Whitstable is on the north coast of Kent, close to Canterbury. It makes a great day trip from the city but also has enough to entertain the visitor for a weekend. For a long time it was another small fishing town but in recent years it has become more popular with the bohemian set and has its fair share of wonderful pubs and bars, restaurants and fine dining as well as numerous small boutiques and shops.
Whitstable is famous for its fantastic oysters, and if you are planning a weekend break there, then the best time to go is during the annual oyster festival in July although bear in mind that accommodation does get booked quickly during this period. Even outside of the festival period, Whitstable has a variety of attractions for the visitor to visit and enjoy. Consequently there are a wide range of accommodation options to suit everyone and every budget, including the legendary Hotel Continental and plenty of excellent decently priced B&Bs and self catering cottages.
Whitstable is very popular with artists and there are therefore numerous art galleries and artists’ studios you can visit and spend the day browsing in. Indeed once you have visited the town and seen the incredible views of the sea from the bay windows of the gorgeous old hotels, you will understand why so many artists and other creative people base themselves in Whitstable. In fact the whole of the Kent coast has in recent years begun to blossom in a hive of creativity.
The main attractions
One of the main attractions in Whitstable is the historic harbour. Busy and bustling, it still holds fish markets on a regular basis, offering freshly caught fish and shellfish.
What is known as “the castle” in Whitstable is really more of a stately home, but it can be visited, and the gardens there are simply stunning.
The shops in Whitstable are mostly small and independent. Harbour Street is the main destination for shoppers and window shoppers, and time is easily whiled away looking at the charming buildings, the hand crafted gifts, and the aromatic deli shops.
Walking tours of the main attractions in Whitstable can be booked and can give you an insight into the past history of this intriguing little town.
You won’t come for a weekend in a coastal town without wanting to visit the beaches, and Whitstable has some of the loveliest and cleanest beaches in the UK. There are two things that really characterise Whitstable’s beaches. Firstly, they are of the pebbly kind rather than sandy. This does have some advantages though as it makes it a lot easier to clean up after time spent lying on the beach, as well as allowing numerous contests to see who can get the most bounces when skimming the pebbles!
The second thing that characterises Whitstable’s beaches are the charming beach huts. Beautifully maintained, and painted in a variety of colours these are a photographer’s or artist’s dream.
Whitstable has some of the most amazing sunsets in the UK. If you are lucky enough to spend some time here then you will soon see why artists have been flocking here in droves over the last few years. Sunset in Whitstable is one of the delights of South East England, and not to be missed. Enjoy it with a bag of the local fish and chips for the perfect Whitstable moment.
Alex is a consumer finance blogger and journalist. He spends his working week covering savings accounts and umbrella companies but when he gets the chance he loves to write about touring around the UK.