The weather was a bit hit and miss, but I found a day that might suit our needs perfectly. It was scheduled to be warm and sunny in the morning and early afternoon, clouding over from the west, with rain in the late afternoon.
So we headed as far East in Kent as you can go (almost) to make the most of the sunshine.
Yup – a day at the beach!
We did this last year as well, although not to the same beach, and had the best day. We were a bit better prepared this time – we had a) money, b) food and c) sunscreen, none of which we managed to have last time!
The roads were empty and Ella, map in hand, navigated us to Margate. Things got a bit confusing from there, so I hastily set my phone into sat nav up mode at some traffic lights and we did the last few miles through the labyrinthine streets under guidance from Apple’s finest.
We ended up at Botany Bay. The original Kent one, not the famous Aussie one of the 29 April 1770 James Cook first fleet landing fame. It’s a sandy bay set deep down amongst the tall white chalk cliffs that are iconic in this part of the world. The sheltered bay is good for families and the prevailing wind being from the west for the most part, it’s warm and protected.
The beach was pretty empty and it was just perfect down there on the clean golden sand. The weather was ideal – not too hot, nice breeze blowing.
The tide was out at first and the kids loved exploring the rock pools for a while, but the tide turned and they were submerged again within an hour. Ah well.
With the tide coming in, it was time to build some sea defences. I bought them spades and a bucket to make it easier and we began construction on some serious tide prevention.
Things were looking good for a while, but the sand was eventually beaten by the waves.
No amount of bailing out made any difference and it was quickly washed away once the front wall slid into the sea.
We stayed down there for a bit longer, the kids were happy to go swimming in the safe shallow water (watched over by two Aussie style lifeguards). After lunch, the the clouds started to come in from the West and the beach was getting pretty full, so we decided that was a good time to pack up, get ice-creams and go for a little walk before heading home.
All in all an excellent day – the rain started when we were about 2/3 of the way home – pretty much in the same place on the same road as it did last year on the trip back from the beach – spooky coincidence.
The kids had a great time by the good old British seaside – if you’re bored and looking for things to do – take the kids to the coast – they’ll have fun, guaranteed.