09.12.2016 - General Holiday Parks Touring Parks
The first coastal town on the way from London, Whitstable is a lovely fishing and harbour town with a lively town centre and plenty of places of interest to offer. With resplendent galleries, cafes, independent shops, boutiques, restaurants and the huge stretch of beaches to explore, the best thing to do here is wander! Particularly along Harbour Street, where you will find the hub of an eclectic mix of Artisan shops, book shops, art galleries, tea shops and restaurants.
Whitstable beaches are quintessentially British, lined with colourful beach huts and long stretches of shingle divided by wooden groynes all the way along the beach. Wandering along here you can stop off at various pubs situated right on the beach such as The Old Neptune and The Pearson’s Arms, as well as plenty of areas to sit and enjoy fish and chips with a beautiful view. The high street is fully accessible from the beach as it runs parallel to the seafront, and you can simply pop down one of the many infamous narrow alley ways connecting the high-street to the beach. One of the most well know ones being ‘Squeeze Gut Alley’ – an extremely narrow alley way acquiring it’s name for obvious reasons.
Every Monday, Thursday and throughout the weekend, there is the Harbour Market located at The South Quay, Whitstable Harbour. An open-air market of local traders selling gifts, hand-crafted goods and fine art, as well as micro eateries serving a delicious variety of quality food. Another thing Whitstable is renowned for is it’s oysters. Here you can try the freshest seafood of oysters, mussels and whelks ‘fresh off the boat’! As you continue walking along from the market, you will come to The Crab and Winkle, and the Whitstable Harbour Oyster Store, a supplier to Michelin Start restaurants, further along at the end of the market. Other seafood restaurants include The Lobster Shack serving hot and cold seafood, local beers and amazing local Chapel Down wine, right on the harbour. On the high street you have the infamous, pink, Wheeler’s Oyster Bar – the oldest restaurant in Whitstable, with a seafood bar and an oyster parlour!
Located at the top of the high street just yards from the beach is The Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre, with sea views, a balcony café, and plenty of interesting events taking place. Whether it is galleries, exhibitions, workshops, film or theatre you are interested in, there is something here for everyone.
From Whitstable you can walk all the way along the seafront from Harbour Street to Tankerton in about 25 minutes depending on your speed, but before you carry on, take a break at the beautiful Whitstable Castle, previously known as Tankerton Towers. Located on Tower Hill, set in beautifully landscaped gardens overlooking the sea, this magnificent castle offers a peaceful atmosphere where you can enjoy some tea and cake, or something from their varied menu, away from the hustle and bustle. If you go along the Marine Parade from Whitstable town you will come to Tankerton Slopes – grass slopes between the parade and the beach. At the end of the slopes or the beginning if you are coming from the other way, you will see Jo Jo’s – a restaurant and coffee shop serving meat, seafood and Mediterranean tapas, as well as great cocktails!
Other Places to Eat and Drink
Other places for great food include;
Tea & Times – a great place for breakfast or lunch, located on the high street serving full breakfasts and a great selection of sandwiches.
For fine dining try Birdies – a lovely French-style bistro restaurant serving modern, European cuisine located on Harbour Street.
Samphire – a Kentish, rustic bistro serving the best of local fish, meat and seasonal vegetables located on Whitstable High street.
The Sportsman – If you want to treat yourself to something special, you can’t miss out on this upmarket gastropub located on the old coastal road between Whitstable and Faversham. Serving local seafood and taster menus in a relaxed setting right near the seaside. This is a must!
There is also Zizzi, Prezzo, and Pizza Express – all in close proximity to the high street and the seafront.
If you are travelling by train, Whitstable train station is just 12-13 minutes’ walk to the town, or a 6-minute taxi ride. If you do decide to drive into Whitstable – research where to park beforehand as it can sometimes be a struggle. Whitstable is more of a walking town, so driving around can be tricky. It’s best to find somewhere to park the car for the day and wander around at your own leisure. For more information on where to park visit here. Local buses run regularly through the town to surrounding towns such as Herne Bay and Canterbury.