Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 80

Thread: Day Trips from London

Hybrid View

Previous Post Previous Post   Next Post Next Post
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7,607

    Default Day Trips from London

    I had an interview the other day and I got the train out of London (which I always like doing - seeing the way the city kinda goes through all those flat spaces with towers, then industrial and commercial parks, then suburbs and finally drifts into countryside) and that, combined with the slightly improving weather, has put me in the mood for a day trip. I'm thinking preferably to the coast and preferably near London. I've not been to Margate or Whitstable or Herne Bay or even Southend for that matter - are they any good? It would only be for a day so it doesn't matter if it's kind of run down or faded, in fact, I sort of like that up to a point - some nice bleak beaches with old cafes could be good. Any art deco stuff to look at would be good. Also museums etc, at least one nice pub or somewhere to eat - preferably fresh stuff pulled out of the sea I guess. Off the beaten track - so much the better.
    So where shall I go?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    8,052

    Default

    Margate is pretty awful, but then I grew up in Kent, and it might well have some art deco stuff. Whitstable is a bit chi-chi these days, I hear, all oyster bars and the like. Herne Bay I associate with driving tests, but it looked pretty grim even aside from that. Folkestone's probably my favourite place on the Kent coast - cliffs, faded glamour, definitely a cut above.

    I always loved Brighton as a kid, for precisely that faded, sleazy aura - sadly that's been consigned to the past.

    I'm still planning a trip to Bradwell Chapel for the Spring - been planning it for about three years now....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    15,071

    Default

    The Isle of Wight! OK, it's a bit further and you have to cross the water, but a lot if it's really lovely - more scenic and rural in the west, the east has a number of towns that have that very specific sort of scruffiness that's unique to somewhat tired Victorian seaside resorts. There are some lovely pubs, lots of great walks and bike rides, nice beaches (the southwest coast is best for these), a pretty badass castle...journey time is something like 2-2.5hrs from Waterloo, depending on where you want to start from (on the Island, I mean*). And you can travel by hovercraft or hydrofoil, both of which must have felt like THE FUTURE in, oh, 1978. Maybe that's too far for a feasible day drip, I dunno.

    *ferries go from Lymington->Yarmouth in the west, Southampton->Cowes in the middle and Portsmouth/Southsea to Ryde/Fishbourne in the east.
    Last edited by Mr. Tea; 09-02-2011 at 01:17 PM.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7,607

    Default

    "I always loved Brighton as a kid, for precisely that faded, sleazy aura - sadly that's been consigned to the past."
    I had a great holiday staying in a cottage midway between Hastings and Rye once - I imagine that Hastings may be a little like Brighton used to be. Not trendy but lively with arcades and fish and chip shops (of course) on the front and with a few kind of arty bits and delis and stuff.

    "I'm still planning a trip to Bradwell Chapel for the Spring - been planning it for about three years now"
    Where's that then? I've never heard of it.

    "The Isle of Wight!"
    Probably a bit too far for the moment - plus I'm keen to try all the nearer places that I've never visited.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    8,052

    Default

    Perhaps but I have heard (from someone who grew up there) that Hastings is a bit verging on horrible rather than just sleazy. Dunno though, not been there.

    Bradwell Chapel - http://www.bradwellchapel.org/ Looks/sounds amazing. I think there's an old thread on here about it, which may be how I know about it int he first place.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7,607

    Default

    "Perhaps but I have heard (from someone who grew up there) that Hastings is a bit verging on horrible rather than just sleazy. Dunno though, not been there."
    That's what everyone says when I say that I had a good holiday there. And true enough I think that an immigrant was beaten to death there soon after our holiday came to an end. On the other hand, it has got a funicular.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    15,071

    Default

    Yeah, the Island's probably better to visit if you can stay a night or two, though of course that ratchets up the cost considerably.

    Edit: Hastings features prominently in Crap Towns...
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7,607

    Default

    "Hastings features prominently in Crap Towns..."
    The people who owned Green and Blacks (before it was sold to Cadbury's) moved there and set up a kind of alternative health centre thing which was why we went - my girlfriend at the time was keen to do a load of the stuff they had there. I just wandered around while she was doing pilates or some shit.
    The old town is lovely, the new town is hideous and the seafront is, for my money, that sleazy mix that Baboon is after. Some good restaurants there, bookshops, antique bric-a-brac stuff - I honestly thought it was great.
    Just down the coast you've got Bexhill with the absolutely amazing De La Warr Pavilion - and loads of old people's homes. Think Spike Milligan said of Bexhill "You can look out to sea and see the continent, look the other way and see the incontinent". Or something.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,593

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by baboon2004 View Post
    Margate is pretty awful, but then I grew up in Kent, and it might well have some art deco stuff. Whitstable is a bit chi-chi these days, I hear, all oyster bars and the like. Herne Bay I associate with driving tests, but it looked pretty grim even aside from that. Folkestone's probably my favourite place on the Kent coast - cliffs, faded glamour, definitely a cut above.
    Yeah, Margate is pretty grim, Ramsgate and Broadstairs are marginally nicer IIRC. Deal is quite good - a little english seaside town with a stony beach, a pier with a cafe at the end and north easterlies that could cut diamond. The ideal time of year to go there is about Christmas.

