Whitstable is one of those lovely places in the UK that I’ve been secretly dreaming about visiting since I first moved here three years ago. The beach (yes, England does have beaches!), the quaintness, the location. I just wanted to be there! And now, I can say I’ve finally been! It lived up to all of the expectations I had, plus a whole lot more. I honestly wish I could have had more time there.
Whitstable is a seaside town that sits on the coast of Kent, a lovely, luscious, green county. It’s only a stones throw away from Canterbury, and less than two hours from London. TB and I booked some much needed time off work and spent two nights here to relax, unwind, and get a teensy bit sunburned!
The fishing town is a very sought after destination for people visiting the UK, and is very much worth the hype. If you’re ever in this part of the world, do add it to the list! The cobbled streets, hidden alleyways and charming beach front will surely win you over.
I enjoyed it ever so much, so I thought I’d share my recommendations with you and also share my experience so you can feel like you’ve visited Whitstable, too! Sadly not everything was open when we were there, as there’s a tonne of local businesses, so quite a few of the ones we wanted to pop in and see where shut, being a Sunday and Monday. Which was a shame, but just gives us an excuse to go back!
Head to the beach: Now, let me warn you, just because it’s a beach, doesn’t mean it’s a ‘beach’ in your eyes. We’re talking pebble beaches with minimal warm weather a year, people. But it’s just so charming! So grab some fish n’ chips and a selection of beer, bring a towel or two to perch on (your toosh will need it) and watch the world go by. Just perfect.
Take a walk: The High Street of Whitstable (Harbour Street) is really quirky and full of extremely hipster shops from gift shops to hole in the wall cafes. Take your time and pop in and out of each store (be sure to put the Cheesebox on your list), meet the locals and get inspired. Once your done with some window shopping, head towards the beach and head east, towards Tankerton. Check out the harbour on your way. Along this walk is a heap of gorgeous beach huts, some loved, and some forgotten, and is a quieter part of the beach, so feel free to take a dip down this end. You can keep walking all the way around and hit Herne Bay, which is about a four mile walk.
Try an oyster: Whitstable is famous for its oysters so, you know, when in Rome! There’s a little hut on the beach (very easy to spot) that sells them by the half dozen so you can grab some and eat them on the beach. Or there’s also Wheelers Oyster Bar on the high street that’s got a pretty good reputation! TB dabbled in a couple of oysters and enjoyed them. His tip is to chew them twice before swallowing, and add some Tabasco, sherry vinegar and lemon to really amp up the flavour. Me? I gave it a miss. I don’t see the appeal!
W H E R E T O E A T A N D D R I N K
Samphire: Right on the High Street, this rustic restaurant is great for a more high end style meal. With an extensive range of choices and excellent range of wines (the Shiraz was delicious) it’s one to go for to enjoy a relaxed (and slightly boozy) lunch date or cosy date night.
David Brown Delicatessen: An excellent delicatessen with Italian and Spanish vibes, serving cheese, hung meats, quiches, olives, and local beer. All of those naughty treats. All home cooked, too!
The Tapas at English’s of Whitstable: A very popular tapas restaurant on the High Street. Sadly TB and I had an afternoon siesta that meant we missed out on eating here, but it did look truly delicious! You can’t beat a tapas. Their opening hours are a little limited so be sure to check them out, and book ahead while you’re at it.
The New Inn: For somewhere quieter, head here for a good pint and local feel. This pub sits a street back from the High Street so you’ll be happily greeted by friendly locals and helpful bar staff. If we lived in Whitstable, it would definitely be our local.
W H E R E T O S T A Y
A popular accommodation choice for visitors is the Whitstable Fisherman’s Huts. Right on the beach front, this row of former fisherman’s huts are an awesome option. They’re reasonably priced, and can fit from 2-4 adults, or 2 adults and 2 children. However, they are very close together and will get noisy. So if you’re planning on having an undisturbed weekend away, this might not be the quietest option.
TB and I rented a cottage and absolutely loved it. I would recommend it to anybody. We were a street back from the beach (less than a 30 second walk) and right on the edge of the High Street. I booked it through the site ‘Places to Stay in… Whitstable’ which gives you a selection of self catering cottages in the town. We were kindly greeted by the owner upon arrival and he gave us some great tips on where to eat and drink. Couldn’t have asked for more!
I’d recommend definitely staying in Whitstable for at least 3 or 4 nights. There’s quite a bit to keep you busy in the town itself, especially in summer, but it’s super easy to get to other places in Kent, too. Heading to Canterbury for the day would be a good place to start, and is less than £10 return on the bus, from what the locals have told me. Or head further around the coast to the more old school British seaside towns, like Margate.
The best time of year to go if you want to experience ‘warmer’ weather would be during June to August. It is quite busy at this time of year, but nothing compared to the likes of major cities, so it’s still relaxing. Whitstable has it’s Oyster Festival coming up soon and a bunch of events on throughout the year. Take note of what’s going on and plan out a little itinerary before you go!
Have you ever been to Whitstable? Is it somewhere you’d add to your list if you were visiting the UK? Let me know in the comments!