(Post Lockdown)| Picture this, it’s a few weeks since the lockdown was lifted and you only have a couple of weeks left of work. How do you celebrate? By doing a Kent weekend road trip of course! After reminiscing and going through my photos of trips throughout the lockdown, I came to realise that I hadn’t actually explored to my right (if I look at the map facing Edinburgh). With only one day of annual leave and a promising weekend weather wise, I packed up my bag and began what was one of the most freeing weekends that I think I’ve ever experienced.
Our first stop on our “big” Kent weekend road trip, was of course, Canterbury! Last summer we visited here and paid a small fortune for a customised Kitkat. It was a good trip, but for some reason not entirely ground breaking. This time though, we thought that we shouldn’t take it for granted and wanted to enjoy every second. We also decided to use Canterbury as our Kent base for the 3 days and we stayed in a local hotel called The Victoria Hotel for £150 (2 people, 2 nights)
I thought the pathway for our hotel was too pretty not to share!
Covid Rules In Kent
With the new Covid rules, when we arrived a lot more businesses were understandably closed. This included Canterbury Cathedral and the Cathedral shop. At the time, masks were compulsory in shops only. I personally thought that they were on top of everything. Every shop that was open had a hand sanitiser, their own one way system as well as a limited number of people in the shop at the time. Comparing my trip to last summer, Canterbury was a ghost town this time around.
3 Things To Do In Canterbury During Covid Restrictions
Originally submerged by the river which runs through, Westgate gardens is always a beautiful option to stroll around, but even more so when it’s warm outside. Not to mention a lot more Covid Safe. Decorated with an abundance of wild flowers, herbs and Roman ruins, I would recommend taking a slow walk around and grabbing something from the supermarket for a picnic by the riverside. If you head over to the actual Westgate, there are local punting tours on the other side of the river for a reasonable price. If you struggle to find these tours, there are people who approach you for them in the highstreet. The boats that I saw were Covid safe and had plastic sheets propped up between couples. It’s also compulsory to wear masks on these.
Take a walk down Mercery Lane
Just opposite the Cathedral is an alleyway which gives striking resemblance to Diagon Alley. If you cannot make it to York, this alley is the next best thing to experience. With small local businesses and you guessed it, a Harry Potter shop, Mercery Lane definitely has a magical touch to it and is one of the most photographed lanes in the UK. I didn’t manage to get any photos down there this time, but I did get a photo of it’s sister alleyway, Butcher Lane, which is also very pretty.
The Royal Museum (The Beaney)
Seemingly unnoticeable in the high street, the Beaney House of Art & knowledge really is a hidden gem. Created by Dr James Beaney, after he found his success and passed away, he left money in his will to create an educational space for the “poor man” to study too. Admittedly, I am not a museum person, but having visited on my last trip I really loved it inside! Combining a free Library with an Art Gallery and a really helpful visitor centre, this building has everything you need and is worth a visit when in Kent. Not to mention, it’s free!
For Covid, they operate a one way system, with someone on the door to make sure you sanitise your hands. Masks are compulsory inside too.
Parking: Yes. We parked in Middlewall Carpark (CT5 1BN) for £2 Per hour.
Public Toilets: Yes. Free, next to Pearsons Arms Pub & Restaurant.
This year I have really been craving being by the sea; with a new found obsession with finding sea glass definitely not having anything to do with it… Ahem. Whitstable beach was a pretty safe bet to be socially distant and still get the feeling of being on holiday. We arrived early in morning and were one of the many few walking along the beach. The tide was out at this point and it was quite cold, so we opted to grab breakfast and stroll through the town. (Whitstable beach is a stony beach by the way)
We spent most of the day darting into local shops, eating and sitting on the beach. Did I get burnt in hardly hot weather? Of course I did.
After seeing a rather large queue for this bakery in the morning, we decided to check it out ourselves and join in. This cute, independent family run bakery was definitely worth the wait. We wanted to try a variety of things, so I grabbed an Apple Doughnut (pictured), a regular doughnut, a cream cake for my boyfriend and a homemade sausage roll for him too. It was tasty and super cheap! Locals like to pay with cash (so we had a mild panic in the queue) but you can also pay by card inside. Due to Covid rules and it’s size, only one person can go in at a time. Even if you’re with someone. I definitely recommend it.
A Pop up bar just next to Pearsons Arms
After grabbing our goods from the bakery and walking back to the beach, we stumbled upon a small pop up bar. At this point in the morning, they were selling tea and coffee, which I grabbed. They had a variety of non dairy milks and tons of flavourings! I grabbed a caramel iced mocha with almond milk (pictured) and it came to around £3. It definitely went down well with my apple doughnut! Later on we passed the pop up and there was a really large queue, so I guess it’s popular with the locals! Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten the name and I couldn’t find it on Google! Sorry!
Ossie’s fish and chips
Is it a trip to the seaside without some fish and chips? I’m not a fan of seafood really at all (minus the fish in this!) so we grabbed the next best thing for lunch. We did wait quite a while in the queue to grab these, as again it is only 1 person inside at a time. However it was worth it. The chips were really good and it didn’t feel greasy at all. Ossie’s is currently a cash only business, no card, so don’t forget to get your money out!
Wheelers Oyster Bar
If you’re a big fan of Oysters, this place is definitely the place to head to. Being one of the oldest buildings in town with a 4.5 star rating, this place was one of the first oyster restaurants built in Kent and worth a visit for it’s history alone. You may have seen the bright pink building featured on Instagram. We passed a lot of people carrying these oysters on paper plates and heading to the beach front. This is currently takeaway only
We actually ended up heading to Faversham on a whim. Our original plan was Dover, but there was a situation going on there and was barely accessible. Ditching the plan turned out to be a better day out! There were no shops open due to it being Sunday, Covid and all local businesses, but it was lovely to stroll around this little market town while it was empty. Our only stop here was an Antique store called Upstairs Downstairs Antiques and Collectables. I love finding hidden treasure in small towns like this, so it was perfect. Masks were compulsory in this shop and it had anti bacterial gel.
Faversham is very picturesque, it was a perfect early morning stroll and definitely worth a stop off. It’s actually one of the oldest recorded towns in the UK! I will be doing a whole blog post on Faversham as I have quite a lot of photos I want to share with you all. This will include a little more history too, but I wont make it boring for you. I loved this little town in Kent and hope you do too!
That concludes my miniature road trip around Kent. Have you ever been to any of these places?
Let me know in the comments and don’t forget to look out for my post about Faversham shortly!
*Disclaimer: Please follow local guidelines in regards to travel, masks and any other requirements before visiting.
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