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4) - Georgian seaside town, famous for its meandering 'Lanes' - a royal playground.
A lively gay community means there's always something going on and the food is above average.
Whitstable, Kent - fishing village famed for its seafood. Stay at The Captain's House (a fisherman's cottage converted into a B & B 01227 275 156 - often booked up) or The Continental Hotel 10227 280280 - try to get one of the converted fishermen's huts if possible.
Whitstable is also good for a daytrip to sample the food. This once thriving village has lost most of its life to yuppie weekenders and bankers with huge undeserved bonuses and the Royal Oak is now the only place to stay, but the village has gained in picturesqueness and tranquility.
- magnificent palace built by a succession of kings from Henry VIII onwards.
However, in a major act of cultural vandalism, the interior decorations of the Queen's Apartments have been ripped out and replaced with a display of third-rate naval paintings.
Not really out of London, but there's plenty to see in this village on the river with a proud maritime history.
Go by river and come back by the Dockland's Light Railway (or vice versa).
Over 60s also get reduced travel throughout Britain (not just the Southeast region) with a Senior railcard which may be a better buy for this age group.
Bus services are also cheap and reliable - but are at the mercy of traffic.