Take things further afield by strolling to lesser-known beaches. Kingsdown is about a 40 minute walk from Deal and has a secluded shingle beach where seals can be spotted. For the ultimate sense of space, head to otherworldly Dungeness (via train and bus), which has been dubbed “Britain’s only desert” thanks to its desolate landscape.
Where to stay: Margate finally has a boutique spot of its own in the brand new Fort Road Hotel, just opposite the Turner Gallery. Alternatively, book well in advance for a hut in the grounds of the Michelin-starred Sportsman pub in the coastal village of Seasalter (an hour’s walk from Whitstable). Further up the coast in Deal, the swanky Rose pub has won a following for its Seventies decor and breakfasts of bacon sandwiches with rhubarb ketchup. Airbnb also has myriad stylish options in more remote locations on the Kent coast, usually owned by arty London expats.
Tips for traveling in the UK without a car
Discover the tourist bus networks
Some regions have specific hop-on hop-off tourist buses. In Cornwall, as well as the Land’s End Coaster, there are services that explore the Lizard Peninsula and popular coastal sites in the north of the county, such as Padstow and Watergate Bay. In Dorset, the Jurassic Coaster travels the rugged coastline between Poole and Lyme Regis, while another route explores the wilds of Dartmoor. For more information visit firstbus.co.uk.
Do your research
Checking potential routes on travel websites such as Rome to Rio can open up surprisingly straightforward routes to remote corners of the country. Telegraph Travel hotel reviews can also give an idea of the accessibility of more rural properties by public transport.
Make travel part of the vacation
Traveling by train and/or bus can add time to your trip, so why not make the most of it. The train to Penzance, for example, has a popular Pullman dining car where you can enjoy fillet of beef and potato scallops while admiring the coastal scenery. Meanwhile, some bus routes along the coast and in the Lake District are specially designed to maximize views.