We're big fans of Whitstable, which is in many ways the perfect year-round beach destination – a short hop from London and with lots of stuff to do when the sun isn't shining. Driftwood Beach House, run by affable hosts Jez and Michelle Hills, is a great beachfront B&B from which to enjoy the best of this funky resort and get away from it all at the same time. It's about two miles out of town, right opposite Seasalter beach and surrounded by a Nature Reserve alive with birdlife. You can walk around the bay into Whitstable following the beach – a 40-minute stroll if you stop to explore along the way – or drive in around five minutes. In the other direction lies the excellent Sportsman gastropub, a well-known place beloved of food critics that is a very handy place for a spot of dinner – if you can get a table! If you can't, Jez and Michelle have lots of other local recommendations. Driftwood also makes a great base for Whitstable's annual Oyster Festival every July.
With a cool, shabby chic decor partially inspired by Jez and Michelle's travels, Driftwood Beach House has three double rooms– the soothing Moroccan room, the Chess Room and the Spa Room – all with comfy beds, en-suite bathrooms, smart TVs and ultra-fast wifi. All three rooms have their own private decked areas, while the Chess Room boasts, yes, a giant terrace chess set, and the Spa Room has its own sunken outdoor hot tub; the Moroccan plays host to a peacefully shaded decking area with a perfect view of the countryside. Outside there's Seasalter Beach, which has breathtaking views across Whitstable's bay in one direction and the marshes and surrounding countryside in the other. You could walk for miles across the marshes, even as far as Faversham through the nature reserve, if you wanted. But you might prefer to head off in the other direction to the more varied delights of Whitstable itself – after all, those oysters won't eat themselves!
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What to expect?
A funky, contemporary seaside B&B run by two affable locals that's handy for both Whitstable and the quiet countryside around.
Moroccan Room is £85 a night midweek, £95 weekends, Chess Room £95 midweek, £100 weekends) and Spa Room £100 midweek, £130 weekends – all including an excellent breakfast.
Open all year.
How do I get there?
Coming from London on the A299, take the Whitstable exit and follow Borstal Hill down towards the town centre. At the bottom of the first hill – where Borstal Hill becomes Canterbury Rd – make a left onto Joy Lane (by a bus shelter) and follow this into Seasalter, where it turns away from the sea and becomes Faversham Rd. It shortly turns back towards the sea and reaches Driftwood Beach House on the left, just after the Alberta Holiday Park.
Three double en-suite rooms, with 24hr access.
- Flatscreen TVs
- Hot Tub
- Sensational Views