy place with no occasions to enjoy the sun and warmth. Thus no occassion to swim! Well, travel does open the eyes, doesnt it??

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Zen

Haha where are you from? Yes it is often dark & rainy- I was a SAD (seasonal affective disorder) skeptic till I moved to dark & gloomy Scotland 🙂 But when the sun is out… amazing! 🙂 P.S. I’ve not swum in the sea here yet but I did dip my toes in the water on the 1st day of summer in Scotland- a St. Andrews University tradition 🙂 Actually, I wanted to go all in but my friends held me back for fear of pneumonia before I took my finals 😛

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