This blog is a little bit different, and a little bit more personal. It may not grab your attention at all, that’s okay, but at the very least scroll to the bottom for the photos! I thought I should introduce myself as the newest member of the Explore Kent team, hey I’m Pippa, by sharing with you a little bit about where I am in Kent and how I’ve been exploring my hometown during this pandemic. What I have found has benefited my from living by the coast and some top recommendations on where to get some good coffee!
I can truly say I love being by the sea, it makes me feel the very opposite to claustrophobic. With a never-ending horizon in front of you, it is hard not to feel a sense of freedom and connection with the outside world. Although I am often invited to remember that the force of the ocean is much more powerful than we humans are.
Cause and Effect:
I’m lucky to have been born by the coast and have grown up with the view of the sea as a given. Something I now realise is pretty special. With last year being as dislodged as it could have been and now similar things occurring into this year, I have found that the beach is able to satisfy my hunger for some kind of escapism from the constraints of normality. Of being back at home after having spent 4 months travelling independently through Central and South America. Escapism from the constant rejections of searching for a job (back in the summer of 2020), the beach made no judgements, it was, and still is a constant ‘thing’.
Hythe, Sandgate and Folkestone are my locals and I love them. All three of them are also great spots to indulge in the café culture that is growing more and more popular along the coast. Even more so this year due to the pandemic. The beach is now a main meeting point for me, grabbing a hot drink and wandering along the coast path is at the very least a twice a week occurrence for me. There are a fantastic selection of cafes along this section of the coast path, all of them independent businesses! Some of the food is well worth the walk if ever I need an extra little boast to encourage me to get outside during these chiller winter months and take a walk from Sandgate to Folkestone…and back.
This is also a fantastic stretch of the England Coast Path. It is flat and not too strenuous but walking the whole length can give you a good days walking!
Why Visit The Beach In The Winter?
Unlike during the summer months, the beach during the winter is ever changing. One day I could be sat on the pebbles watching the most amazing sunset light up the sky, another I could be wandering along the promenade, the sun hiding, vicious winds to contend with and the sea looking as fierce as she ever could with huge waves rolling up the beach towards me. Plus not to mention when the sea delights me with it’s tranquillity. When all is calm, the waves are merely a shimmer and the sea appears glossy and almost silk like, perfect for paddle boarding. The winter sunsets so far have also been spectacular. I’ll show you some photos…
Activities and Things To Do:
Walking!! Due to the pandemic I don’t think I’ve ever walked along the beach as much as I have this last year. I thought it might get a tad dull, but no. Every time is different, albeit I prefer the late-night summer strolls where the heat from the day was still circling at around 8pm. But I can’t deny that the autumn and winter has brought some unexpected pleasures.
The coast invites an array of adrenaline filled activities and sports for anyone to take part in. I was brought up with half my family being avid windsurfers and the chat of wind speed and tides were a common talking point. Windsurfing, kitesurfing, sea swimming, paddle boarding, sea kayaking, rowing and yoga are all very popular sports down here on the coast. Unfortunately I have a slight fear of open water and no matter how hard my brother tried (admittingly he barely tried, probably didn’t want to risk having a sister as good as him) to get me into windsurfing I just couldn’t get over my fear. Something I’m still working on…
Also cycling from Hythe to Folkestone along the coast path early in the morning on a hot summer’s day is perfection!
- Orchard Lane – Sandgate
- Comemos – Sandgate
- Loaf by the Sea – Hythe
- Café on the Beach – Hythe
- The Lift Café – Folkestone Sea Front
- Harbour Coffee – Folkestone Harbour Arm
- Bobbies Bakehouse – Folkestone Harbour Arm
- Steep Street – Folkestone Creative Quarter
Please check their opening times due to National Lockdown and please please stay local at the time of this blog being published. Do not travel to the beach if it isn’t local to you.