Enjoy a day on the beach, kill some time exploring the harbour or soak up the scenery with a walk to Canterbury, all with our round-up of the best activities and days out in Whitstable.
Activities in Whitstable
Set some time aside to explore Whitstable Harbour during your stay. Admittedly there are prettier harbours in the world. However, in recent times, it has begun to transform into a bustling area with sea-fresh oysters, tasty street food and excellent galleries and boutiques, which are perfect for picking up a souvenir. The colourful and characterful fishing boats are quite beautiful. We can spend hours just watching the world goes by on this pretty part of the Kent coast. The best time to visit is at the end of July when the Whitstable Oyster Festival brings the town folk out for one great big three-day extravaganza of oysters, drinks and music.
Housing centuries of history and surrounded by some of the most beautiful gardens in Kent, Whitstable Castle is a brilliant way to kill a few hours in Whitstable. Formerly known as Tankerton Towers, this lovely, stately home recently enjoyed a marvellous refurbishment returning it to its former glory. The views of Tankerton Beach are exquisite, so too is the opportunity to wander the castle’s sculpture trail basking in the scent of the flower beds. To call it a castle is a little misleading; it certainly wouldn’t have held up to any kind of attack. Nevertheless, the stately home is great for exploring. Check ahead to make sure it’s open before you visit.
West Beach is the stretch of beachy goodness, which runs – you guessed it – along the west coast of Whitstable. It’s a shingle beach and runs almost all the way up to Whitstable Harbour from the neighbouring village of Seasalter. It doesn’t have the usual fanfare of British beaches, such as donkey rides and amusement arcades. However, its smattering of beach huts, coastal cottages and fishing boats make it quaint and quite delightful.
Whitstable’s other stretch of shingle is Tankerton Beach. It’s a Blue Flag beach, meaning it’s safe and clean, perfect for families staying in the seaside town. Its most famous feature is ‘The Street’, an enormous shingle spit that extends into the sea, which you can walk along at low tide. The beach is flanked by colourful huts and backs onto the promenade. Behind, the Tankerton Slopes rise up and offer incredible views along the coast.
Whitstable Museum and Gallery
If you want to find out about the fascinating maritime history of Whitstable, make your way to Oxford Street and pay a visit to the Whitstable Museum and Gallery. It’s a quaint attraction that’s run by volunteers who simply love their hometown. The museum offers incredible insight into the local oyster trade and brings to life the brutal shipwrecks of the past. There are dedicated displays to Peter Cushing, the actor of horror movie fame, who used to live in Whitstable. The gallery also houses an excellent collection of fine art. For the more-than-modest entrance fee, it’s a marvellous little museum.
Crab and Winkle Way
Cycling enthusiasts wanting to experience the beauty of the Kent countryside can enjoy an easy ride along the Crab and Winkle Way, which connects Whitstable with the cathedral city of Canterbury. The seven-and-half-mile route also makes for a pleasant walk; you’ll simply need to set a little more time aside. It’s named after the railway line that connected Canterbury and Whitstable, which was one of the first to be built in Britain.