Being just over an hours train journey from London makes Whitstable an easy getaway. It was warm but overcast on the day I’d chosen to visit but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment of this pretty little seaside town on the coast of Kent.
Walking from the train station I headed towards the sea where I was met by two choices, left to the harbour or right to the beach. I thought I’d start with a walk along the beach. It was quiet on the day I visited which made for a lovely peaceful experience.
The shoreline is lined with pretty beach huts, all colourfully decorated by their owners. They are all staggered and on a slight incline giving each one a view of the sea.
The beach here is shingle rather than sandy and for erosion protection is interspersed with the traditional wooden groins. It made for some great pictures.
Having walked quite some way along I decided to turn back and make my way to the harbour.
Whitstable harbour is still a working fishing port and it was nice to see the fishing boats still in operation. As well as being a working port there is also an area that has been converted into shops and food outlets selling local produce and some unique arts and crafts.
Whitstable is probably most famous for its oysters and you can find them everywhere. The Whitstable Oyster Company is credited with re-inventing the town and putting it back on the map and it’s here that I tried some of the famous oysters although I have to say I’m not a particular fan myself.
After a pleasant lunch I had a wander around the rest of the harbour area. There are some very picturesque little streets and alleyways with lovely quirky houses dating back years. The alleyways were used by smugglers during the Napoleonic Wars dealing in the illegal tobacco and spirit trades.
The towns main high street and shopping area lie directly behind the harbour with most of the buildings barely unchanged for over 100 years. Some of the buildings still have the original taxation stamps carved into the stone walls.
There are some lovely individual shops and boutiques here that give the town a rather unique feel which most big towns lack these days.
Before I’d left for Whitstable I’d read about there being a castle in the town and it was something I wanted to have a look at.
The castle is not far from the town centre and sits in its own grounds that have now become a public park. It started life as a residence for the Pearson family in the 1790’s and has since been through many changes. Today the castle provides a unique venue for various different functions.
There’s a lovely little coffee shop in the castle with an outdoor terrace overlooking the bowling green and the well kept castle grounds.
Walking back from the castle into the town I decided to finish off my visit to Whitstable with one last walk along the beach but this time to the left of the harbour. It was a lovely pleasant afternoon and the sun had just about managed to poke through the clouds.
After a relaxing walk along the beach I stopped for a quick drink at the Old Neptune pub right on the seafront, a great way to end a pleasant day out by the sea.