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Southern coast - seaside town recommendations?

This July, my family (2 adults, 2 kids ages 8 & 11) will be visiting London. Afterwards, we will be renting a car for 2 days and would like to travel south to the coast.

We will be staying at Hever Castle for one night, and then would like to drive (no more than 1-2 hours) to the coast and spend the night. We will be doing lots of sightseeing and museums in London, and would like to find somewhere with a good beach for the kids to run around and play on.

Since we're not familiar with any of the towns (we've been researching from Hastings to Bristol, basically), does anyone have recommendations for one that is particularly quaint or, perhaps more importantly, places not to visit? Anyone have any favorite hotels or B&B's to stay at? This might sway our choice, as we're just looking for a fun one night stay before we head back to London and take the train to Paris.

Posted by
2562 posts

If you want quaint there's Rye which is near but not exactly on the coast.

For more life, consider Brighton.

Posted by
239 posts

No beach at Rye, but only a short drive away are big sandy beaches Camber, Dymchurch and so on.

Posted by
2785 posts

Rye is 40 miles from Hever Castle, you can walk down to the harbour. Winchelsea is 42 miles from Hever, both Rye and Winchelsea is about an hour and twenty minutes drive.

Posted by
6113 posts

Rye, Winchelsea, Pevensey, Camber Sands or Hythe would all suit your requirements. Dymchurch is too tacky.

There are many great places to stay, but you didn't give an indication of your budget - in GBP please! If you are travelling in the second half of July, many places on the coast maybe fully booked as it will be school holiday time. Places slightly inland may have more availability.