Our Town - Whitstable

Learn about Whitstable’s working harbour by taking a stroll and stopping at one of the information boards covering topics such as water sports, the wind farm, wildlife and fishing. Fresh fish is also available at the markets on the harbour.

The beach is one of very few in the country that has a pub on it. With its pebble beach and groynes this unspoilt shoreline takes you back in time. Whitstable has excellent conditions for water sports and is a popular windsurfing, kitesurfing and sailing destination. Visitors can enjoy a busy programme of events and learn to windsurf or sail at Whitstable Yacht Club.

Alternatively, let someone else do the sailing by taking a trip on Greta, a Thames Sailing Barge. Chartering from Whitstable Harbour in the summer months you can sail around the historical Thames Estuary Forts and wind farm, taking in views of the Whitstable and Herne Bay coastline.

When you need a rest and a bite to eat, you won’t be disappointed as there is a wide variety of independent restaurants and cafés dotted around the town. Take a trip to the bi-monthly farmer’s market for some excellent locally grown produce and visit the fresh fish markets or one of the fish restaurants ready to serve up the day’s catch.

The historic side of Whitstable is still very much present today Whitstable was rife with smuggling in the late 1700s and the town’s network of alleyways was used as escape routes by smugglers. Most notable is Squeeze Gut Alley, so named as you will find it pretty difficult to get through!

For more than 250 years sailing craft known as oyster yawls dredged for oysters. ‘Favourite’ is one of six oyster yawls left and the only one based in Whitstable. She can be seen at 22 Island Wall.

Whitstable Castle has stunning gardens overlooking Whitstable Bay. Dating back to the 1790s this wonderful folly’s highlights include the castle roof garden, Orangery tea room, pirate-themed area for children and beautiful gardens containing a wide variety of plants, trees and garden features.

The Museum and Art Gallery enables you to discover local stories of the seaside and the town’s history including oyster fishing, diving and ship building. There are regular exhibitions in the connecting art gallery and a programme of special events.

Shopping in Whitstable is not to be missed. Head to Harbour Street for the independent boutiques and gift shops offering the essentials and more with good old-fashioned service.

Whitstable has a lively cultural scene, with many excellent art galleries scattered around the streets and the Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre that offers entertainment, exhibitions, events and classes throughout the week. The Playhouse Theatre is used by many local groups, musicians and acts, both amateur and professional. Put a date in your diary for the Whitstable Oyster Festival held in July. This week-long festival is a vibrant celebration of the town’s history, heritage, talent and traditions encompassing theatre, bands, exhibits workshops and fine food and drink.

The Crab and Winkle Way is an excellent 7.5mile (12km) mainly traffic-free route between Canterbury and Whitstable. It takes its name from the railway line that once ran between the two towns some of which was reopened as a cycle and walking route. It passes through beautiful countryside and woodlands including Blean Woods, one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in England.

As you pass along the Whitstable front you will come to Tankerton. With grassy banks that slope down to the beach that is lined with wooden huts you can enjoy a walk at low tide on ‘The Street’ and explore the rock pools and sea life.

Registered Charity Number: X20357 © Tony Harris 28/02/2018