A Cathedral, Canals and Coastline
Smelling fish as you wander along a stony beach may be appetizing for some, but this smell drifts all across the coastal path and through the township. Lovely. Only one thing for it: Test out their fish n’ chips.
Tasty fish n’ chips they were too and yes I’m hearing the Kiwi tease of ‘do you want a chip bro?’ (search youtube for an explanation on that one) going through my head as I eat this yummy meal with two other Kiwis on my latest adventure to another piece of UK coastline. Whitstable was definitely a good spot to have lunch, but to be honest the beach still wasn’t anything compared to New Zealand beaches, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to stones on beaches.
I’m jumping ahead of myself though. This trip all started by my lack of organisation this year and leaving bank holiday weekend planning to the last minute (not my usual few months in advance). So I was faced with my first bank holiday in years stuck in London. So, what to I do? I leave London for a daytrip. I can handle the visiting other parts of the UK but I live in London, I’m not about to waste an entire long weekend there. So gathering up two relatively newish Kiwis that are sisters, we travelled off south to Kent. First stop was the lovely quaint city of Canterbury. We wandered through admiring the old architecture and houses jutting out on interesting angles before stopping to have coffee to start the day (yes its a hard life being a traveller). As with every UK town I visit, they never fail to disappoint with road names either.
Canterbury in the UK may not have All Black star Dan Carter or the Crusaders rugby team, but it did have a massive Cathedral, that had we planned to come on the right day and time, I’m sure it would have been even more impressive inside than out. Instead we met some owls later in the day outside the Cathedral…
Onwards I needed to see the ocean. It’s been a few months since I saw it in Cornwall over Easter; I needed my dose of fresh sea air. However, Whitstable’s sea air just smelt of dead fish. It was nice to get out of a big bustling city like London though, I remembered that I can walk at half the pace without getting trodden on and I can gaze out across water that is somewhat blue rather than the murky brown colour of the Thames. Granted the Thames is no better than the Waikato River in NZ, but it could definitely give it a run for its money.
Scooting to somewhere less fishy we ventured onwards to Herne Bay. Now this was looking to be more beachy. Sun was streaming down as we wandered out along the pier watching various fathers and sons ‘trying’ to fish (they only seemed to be catching crabs). Jet skiers were braving the freezing waters, dancing around while we ate over-priced terrible ice creams in the sun.
Further along the coastline we captured these cute colourful beach huts all lined up along a stony beach.
I imagine they’re used for day-outs at the beach – maybe for people that don’t live nearby or can’t be bothered walking home. Some seemed to be kitted-out with kitchens, others had beach chairs etc. inside. Herne Bay wasn’t exactly a surf beach so I don’t imagine surfboards and body boards are tucked away in these huts, but who knows.
After one of the Kiwis chose to dip her toes in the ocean (she hasn’t learnt UK temperatures properly yet) we decided it was cold enough to start our trip back to Canterbury for a punt on the canals to end the day. Canterbury is definitely a lot quieter than I expected, which was lovely when you’re used to the hustle and bustle of London. It’s like coming up for air when you’re squashed into the underground tube in peak hour.
Gliding along the canals in the sunshine, we saw how green and peaceful the city was. Passing under little bridges and spotting little families of ducks and birds meant the punting definitely had plenty of those ‘awwwww’ moments.
Since the ice cream was so dreadful in Herne Bay I decided to return to Italy on my next trip later this month to get some proper gelato… just because I can. I know I’ve just about exhausted Italy, but its such a tasty country! Watch out for a post about that next month.
Top tip: If you travel outside of London with a few people you can get discounted train travel if you book together! We paid three for the price of two on the high-speed train. Brilliant!