We recently had a Bank Holiday here in the UK, which means a long weekend to relax, get out and enjoy our countryside. In reality, most people spend their bank holiday either stuck in traffic trying to get somewhere, stuck outside somewhere in the rain, stuck in a queue in a DIY store, or stuck in traffic trying to get home! This is why, we usually don’t go away over a bank holiday weekend, after all it’s only one extra day and I think it’s nice to actually enjoy being at home.
However, Mr SLT decided a few weeks ago to book a dog friendly cottage in Whitstable, a pretty seaside town on the north Kent coast, famous for its oysters, which have been collected in the area since at least the Roman times. Whitstable is the first seaside town, outside of South East London and only 5 km from historic Canterbury, so is popular with tourists, the whole year round.
We have been to Whitstable before but never stayed there, so after an internet search for dog friendly places to rent, we found Sunset Cottage, a beach front cottage with a small balcony right in the heart of the old town and fabulous views out to sea and, of course, the sunsets.
After an hour’s drive and, luckily, not much traffic, we found Sunset Cottage, unloaded the car (how much more stuff do we have now when we go away with Barney?) and settled ourselves in. The cottage has two bedrooms, a bathroom with toilet and a separate loo, on the ground floor and to enjoy the view, the kitchen and large living room are on the first floor, with french doors onto the small balcony.
It’s a well-appointed cottage, light, airy and decorated with, not surprisingly, a nod to a seaside theme. The living room is spacious, plenty of space for Barney to play, with two comfy sofas, a dining table, which seats 4 and a large screen TV (including Sky and wi-fi).
The kitchen is well equipped, with everything you could need including microwave, dishwasher, washing machine and plenty of utensils, there’s even an honesty box for use of the essentials in the store cupboard.
As I said, the cottage is right on the beach, a stones throw from a pub, The Old Neptune, so we were slightly concerned that, as the bedrooms were on the ground floor, there would be noise from the popular Island Wall promenade at night. However, we really didn’t notice anything at all and had peaceful sleeps with only the sound of the sea and seagulls, in the comfortable bed.
We were really pleased with the cottage and Barney took no time in getting out on to the beach and discovering his new home for a couple of days, he absolutely loved standing out on the balcony, watching the world go by, tail wagging at everyone who looked up and said “Ah, look at that cute dog!”. The cottage does have a small garage, and if your car won’t fit in, there is free parking not too far away, once parked up though, you really don’t have to use the car, because everything is within walking distance.
Whitstable has a lovely high street with a mixture of high street shops and independent ones and is very dog friendly indeed, we even saw a lady leave Boots with her dog! Many of the shops allow dogs inside, with a welcoming treat and bowl of water. The choice of restaurants, coffee shops and cafes range from high street well knowns such as Costa and Pizza Express to lovely independent owned eateries with varied menus, of course seafood features highly!
There are lovely walks from the cottage, heading West, along the beach towards Seasalter, or East, towards Tankerton past the grassy slopes with 3 deep beach houses decorated in all different styles! The Whitstable beach area is, without a doubt, dog friendly. In fact, Whitstable beach is privately owned and so, dogs are allowed all year round, Barney loved being off lead and playing with the many dogs he met all day long! The long promenade to Tankerton does allow dogs but between 1 May to end September, dogs must be on a lead.
We are heading back to Whitstable for the Oyster Festival in July but as there are more of us, we will be staying in a different cottage, but we would definitely stay at Sunset Cottage again, it’s a little gem of a place!
If you are interested in booking Sunset Cottage, you can find it easily on the internet including on Trip Advisor, AirBnB and Homeaway.
Take a look at my Sleep: Dog Friendly Places Board on Pinterest for more photos.