Why you should go to Whitstable

Many seaside towns in the UK are in dire need of regeneration.  Many are rundown and so deserted that the local economy is failing.  On the flip side of that coin there are many beautiful ones that are doing well and worth the trip like St Ives and Broadstairs.  Two places that I hope to visit again.

One town that falls in the thriving category is Whitstable.   It is one of the first seaside towns you reach when escaping the big smoke and venturing south east into Kent.  It has a charm that easily pulls you in and invites you to explore.

The Harbour - Whitstable

I’ve blogged about Whitstable in the past but the reason why you must go next summer is the yearly Oyster Festival.  Held the last week in July it sees the harbour come to life with down from Londoners and surrounding Kent folk.  Year on year the festival gains in popularity and at times the harbour gets packed to heaving levels.

Oysters - Whitstable Oyster Festival Kent

The native or flat oysters are what have made the town famous.  Plenty were served up but not being much of a seafood fan myself I skipped them entirely.  Thankfully there were many tasty treats around the harbour to indulge your tastebuds.

Kioks - Whitstable Oyster Festival

Besides food and drink there are stalls showcasing clothing and many other unique gift items.  After spending time eating and browsing we watched the annual parade which was slightly underwhelming – I’d skip this in future.

Parade - Whitstable

Moving on from the festival I suggest taking a stroll down to the town centre where you will find cute independent shops.  I loved this dress and umbrella below.

Dress and parasol - Whitstable town

The beach is similar to Brighton with pebbles rather than sand.  I’ve never seen it crowded even with the festival in full swing.  So if it does become too packed in town a 5 minute walk gets you away from the crowd.  Near the beach you will find these colorful cottages.

Colourful cottages in Whitstable

Travel to Whitstable from London is around an hour and a half and it is best for a day trip.  If you do stay in the area I suggest also visiting Canterbury.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. This does look like a charming spot. Who could pass up an oyster festival? Enjoyed your pictures

    1. Wanderlust23 says:

      Glad you liked them. I supposed next time I go I should try actually try the oysters!

  2. Great post – so agree that many seaside towns need to focus on restoring their glory. I have family in Hastings – a town that desperately needs to refind its mojo.

    1. Wanderlust23 says:

      Thanks. There was an article in the Guardian asking readers to suggest ideas for how to revive the failing seaside towns. Not an easy task I imagine. I’ve heard quite good things about Hastings actually, I should go and then blog about it.

  3. A lovely town where my Mom and grandparents are from! Thanks! 🙂

    1. Wanderlust23 says:

      Such a lovely town! Even with the rise in tourism it seems to be retaining what makes it nice.

  4. Jay says:

    Looks like a cute town. I’m envious of your short train trips out of London. We don’t really have the same opportunity in Stavanger.

    I tried oysters again last year in thinking my tastes might have matured – nope. Not for me. I still recoil when I think about it!

    1. Wanderlust23 says:

      I have been be taking total advantage of it because I know when I move back home train trips will be few and far between. The entire idea of oysters put me off, not sure I can actually make myself try them. I’m happy to stay immature on this!

  5. whywasteannualleave says:

    Looks beautiful – I’m based in South East London so it’s not far to head towards Kent and this looks like a beautiful way to spend a Summer’s day!

    1. Melissa says:

      It is such a great town, even if you don’t make it for the Oyster Festival it is still worth the trip.

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