Hello! Welcome to a (sort of) new series here on Tape Parade where I share my upcoming travel plans! I’ve been doing a version of this for years which is why I say SORT OF new. You know the drill: I state where I’m headed, throw in some context and finish by asking for suggestions. Right? I assumed those posts were getting a little stale but according to my twitter poll you want more!
So I’ve decided to expand a little bit with my actual plans. This may not be clear from previous posts, but I am a BIG holiday planner. Think thorough, exhaustive and excessive. For big “holidays” I’ll start planning 6-9 months ahead using apps, maps, guidebooks, spreadsheets and a big ol’ budget. I have no doubt I’ll end up as a full “Travel Dad” in my 30s with a ringbinder and a laminated map.
With last-minute weekend jaunts or work travel it’s a bit different – I think of these as “trips” rather than holidays. For those kinds of escapades I just read around and try to see what I can! And so to my next bit of travel. I’m heading to Canterbury to do some work at the start of September. After seeing how close it is to the seaside, I decided we may as well drive over and then spend the weekend exploring Margate, Ramsgate, Whitstable and Broadstairs.
I absolutely LOVE kitschy seaside areas; that whole dilapidated glamour and faded vintage glory really speaks to me. Growing up I associated that vibe with Coney Island and I was shocked to discover in my early 20s that it exists in the UK? As does the beach?! I don’t know if most of you think of the beach when you think of the UK but for me it was something I associated with tropical islands. Learning that you can actually access the sea in the UK was a total gamechanger when I first went to Brighton aged 21. Obviously now I’m making up for lost time! I’ve actually visited Margate and Canterbury before whilst on tour so it will be nice to explore away from the theatre.
As we’ll be going by car, I’ve been trying to make a note of anything and everything that looks interesting in the Margate-Ramsgate-Broadstairs area before stopping at Whitstable on the way back. Key things to see apart from the beach include Whitstable Castle, Dreamland, the Shell Grotto (look at those pictures!), the Victoria Gardens and Turner Contemporary. It looks like there are also tons of great shops, I’ve bookmarked Madame Popoff’s Vintage after following their Etsy for a while. Apart from that I’m planning to just explore!
Foodwise I’ve bookmarked Fort’s Cafe, the Beet Bar, and the Seaside Cake Parlour. I’m always a bit sceptical when a place is described as having vegan “options” rather than just being 100% vegan, but I’ve checked out reviews and Seaside Cake Parlour looks good. Weirdly, Ramsgate seems to have way better vegan options with a vegan fish and chip bar (!) called Shakey Shakey’s who also serve battered Oreos (!!!), plus a vegan thai place and a veggie-vegan cafe.
So those are my plans so far! As you may have noticed, none of this includes anywhere to stay… I’m all ears for your suggestions. If you’re from or have visited any of the above areas then drop me a line!