Having enjoyed a lovely weekend in this stunning airbnb at Littlestone on the Kent coast with my husband and my dad in May, I was delighted to be invited back by the owners and asked if I'd like to do a review on my blog! I loved the beachfront accommodation so much that I was really excited to accept the invitation - I didn't need to think twice - and decided to take my daughter for a two night girls only trip! I am always on the lookout for amazing places to stay with a seaview and this one is a real gem. Really close to Dungeness and Dymchurch it is easily accessible by road or train from London and surrounding areas.
The apartment on Marine Parade, Littlestone is beautifully furnished and finished but what really sets it apart are the big bi-fold doors opening onto a small balcony overlooking the beach and the sea. With the sun streaming through and the doors open letting in the fresh sea air whilst relaxing on the big comfortable sofa, it really is absolute bliss! The location is perfect, step out the front door, cross the road and you can walk along the coast path towards St Mary's Bay and Dymchurch or in the opposite direction towards Dungeness. Or simply take your beach chairs and relax on the beach but with the added ease of being able to nip back to the apartment for coffee, lunch or wine ....!
When you arrive, this view greets you and you immediately relax! It really is a perfect away from it all destination (and no airport chaos to contend with).
This is a gifted blog post and contains affiliate links.
The apartment has two bedrooms, with a massive and very comfortable bed in the main bedroom, both rooms have en-suite shower rooms. The apartment is on the first floor and access is via steps, there are also a few steps inside the apartment. The large open plan living area and kitchen really take full advantage of the seaview and the kitchen is well equipped for easy meal prepping. There are lots of cosy and comfortable touches like plenty of throws and cushions. And unusually for a self-catering apartment the owners, Adam and Carla, had got mirror and socket placement spot on! This is so rare, I often arrive somewhere to find there are either no mirrors, or no long mirror or I can't plug the hairdryer in next to a mirror! The apartment is bright and spacious but it really is the bi-fold door and view that sells it to me!
So many lovely details and pretty touches ... and my daughter loved the goodie box full of delicious snacks and the all-important wine.
Things to do on the Kent coast
We arrived after lunch on Thursday and were able to check-in to the apartment in good time, there is plenty of parking on the side road and the owners have now installed a key safe to make arrival easy.
I love this area of Kent, I am a bit biased, I grew up in Kent but what I love about this stretch of coast is that it is so unspoilt. It is like stepping back in time to a traditional Victorian seaside resort but without being crowded with visitors or kiss me quick shops and fast food establishments! The beaches are deserted and it is perfect for bucket and spade holidays with children or grandchildren or just somewhere to walk, relax and switch off.
We spent several happy weeks staying at a house in Greatstone when our children were young and we loved the area so much. There is plenty to do if you want to go out and about but we have always been happy with lazy beach days and simple outings.
Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway
We drove past the New Romney Station for the RH&DR Railway and it brought back so many memories, we had to go on it! The last time I took Emily on the little train she was only two and can't remember! We unpacked quickly and managed to get the last train out of New Romney to Dungeness, it was a round trip of about 50 minutes and we couldn't get out at Dungeness or we'd have been stranded but it was so much fun to enjoy the miniature train carriages and enjoy the views of Romney Marsh and all the seaside houses and back gardens we passed.
RH&DR has been part of Kent's heritage since 1927 and 'the World's smallest public railway' is loved by all generations ... my sister-in-law, now in her 70's, remembers riding on it during a family. holiday to Dymchurch when she was a child and my son has many fond memories of our days out! The trains are world famous and are one-third full size steam and diesel locomotives that use 13 and a half miles of track from Hythe to Dungeness. There are 4 stations, each one within walking distance of the beach and a day out with RH&DR is a must if you are staying in the area - with or without children! New Romney and Dungeness Stations have excellent cafes for customers and at New Romney there is the Model Railway Exhibition, there are also play parks, shops and free car parking and it is all accessible for disabled visitors and buggies!
After our trip on RH&DR we had a walk along the beach, cooked dinner and snuggled under cosy blankets with chocolates, wine and the big bi-fold doors open to enjoy the fresh sea air and watched Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!
This is the main bedroom with en-suite shower room and a massive, comfortable bed!
Both bedrooms are so comfortable and the beds are amazing. There are two en-suites and although fairly small they are perfectly adequate - the showers are big! My lightweight cotton robe is from Happy Cabbage London.
My lightweight cotton robe is from Happy Cabbage London.
Friday had to be a beach day! It wasn't quite as hot as we'd have liked but the beach is actually quite sheltered as there is a wall that separates it from the road and grassy area. We took a picnic lunch, our beach chairs and books and made ourselves comfortable for the day! Littlestone beach is a pebble beach but it so beautiful and very quiet. When we used to take the children we stayed at Greatstone, just a bit further along and there is a sandy stretch there if building sandcastles is on your to do list. And of course Camber Sands is only a short drive away!
A little embarrassing brain fog moment ... I locked us out of the apartment, yes I left the keys inside and we closed the door, as soon as we did it, we realised. Fortunately Carla was very understanding and organised for the cleaners to drop a set of keys into the key safe for us.
