Five Lovely Seaside Stays Within Two Hours of London

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With its clear bright skies, auburn leaves and crisp weather, autumn has us enjoying the great outdoors here in Britain in a way that no other season does. Here in the big smoke, we’re craving bigger skies and more open space. What better way to enjoy just that than by escaping to the seaside? Morning strolls along the seafront with a coffee in hand sound awfully romantic, after all. We’ve rounded up five lovely seaside spots that are within two hours’ train journey of London—a weekend getaway has never looked easier!


What is Leigh-on-Sea like?
Leigh-on-Sea in Essex is often overlooked as visitors flock to neighbouring Southend with its theme park and doughnuts-on-the-beach charm. However, it’s an error to skip over Leigh-on-Sea. Here, you’ll find a laid-back atmosphere, local boutiques and restaurants, and a more rugged natural beauty. A number of galleries are popping up here, and we recommend heading to the Two Trees Gallery for affordable art that’ll remind you of a lovely weekend away.

How to get there:
The C2C line runs from London Fenchurch Street to Leigh-on-Sea. The journey takes 47 minutes.

Where to stay:
Leigh-on-Sea doesn’t have any hotels, so a stay here will see you taking over an apartment or house for the weekend. This means that you’ll be able to act like you live on the coast for a weekend!

leigh Penthouse Apartment

This well kitted out apartment has a large terrace, from which you’ll enjoy river views. The closest beach is just a 10-minute walk away.

Price: We’ve seen prices from £128 per night.

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What is Whitstable like?
Whitstable is charming and while visitors flock here throughout the year (and with good reason), it manages to never feel touristy. A long stretch of pebbly beach hugs the sea here, and you’ll find people swimming even in the coldest months. The town is famed for its oysters and you’ll want to make the most of this while you’re there. The Old Neptune sits right on the beach itself, and we recommend grabbing a spot outside come sundown for oysters, beer and ocean views.

How to get there:
There are trains from both London St Pancras and London Victoria to Whitstable. The trains take just under an hour and 20 minutes.

Where to stay:
Whitstable has a handful of hotels, from old-school beachfront numbers to plush spots in historic buildings. It’s also home to a whole host of rental properties, from large houses to small flats, so there’s a spot for every group size.

Duke of Cumberland

This plush hotel has a central location in the heart of Whitstable, just 100 metres away from the beach. It’s not all about the location either—inside you’ll find opulent colours and cosy amenities.

Price: Prices start from £185 per night.

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What is Brighton like?
This city by the sea is less relaxed than the other destinations in this article, but it has a buzz that the others do not. Independent restaurants, pubs and boutiques sit side by side, leading the way down to the seafront where the pier houses rollercoaster rides, arcade games and sugared doughnut stalls aplenty.

dealchecker Tip: For a date night to remember, head to Burnt Orange where delicious wood-smoked dishes are served alongside seasonal cocktails.

How to get there:
There are trains from both London Blackfriars and London Victoria. Journeys between London and Brighton last between an hour and an hour and a half depending on the route you take.

Where to stay:
As the biggest destination in our coastal round-up, it’s no surprise that there’s the biggest selection of places to stay here. There are stays for every budget, from dorm-led hostels to fancy hotels.

Blanch House

For a taste of old world glamour without a hefty price tag, look to the Blanch House. This townhouse-turned-hotel is decked out in velvets and moody lighting, making it a lovely spot for a romantic weekend away.

Price: We’ve seen rooms from £92 per night.

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What is Margate like?
Margate is a lot like East London, if London had a beach that is. There are new art galleries popping up all the time, great restaurants aplenty and the dilapidated charm that had me making East London my home.

dealchecker Tip: Our Content Editor, Marianne, spent a weekend in Margate this spring and her tips have proved invaluable to many a dealchecker!

How to get there:
There are trains from London Victoria to London St Pancras to Margate, with journeys taking just over an hour and a half.

Where to stay:

The Albion Rooms

For a stay that’s more than just a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll want to book in at The Albion Rooms. Owned by The Libertines, this seafront hotel is all dim sexy interiors, with a moody little bar to boot.

Price: We’ve seen rooms from £127 a night.

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What is Rye like?
Okay, so the medieval town of Rye in East Sussex isn’t technically beside the sea, but it’s close enough to count as a seaside stay (or so we believe). This charming spot is brimming with history, and boasts its own castle and 12th-century church. It’s a town that’s fond of pubs and you’ll find hearty delicious fare to tuck into at most of these. After a long Sunday lunch, make the three-mile hike to the famed golden shore of Camber Sands.

How to get there:
Take the train from London St Pancras International to Ashford International. From here, you’ll change onto a train that goes directly to Rye. Journeys between London and Rye take around an hour and 10 minutes.

Where to stay:
Many of those aforementioned pubs double up as inns, and we recommend choosing one of the most historic of these inns as your place of stay.

The Hope Anchor

The Hope Anchor dates all the way back to 1750 and has a fascinating history. The hotel has a series of secret passages that are believed to have been used by a gang to smuggle goods in and out, while sailors originally used this spot as a base. Today, it’s an affordable and rustic place for visitors to bed down.

Price: Prices start at £88 per night.

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