Whitstable Harbour Village

Welcome to Whitstable 2015

Whitstable is a charming and unique seaside town that has changed over recent years, from an authentic and slightly scruffy Kentish maritime community with sea water running through its veins, to a chic foody destination and artist's community. Despite the changes and gentrification, the town of Whitstable is still good for your soul and the locals and natives that remain are determined to preserve the essential nature of Whitstable. General visitor information is available from Lou Fowkes and his hard working team at The Whitstable Shop & Visitor Information Centre, 34 Harbour Street, WHITSTABLE, Kent CT5 1AJ, Tel: 01227 770060 Email: wit.whitstable34@talktalk.net

The Best of Whitstable 2015

Eating out in Whitstable and the Whitstable Oyster Festival 25th-31st July 2015

Whitstable Harbour

Whitstable has been a destination for lovers of fine food since Roman times but today the gastronomic attractions extend well beyond the famous Whitstable Oyster Festival and its massive food fair, held in the harbour which was originally started by the organisers of Whitstable Harbour Village. There can't be many towns in England where you can walk to dozens of independent eating places and enjoy genuinely good local food. In addition to the Royal Native Oyster Restaurant and Wheelers Oyster Bar that put Whitstable on the foody map there are dozens more locally owned independents with great reputations. Just outside the town centre, JoJo's in Tankerton remains our firm favourite but the Sportsman's Arms in Seasalter has a Michelin star if that is likely to light your candle. In town, the Tapas restaurant is good as is Birdies, SaltMarsh (now at the Duke of Cumberland), Samphire and our neighbours at the Crab and Winkle, overlooking the fishing boats in the harbour. For something lighter check out Tea & Times in the High Street run by Veronica and the Beach Cafe just east of the harbour which always offers a warm welcome to walkers and those heading for the beach.

 

Shop Local in Whitstable

Whitstable is quite simply the best seaside shopping town in the UK and one of the most varied and interesting high streets in the south. Like the restaurants, the shops in Whitstable are largely locally owned and run and many started life at the Whitstable Harbour Village. The high street boasts two excellent traditional bakers (Champs and Hubbards), three butchers, three green-grocers and the famous George's emporium. Whitstable may not have its own Candlestick Maker (yet) but it has its own specialist Cheese Shop and Cup Cake Shop both with Whitstable Harbour Vilage histories. Being locally owned, you will meet the characters behind the business, which makes shopping more interesting and far more sociable. Harbour Street attracts most visitors en route to the harbour with its quaint galleries, fashion, craft and gift shops but there is plenty to see at the western end of the town too, including the famous Kites and Things (who also trade at Whitstable Harbour Village) and Oxford Street Books where you may find yourself engaged in a conversation with Brian on any subject from the Whitstable Oyster Festival to English literature. The vibrant Whitstable Farmers Market is also held at St. Mary’s Hall every second Saturday where you might track down former Villagers, Godmersham Game with their excellent local venison and game products.

Celebrity Spotting in Whitstable

Celebrity spotting can be a popular past-time on hot summer afternoons. Ever since Peter Cushing made his home here, Whitstable has attracted the great and the good (and the not so good). Bob Geldof often pops down from his home in Faversham, Janet Street-Porter has a holiday home on West Beach, Whitstable, as does Harry Hill and the lovely Fay Ripley. Sugsy and his Mum often hang out at JoJo's. Vic Reeves is often seen in Whitstable Harbour Village with his delightful partner and young children, as are many of the stars of East Enders.

Accommodation in Whitstable

Whitstable HarbourIf possible, it is much nicer to stay in the town itself rather than the various chain hotels on the A299 Thanet Way. There is a shortage of hotels in the town centre but the art deco Hotel Continental remains classy and also offer romantic converted fisherman's sheds right on the beach. Otherwise, there is a range of good B&B's and our favourite is Copeland House on Island Wall just because of the location but Windy Ridge just outside the town centre gets excellent reviews. These days many families go for a holiday cottage with the mandatory corny seaside name (sunset cottage, fisherman's cottage, oysterman's cottage etc). We know Gail who runs Whitstable Holiday Homes  who provide an excellent service.

Secret Spots in Whitstable

Most visitors are content just to enjoy the views and fresh air while walking along the shingle beach from the Old Neptune pub, past the Yacht Club and Lifeboat Station to the harbour but if you are feeling energetic there are lots of spots worth exploring. West Beach is our favourite part of Whitstable, so please don't go there too often, even though you can sometimes hire a private beach hut for the week-end.