Our day trip to Westgate-on-Sea: My favourite UK beach for the kids

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids

We all love a good beach holiday – fortunately living in London means we can easily jump on a train and head down to the coast in less than two hours (most of the time!) When there was just LO, I took him to Westgate-on-Sea with my friend and her daughter (you can read about our trip here) a couple of years back in August. It was so hot I even got sunburnt that day!

Bank Holiday weekend was going to be sunny, especially on Saturday so I asked Daddy P if we should all go to the beach for the day. He was a little reluctant – he’s very shy – and was a little anxious about being on the beach with people but I assured him it would be lovely, chilled and NOT busy like Margate. Whilst Margate is great for older kids and teens, I think Westgate is perfect for younger children and babies.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Margate for older kids and teens, Westgate for young children and babies
We set off on Saturday morning at 10am to arrive at London Victoria station. It was packed! I think everyone had the idea of going to the beach that day – luckily for us I booked our tickets the night before. There was the longest queue for the ticket machine but a member of staff told us we could just show our ticket reference at the gate and collect the tickets when we got to Westgate. We boarded on the 11:37 train and reached Westgate-on-Sea by 14:05 – the train was late and this was probably because it was so busy. There was an announcement on the train that said First Class was open because it was so busy – lucky for those who managed to get a seat in First Class but we were happy enough to get spacious priority seats on the train when we got on.

Arriving at Westgate-on-Sea station, we picked up a few beach items before heading down to the beach. We got a sun canopy tent for £13.99, Daddy P picked up a fisherman-style hat and I got the kids a couple of buckets and spades. Food and snacks too, of course! When we got down to the beach which was about a 5-10 mins walk from the station, we arrived at St. Mildred’s Bay – it looked beautiful in the sunshine. The only problem was that it was still high tide! I hadn’t checked the tide times – oops!

Top Tip: If you’re heading to the beach, check the tide times!

It was not a big problem for us. Plus, it was a lovely day and the sun was shining so we didn’t mind. It was a little windy but sometimes, a welcomed breeze. Apparently the local cinema (Carlton Cinema) only costs £3.50 per ticket so we could’ve looked for it but we weren’t that fussed.

We decided to head up towards West Bay beach which is where I went with my friend a couple of years ago. We sat on the side of the walkway like the locals, watching other people pass by. We ate our sandwiches and cheese & onion crisps, washed down with water and fruit shoot. After we had finished eating, we decided that it would be nicer to head back down to St. Mildred’s Bay as it seemed less windy there. On our way walking back, we stopped off at the local cafe for clotted cream ice cream which was so yummy! I went for the caramel one and got Daddy P a boozy rum & raisin one though he picked out the raisins… they were really big raisins and he’s not a fan of fruit in things.

He’s a fussy eater.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
A view of St. Mildred’s Bay

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Walking back from West Bay eating our ice cream

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
A silly selfie moment (Daddy P photobombing in the background)

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
LO giving us a big smile for the camera!
The tide had gone down a little as it was around 4pm so we found a little spot on the sand and pitched up our sun canopy tent. It’s one of those pop-up ones so easy to set up but because it was windy it was so hard to keep it secure. We ended up folding the stroller and put it at the back of the tent to weigh it down haha! I let the kids roam free on the sand and in the shallow waters. LO was in his element and I really think he wouldn’t have been brave enough to venture out by himself if it was a crowded beach. He took his bucket and went looking for shells and sea snails on the side of the small rock cliffs whilst Baby Girl sat happily in the sunshine with her bucket and spade eating sand… she ate A LOT of sand. She ate so much that when we got home, we were met with a big sand-poo nappy. Nice. Nothing better than an exfoliating poo to wash off.

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
“Mmm this sand looks tasty…”

The Greenwich Mummy | Westgate-on-Sea best beach for Kids
Munch, munch, munch!
We stayed on the beach until toughly 7pm. It was starting to get even more quiet and we thought it would be best to head home before the mad rush of people from Margate got on the train. For the whole day we only lost one pair of Baby Girl’s sandals and LO’s sun hat. Not too bad for a full day out to the beach, I thought we’d lose much more than that. 🙂 When we got on the train, it wasn’t too busy. LO and Daddy P managed to get a seat so I stood up with Baby Girl in the stroller. Daddy P would’ve been the one standing but he’s not great with the stroller so I took one for the team.

It was a great day out and I would definitely love to take the kids again. I really think that Westgate-on-Sea is a great UK beach for families with young kids. It’s less chaotic and packed like Margate but just as lovely. Upon coming to Westgate, we passed Whitstable and Herne Bay, they looked amazing. I know Botany Bay is not too far too and I’ve said to Daddy P that might have to be our next little beach to review. 🙂

There isn’t much to do around Westgate in terms of attractions or games so if you’re looking for a beach that offers that I’d suggest going to Margate instead. However, if you’re looking for beach destination where your little ones can roam free but still be within your eye line, head down to West Bay beach or St. Mildred’s Bay at Westgate.

Here’s some useful links on Westgate-on-Sea before visiting:
General info – http://westgate-on-sea.kent-towns.co.uk
Weather – www.accuweather.com
Tide times – www.tidetime.org
Things to do (not much) – www.aboutbritain.com

I hope you find this post helpful! If you’ve also been to Westgate, let me know what you thought about it below. 🙂

The Greenwich Mummy Blog by Manny Ngo

Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands

The Greenwich Mummy Review: Museum of London Docklands
Image: Courtesy of Museum of London Docklands

Christmas is now approaching thick and fast – can you believe there’s under two weeks left already?… Where has this year gone?!