Dungeness National Nature Reserve
Dungeness is certainly unique but I love it! It is bleak, wild, windy, feels rather desolate and the view is dominated by the Nuclear Power Station but it is also home to diverse wildlife, has one of the best shingle beaches in the world and has an appeal that you won't find anywhere else. There is the old lighthouse - my son used to love visiting and climbing the steps to reach the top and marvel at the views! His toddler bedroom decor was inspired by our trips to The Old Lighthouse at Dungeness! On your visit you can learn how the lighthouse works, view the Great Lens and the Sector Light, and admire the Victorian architecture.
We drove to Dungeness on Friday afternoon and had a very windy wander along the wooden walkway that crosses the shingle beach towards the sea, we viewed both the old lighthouse and the new lighthouse from the outside, we saw a fox running past, we got very windswept and reminisced about previous visits. We loved seeing the weather beaten shacks - some looking more weather beaten than others - some now renovated to provide unique holiday experiences. We visited a Dungeness Art Studio - a collection of ramshackle sheds but no less appealing, full of artwork by Paddy Hamilton. We loved the 'junk art' nearby, a collection of items discovered on the beach and arranged in a haphazard pile but a good reminder of the need to take our litter home and protect our oceans. We then went to The Pilot Inn for fish and chips! This is not for you if you want fine dining but if you want traditional fish and chips and big portions then it is a must. Emily and I shared and it was still plenty! The area isn't inundated with good restaurants but it isn't that kind of holiday. Although The Gallivant at Camber Sands has an excellent dining room and the owner of The Gallivant has now taken over The Romney Bay House Hotel, it is closed for refurbishment until Autumn 2022, but I look forward to seeing what their dining options are like - it is a ten minute walk from the apartment.
The area isn't inundated with good restaurants but it isn't that kind of holiday. Although The Gallivant at Camber Sands has an excellent dining room and the owner of The Gallivant has now taken over The Romney Bay House Hotel, it is closed for refurbishment until Autumn 2022, but I look forward to seeing what their dining options are like - it is a ten minute walk from the apartment.
Above centre:Derek Jarman's Garden / Prospect Cottage, Dungeness
Beach walks and time to slow down
Sadly on Saturday morning it was time for us to depart but with a very good check-out time of 11 am we were able to take our time. I love getting up early and walking along the beach, when I am away my brain switches off and I get to think and reflect, I forget about my long to do list and walking by the sea really calms me.
You can view more photos and videos on my instagram story highlights @fifty_andfab
The airbnb apartment can be seen in the middle - literally a stones throw from the beach!
We decided to drive the 20-30. minutes inland to Tenterden before starting our journey home. I grew up in Kent - not far away near Maidstone - and Tenterden was one of our favourite towns to visit. It is home to the Kent & East Sussex Railway (another opportunity to travel back in time and enjoy the light railway that runs between Tenterden and Bodiam). My dad bought my mum's first car as a surprise for her 30th birthday from a garage in Tenterden, it was a grey Austin A40!
But the main purpose of our visit was to meet Helen from Elizabeth Rose a beautiful award winning, independent, ladies boutique, established in 1979 by Helen's mother, it is now owned and managed by Helen and her brother Michael. I visited last time I was in Kent but didn't get to meet Helen. I had won a voucher in an Instagram Giveaway and then got to know Helen though the little Instagram squares as we both learnt to navigate insta-life! Elizabeth Rose stocks a wide range of brands and Helen and her team are always helpful and supportive, with styling ideas for everyday looks to special occasions, weddings and events,
I love that Elizabeth Rose now stocks Aspiga, and I bought a dress with my voucher a few months ago and this visit I bought another Aspiga sundress. I also tried on a skirt, didn't buy it, regretted it, contacted Helen and she posted it to me! Elizabeth Rose have an excellent website and all their stock is available to purchase online. Do remember them if you are looking for something special and love supporting independent businesses.
After a little wander along the pretty High Street at Tenterden, and it really is worth a visit, we enjoyed a quick lunch at one of the many cafes then it was time to head home!
There are so many amazing things to do in Kent, this is only a small example. I really recommend a visit to Dover Castle, amazing for kids, but so much history,
It has been a few years since we were last at Dover Castle but the highlight then was visiting the Secret Wartime Tunnels where you can witness 'the miracle of Dunkirk' and learn all about the rescue operation taken on by 'the small boats'. There is also the Underground Hospital which tells you the story of an injured fighter pilot being rushed through to have emergency surgery.
The views and walks around this iconic British landmark on the White Cliffs of Dover is worth an extra day staying in Kent.
My dress is the Bloomsbury Maxi and is new in at Boden, it is a comfortable, flattering, jersey maxi dress perfect for holidays and heatwaves. It comes with a removable tie belt, I chose to wear it lose! My beach bag is handmade to order by Georgie at @tic_a_boonshinedesigns.
A long post today, well lots of photos, but it was such a fabulous few days and I love the location so much I wanted to share properly! If you need a get away from it all break then this place is amazing!
You can book this stunning seaview apartment via airbnb - if you do visit then mention where you found out about it! And have a lovely time!
Lots more travel and days out posts can be found here.
Disclaimer: Adam and Carla gifted me a two night stay at their airbnb apartment in exchange for an honest review on my blog, all words and opinions are my own. This blog post contains affiliate links.