Something a little different for you today – a little travel guide to the Kentish town on the seaside known as Whitstable!
If you’ve ever had a hankering for the old fashioned beach towns of yore, and wondered where to find said yore….Whitstable is the place for you. A mere hour from London (and a bit…..) finds you in league with oysters, an alley so small they named it ‘squeezegut alley’ and plenty of local ale.
Oh, and it’s by the sea.
If you like your fish fresh and your potatoes deep fried, then you are in for a treat.
How to Get There
Now, I’m not going to lie to you — it’s far easier if you have a car. Obvs. But actually, now we have the super speedy high-speed rail linking London to the garden of England (about twenty years too late, but hey ho) you can get from Kings Cross St Pancras to Whitstable directly in just over an hour. Click here for details and how to book the train….and the coach.
Train: 1hr, £30 return | Coach: 2hrs, £20 return
Where To Stay
You can definitely do Whitstable as a day trip from London, but if you are keen to stay there are a plethora of guesthouses and hotels to rest your weary head. You can obviously chill your boots in the beachfront Hotel Continental but I favour AirBnB every time. As it goes, the pickings in Whitstable are great and you can nab yourself something super central for £60 a night…..bargain.
This is obviously the best bit, right? Clearly you need to start your day with a proper brew and maybe a scone too. After a jaunt along the high street, orientate yourself and then hit up the Tea & Times on the high street for a pit stop cuppa. Pound the pavements for a couple of hours and work your way up to some delicious Fish & Chips, where you now have a choice — either keep it simple and scoff your VC Jones takeaway on the beach, OR head to the Lobster Shack and posh up your fish supper. Either one is dreamy, but I have a soft spot for the classic wrapped in paper, with a pickled egg variety myself.
Now it’s time for some beer. Whitstable has its own independent brewery (the Whitstable Brewery!) so you will see their beers and ales all over the shop. As a non-beer drinker myself, I cannot speak to the deliciousness of the beer, however, I am reliably informed that they make a great IPA. A great place to chill out and enjoy a pint is The Old Neptune, a slightly divey pub on the beach. At the weekends, if it’s sunny, it gets packed…..so just enjoy the mayhem like the DFL (down from London) that you are and drink up!
Moving on from the pub — although you don’t have to if you really don’t want to — enjoy a 4-mile ramble down the beach to Seasalter to the Michelin-starred gastropub The Sportsman. Housed in the old Monks kitchens (who made food for the inhabitants of Canterbury Cathedral back in the day). This pub is AMAZING. Seriously. The food is insanely yummy and you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll find me and Oli there the night before our wedding. Stuffing my face with apple sorbet and burnt cream, no doubt.
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Also published on Medium.