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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.