Top places to live in Kent Whitstable
One of Kent’s most celebrated and stylish seaside towns, usually sought after as a weekend break, is actually where you should be considering to set up home due to its coastal setting, foodie reputation and community spirit. And all within easy reach of the culturally cool city of Canterbury. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
With the beach on your doorstep, this pretty fishing town is known for its wide scattering of great eateries, from the Michelin starred to the cool cafés, as well as a thriving art scene, a strong community spirit and a perfect launchpad for lots of outdoor pursuits. All positioned within close proximity to the big lights of Canterbury if in need of the more mainline shops and entertainment pursuits.
From the unofficial New Year’s Day dip in the sea to the infamous Oyster festival, celebrating its native oysters, that takes place every year in July, there’s lots of seaside fun for all the family.
A regular smorgasbord of restaurants to enjoy – with different price points and appeal for each one. Here is just a mere snapshot of a few to whet your appetite. Sitting pretty on Wraik Hill above Whitstable, The Crescent Turner Hotel has had a recent revamp and is a must-go for a stylish stay in Whitstable. You can escape the crowds here for one of the best sundowner spots in Kent and if the mood takes you, stay for dinner and the night since it boasts 18 bedrooms – many with sea views.
The Sportsman in Seasalter – hugely successful and highly acclaimed but also boasts incredibly laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. For the true Oyster experience, you can’t go wrong at the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company where fresh fish is their specialty but you can also enjoy a good mooch at The Royal Native Oyster Stores, positioned upstairs, for luxury homewares and gifts as well as a more casual cafe experience.
Also within the same family, is the Lobster Shack down on the shingle beach behind the Harbour, where you can munch on the freshest of fish and chips while your children paddle happily in the sea. We also love Samphire, an independent family-run bistro, where its ever-changing menu focuses on seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms, allotments, fisherman and producers in Kent and the South East.
Fancy delicious craft pizza to go? Nomad Pizza makes authentic thin crust pizza using fresh and local Kentish ingredients from cheeses, hams and local butcher cooked meats. Enjoy these on the beach or if there’s room perch on their window-facing table.
Special shout outs should also go to Pearson’s Arms where a roaring fire, good food and warm welcome looks after you during the more blustering walks on the beach as well as The Old Neptune, The Neppy for those in the know, is located directly on the beach and is where to head for the true local experience. There’s live music, home-cooked food and the best place in town to watch the sun go down.
This is where Whitstable excels itself with an amazing range of independent shops and businesses selling anything from Veja trainers at the cool fashion boutiques along Harbour Street to the Aladdin’s Cave that is George’s of Whitstable, which has been serving customers since 1969, its wonderful range of gifts, homeware, party fun and puzzles.
Ruskin and The Clothes Horse might well be your new regular point for all things fashion and do not miss art galleries such as Chappell Contemporary for some eye-catching art pieces for your wall. We are also big fans of Harbour Books, who have previously won Best Bookshop at our Muddy Awards. Finish up with an ice cream at Sundae Sundae, Whitstable’s retro seaside store.
Well you can’t go wrong with the beach to while away many an hour or day, regardless of the weather. But it’s also a great place to explore the surrounding areas. The old railway line, nicknamed the Crab and Winkle Way, is now a public cycle route named and connects Whitstable to Canterbury for those wanting to take in the great Kent countryside. It’s a must-do for any cyclist fans out there or of course you can choose to walk it too!
In Canterbury, you will find the Marlowe Theatre which regularly showcases shows from London as well as its infamous Christmas panto plus there are other family attractions, first-class zoos Port Lympne and Wingham within easy reach.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
There is a good mix of Ofsted Outstanding and Good schools within Whitstable for primary options. If it’s private that you are after Kent College in Canterbury has an excellent reputation (read the Junior and Senior Muddy reviews here) or St. Edmund’s in Canterbury (read the Junior School and Senior School reviews here) and Junior King’s Canterbury are all pretty much less than five miles away.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Once you are living there, you can join in the local slang and scoff at those DFL’s – Down from London – parading around YOUR home town.
For all its glories, Whitstable does not score as highly as other towns in this department but you can still reach Victoria station from its station in one hour and 20 minutes so by no means, in the middle of nowhere!
View the full Top 200 Best Places to Live.