Let's do something different; let's go to the Isle of Grain in Kent.

Day trip to Grain on the Isle of Grain.

It's not every day that you hear that now is it? The Isle of Grain? That's all liquid gas works and a sodding great power station isn't it?

Pretty much, yes.

So why go there? Well last year I was sent to Canvey Island a few times for work, and whilst there looked out over the Thames estuary to this little split of land. It looked quite picturesque really and I thought why not visit one day?

Well it's all chemical works and power stations!

Ate away at me.

I looked on Google. Not much at Grain. It's going to be an airport. Why bother?

Well it's only fifty minutes drive away and that tower thing in the water looks promising. And sometimes, just sometimes, the crappy sounding places turn out to be innocently sweet.


Here in the UK the roads are grid locked come Easter for the big getaway. Same this year. Don't go near the roads!

Yet if we did that we'd go nowhere. Hmm, day to kill why not re-visit that forgotten view of the Isle of Grain? Why not go there for a nose around.

Surely it's all chemical works and a sodding great power station?

Turns out it isn't bad after all.

Grain is actually quite sweet in a forgotten kind of way. Sure the town itself is of little merit, but there's a fantastic café in some bloke's garden near the beach. Really good food, really cheap. Even Medway council gave it a five star rating, the highest you can get.

The beach, although mud flats, is superbly quiet and you get great views of Southend over in Essex. The promenade is clean with no dog eggs that you get just about everywhere else. The air coming off the North Sea is pretty fresh.

We even saw a stoat running around. It is a nature reserve after all.

3 hours well spent.

You can't stay long here really. The beach is mud and the promenade walk is only a mile long. I walked out to the Martello type construction, which was eerie. You're half a km out on a sodding great mud flat where the tide comes in faster than you can run. I didn't hang around long!

We did it all in around three hours. Our only regret was not to have eaten breakfast at the café - looked superb. The cake and coffee we did have cost £5. Two massive slices of cake, two coffees; £5.

Those three hours were quite content though, and enough to feel as though we'd done something. Even the power station started to look attractive.

It's no Dungeness though. There are no artists colonies or cute wooden arty buildings to gawp at. Mud, birds and a stiff breeze are your lot.

Why bother?

We've concluded that we'll go again, as it is only fifteen minutes away from the Bluewater shopping mall. Normally that's hell on Earth getting our kid's there, or indeed getting myself to go, but letting them [and I!] play on a beach for three hours prior meant it wasn't that bad a deal. So if we need to do some out of town shopping, then why not combine it with a walk along a quiet beach?

Morning on a quiet windblown beach, great views, great café, then a bit of retail therapy in the afternoon? Works for me.

Oh and this being Easter a lot of the shops in the Mall were giving out free chocolate. I'm not shy when it comes to free stuff, and no kidding we got about £7 worth of chocolate free each. That's class.