Every year I try to make it my mission to take LO to see Santa – and as this is Baby Girl’s first Crimbo we couldn’t miss out on a Santa’s Grotto visit. We were invited by the Museum of London Docklands to come and visit their Victorian Santa’s grotto. The museum is located at West India Quay, a tiny walk from Canary Wharf making it a central location for those living or working in the city. Also unlike other Santa’s Grottos which are in shopping centres, this one is in a museum (you basically have two wicked visits rolled into one!).

We went along last Sunday. It seems like Sundays are the busiest days at the museum so if you would love to avoid the hustle and bustle I’d recommend going on a weekday or even Saturday (which seemed less busy). We actually arrived late to our Santa appointment but the team were so accommodating and we were still allowed to enter.

We decided to head straight to the Grotto as we were late and checked out the museum after the Santa visit. The Grotto is located on the second floor and was quite easy to find – you just follow the Santa footprints on the floor until you reached the entrance to the special place. There was a little buggy park so you can leave your pram but it is at the owner’s risk. I had no valuable items in mine so I left mine there – I did not want to be lugging my Urbo around even though it is a small pram. When we passed the lovely decorative old Victorian town we reached the queue to see Santa. There was a lovely little crafts table to keep the kids occupied whilst the adults stood in line for the children to see Santa. Continue reading “Review: Our visit to Santa’s Grotto at the Museum of London Docklands”

Things to do with the family this Halloween Weekend!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Things to Do Halloween Weekend

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I can’t believe that the half-term holiday is almost over! 😦

I wanted to take LO and Baby Girl to so many places this week but unfortunately it wasn’t possible as my plans changed quite a lot during the day and it’s hard taking two kids out… well, that’s how I feel anyway. Maybe I’ve also been a bit selfish as I’ve still been going to my morning fitness classes and the gym and even managed to get away one evening to go out for a girly meal with some old friends. *hides face*

I do think I deserve one night early evening off at least… 🙂 

If you’re stuck on Halloween ideas for this weekend, here are a few that I’ve come across for Friday to Sunday. I do apologise for posting this so late… I’ve been procrastinating with this post as I have a few other product reviews lined up which I need to start working on. Also my Polaroid Camera giveaway is still running but will end on Monday 31st October – the winner will be announced the day after. If you haven’t entered already, you can do so here… check out the blog post now

So without further ado, here are the few events around Greenwich and surrounding areas that may be of interest…

| FRIDAY |

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Things to Do Halloween Weekend
Spooky Halloween Fun Day at Greenwich Market

Spooky Halloween Day

Where: Greenwich Market, Greenwich SE10
Time: from 12:00pm – 6:30pm

Lots of music, workshops and fun at every hour from 12pm until 6pm including a zombie party with Diddi Dance, family yoga with The Flying Mat, a scary fashion show, pumpkin judging and lots more. 

For more info: http://www.greenwichmarketlondon.com/events/story/spooktacular-halloween-day Continue reading “Things to do with the family this Halloween Weekend!”

Review: Above and Beyond exhibition at the National Maritime Museum

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Above and Beyond Exhibition Review

I love living in Greenwich.

We have everything available to us at our doorstep – literally! There is a Costa Coffee store opening soon right downstairs and I’ve been telling my friends I don’t know if that is a good idea because I will probably tell Daddy P to watch the kids while I hide out in there behind my sugar-free caramel decaff latte.

I wrote a post a couple of weeks back about an exhibition that is currently on in the National Maritime Museum until August 29th called “Above and Beyond”. I also wrote in the post that it was aimed at kids from 7+ which is what it states on the Royal Museums Greenwich website however when we went, there was a lot more younger children (preschoolers) at the exhibition which was lovely to see as I didn’t expect that. (I think Baby Girl was the youngest visitor on the day we went.) Continue reading “Review: Above and Beyond exhibition at the National Maritime Museum”

Review: Our Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Last week we were invited to come along and experience the sold-out event, Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5. It was a special event put on by the Royal Museums Greenwich as part of their Holiday to Space series, held at the Royal Observatory. I previously posted a blog about this event which you can read here.

Our day started off at 10am but we left about 30mins before as we only live down the road. Due to the location of our home, we ended up at the South entrance of the park, near Greenwich High Street so we had to walk up to the Royal Observatory through the park. It took us about 15 mins to walk up there and LO managed to get up without a stroller as I decided against taking it. Baby Girl was at home with Daddy P so it was just Mummy and LO time – something we’ve not done in such a long time. When we reached the top, we were a tad thirsty so headed into the Pavillion Cafe where we stocked up on water, juice and sandwiches as LO didn’t have any breakfast before we left – we’re usually still in bed at 8am haha! 🙂

Continue reading “Review: Our Holiday to Space with Q Pootle 5 at the Royal Observatory Greenwich”

Free things to do in Greenwich during the Summer Holidays

Everybody loves a freebie and when you’re strapped for cash, free things to do can become the best way to treat the family to a lovely day out without spending a penny. Here are a few of my favourite (free) things to do in Greenwich over the summer holidays…

Greenwich Peninsula

The Peoples Brick Company and architecture firm Something & Son have commissioned a one-of-a-kind installation at the NOW gallery that encourages visitors to get involved and participate in quarrying clay and moulding your own brick. If you want to take part, pop along to the NOW gallery at the weekend and get your hands dirty. All of the bricks made will be mass-fired on September 17th and then will be used to build a permanent folly which will stand at Greenwich Peninsula. Continue reading “Free things to do in Greenwich during the Summer Holidays”