    Herne Bay is a non-starter apart from having a second hand record shop called B-Side the Sea Side. It never had any glamour to fade as far as I can tell. Whitstable is beyond chi-chi, but it is quite pretty and there's a pub right on the shingle called the Neptune that does really good sheps beers and excellent crab sandwiches.

    The only time I've been to Folkstone was for a chess tournament there when I was about 15. That was in an old hotel, though, and pretty much chimes with your description.

    Where in Kent are you from?

    Other - would love to go to Romney Marsh and / or Dungeness, haven't been since I was a kid (apart from a quick trip to Rye) and I think I'd appreciate it more now.

    Would also like to see more of North Essex and Suffolk - real MR James Country. Maldon is good with the statue of Brithnoth, Walton on the Naze will be familiar to Swallows and Amazons fans as the setting of Secret Water. I still need to get to Snape and Aldeburgh. There was a great K-Punk post from ages back about weird WWII era stuff on the suffolk coastline. North Norfolk is also good, but a bit of a hike for a day trip.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    15,071

    Default

    All this East Anglia chat is making me feel ashamed, as a confirmed ale nerd and admirer of Cool Old Shit, that I haven't been to the St. Peter's brewery in Suffolk yet. According to their blurb it's in a mediaeval hall which presumably stands on the site of a Saxon hall as it still has a mote dug to keep out Vikings. Sweet.

    Also, the nearest town is called Bungay. This has nothing at all do with my wanting to visit the place.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Kingston
    Posts
    1,179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    All this East Anglia chat is making me feel ashamed, as a confirmed ale nerd and admirer of Cool Old Shit, that I haven't been to the St. Peter's brewery in Suffolk yet. According to their blurb it's in a mediaeval hall which presumably stands on the site of a Saxon hall as it still has a mote dug to keep out Vikings. Sweet.

    Also, the nearest town is called Bungay. This has nothing at all do with my wanting to visit the place.
    I've been there around a dozen times, it was a couple of miles from my ex's parents' ranch. Food is good, beer is obviously excellent. There's an ancient-looking tapestry in the main hall. All the furniture is crooked. Lots of knick knacks and heirlooms scattered about. There's a moat too and toilets just that little bit too far from the main building to be entirely non-spooky late on a Winter's night.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7,607

    Default

    "Margate is pretty awful"
    "Margate is wicked"
    "Yeah, Margate is pretty grim"
    Who/what to believe...

    "Would also like to see more of North Essex and Suffolk - real MR James Country. Maldon is good with the statue of Brithnoth, Walton on the Naze will be familiar to Swallows and Amazons fans as the setting of Secret Water. I still need to get to Snape and Aldeburgh. There was a great K-Punk post from ages back about weird WWII era stuff on the suffolk coastline"
    I guess MR James was always lurking at the back of my mind with this thread - certainly when thinking about the countryside. And the sound mirrors have piqued my interest in weird WWII era stuff - do you have any links with pictures of this kind of thing?
    I read all the Swallows and Amazons books when I was very young, remind what happens in Secret Water? Which characters is it?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,593

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IdleRich View Post
    Who/what to believe...


    I guess MR James was always lurking at the back of my mind with this thread - certainly when thinking about the countryside. And the sound mirrors have piqued my interest in weird WWII era stuff - do you have any links with pictures of this kind of thing?
    Ah, this is what I was talking about:
    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/009453.html
    http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/009474.html

    I read all the Swallows and Amazons books when I was very young, remind what happens in Secret Water? Which characters is it?
    It's the one where they go south from Felixstowe to a big sort of tidal estuary thing with lots of islands and mudflats. And, needless to say, spend a week or so camping and sailing and exploring it.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    7,607

    Default

    Ah, I've read those K-Punk things before I think. Forgot about Dunwich - not much to see there though I guess these days or am I wrong?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    8,052

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    The only time I've been to Folkstone was for a chess tournament there when I was about 15. That was in an old hotel, though, and pretty much chimes with your description.

    Where in Kent are you from?
    No way! I think I was at a chess tournament in Folkestone when I was 15....ah, sweet teenage rebellion...went back there later to teach for a bit, and it is a nice place.

    I'm from Sittingbourne, thought by one 'celebrity' bouncer to be the scariest town he'd ever worked in. I can see why...although, being a complete wuss, I avoided the scarier pubs...

    Edit: of course, Sheerness on a Saturday night is probably scarier....
    Last edited by baboon2004; 10-02-2011 at 03:04 PM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •