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The best 12 things to do in Whitstable

We love Whitstable for its coastal setting, foodie reputation and community spirit but where to go first? We know!

🐚 These Fisherman’s Huts are mere metres from the beach in the centre of Whitstable offering sea views and the perfect setting for a romantic getaway or a family break. Stylish, simple and cosy inside – you have all the basics for a special break on the beach.

🐚 The Crescent Turner Hotel sitting pretty on Wraik Hill, just outside Whitstable, this hotel had a recent revamp and boasts a fab restaurant. You can escape the crowds here for one of the best sundowner spots in Kent and if the mood takes you, stay the night in one of the 18 bedrooms – many with sea views.

🐚 Book ahead (it’s popular) and you can experience the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival in August. The event kicks off with the Landing of the Oysters and proud parade through the town. Cheer on competitors in the famous Oyster Eating Competition, spend an afternoon on the pull at the Mud Tug, take in the sea views and explore the Tankerton Food Fair. Make sure to hang about as the beautiful sight of the beach will be full of glowing Grotters at twilight.

🐚 The Sportsman in Seasalter – this pub has held a Michelin star for several years now and rightly so. On the surface it’s very low key – even describing itself on Twitter as the ‘grotty rundown pub by the sea’. All a bit tongue-in-cheek obviously – more that they just don’t buy into pretentiousness and there’s a really laid-back, relaxed atmosphere. Unsurprisingly fish dishes are a main feature.

🐚 An absolute must is the Whitstable Oyster Fishery Company, located on the beach this restaurant offers some of the very best oysters, fish and seafood in town. There’s a large terrace, two wood-panelled rooms and trendy lounge bar. The hand-written menu changes daily depending on the latest catch. Upstairs you’ll find the The Royal Native Oyster Stores, for luxury homewares and gifts as well as a more casual cafe experience. 

🐚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. If there’s room perch on their window-facing table and people watch – but the best way to eat these sumptuous slices is on the shingle beach.

🐚 Another favourite of ours is JoJo’s, an independent tapas restaurant in Tankerton. We love the tapas style menu and the food is always delicious and matched with the most friendly service. Top tip is to always have something from the special menu.

🐚 Tankerton Bay is on the fringes of Whitstable and, thanks to Whitstable Dreams, you can hire a gorgeous Beach Hut located on the much sought-after front row. Just a few minutes walk from Whitstable Harbour, the hut’s elevated position, with large decking area, makes it a perfect place to relax and watch the world go by. As well as beach hut hire, Whitstable Dreams also specialise in Whitstable based bell tent and campervan hire – glamping sorted!

🐚 The Old Neptune, or 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.

© Alison Avery

🐚 Mooch along higgledy-piggledy Harbour Street for an amazing range of independent shops selling anything from cool, curated and sustainable styles in Ruskin to vintage-inspired clothing at The Whiting Post (we heavily depleted their £10 rail – soz) of to the Aladdin’s Cave that is George’s of Whitstable. Head to Chappell Contemporary for some eye-catching art pieces for your wall and for foodie gifts for grown ups head to the specialist cheese store The Cheese Box – or for a gift for the kids make a beeline for the bright and beautiful sweet store, HoneyKanes. 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, which is so gorgeously quirky and nostalgic it hurts. When we say they have a great selection we really mean it –  real dairy ice creams, dairy-free ice cream, luxury sorbets, real fruit lollies and even four flavours of dog ice cream. (wow – or bow-wow!) It’s a seaside store too so you can stock up on buckets, spades and all the crabbing gear right here.

9 comments on “The best 12 things to do in Whitstable”

  • Diane B. May 19, 2022

    Whitstable has certainly changed since l lived there in the 80’s. I’m planning to visit there & Canterbury after 35 years!

    • aliagnew May 19, 2022

      Oh that is so exciting! I really hope they both live up to expectations – lots of changes I’m sure, but hopefully for the positive… Two very special towns there. xA

  • Harriet Graham May 17, 2022

    Don’t forget Afternoon Tea at The Whitstable Cake Company !!

    • aliagnew May 17, 2022

      Ah, yes, good suggestion. We set ourselves the challenge of limiting the list to 12 things – so great to hear more ideas in the Comments. Thanks for sharing x

  • Nicky May 16, 2022

    I’m glad you mentioned a family friendly option Nomad Pizza Whitstable – they’ve got kids’ size pizzas, a box of books to keep them occupied and you can order in advance from 4.30pm on the day – I find they are also bikes, dogs and sandy shoes friendly!

    • aliagnew May 17, 2022

      Ah, that’s lovely to hear Nicky! Yes, we love Nomad Pizza too – highly recommended! xAli

  • Ade May 13, 2022

    You missed out Harbour Street Tapas! Simply the best tapas in Kent!

  • Janet Groom May 13, 2022

    Great to hear about Things to do in Whitstable – don’t forget the lovely Whitstable Castle and Gardens… and their fabulous Orangery Tea Rooms.

    • aliagnew May 15, 2022

      Ah, wonderful recommendations Janet – thanks for sharing – add these to your list folks!x


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