"Oysters, sailing boats and times gone by." Whitstable by planxty
Whitstable Travel Guide: 24 reviews and 76 photos
I have been visiting Whitstable for years for day trips. It is easily accessible from London, and I love this part of the country (see my other pages on Broadstairs, Herne Bay etc.) I don't really know the origin of the place, although it is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Witenestaple, which suggests a fairly ancient history.
Situated on the Kent Coast of the Thames estuary, the place has always been linked with seafaring and fishing (of various sorts). Oysters are perhaps what Whitstable is best known for and there is an annual oyster festival which apparently this follows a long tradition. The Romans, we are told, ate Whitstable oysters in almost industrial quantities. Indeed, oysters were one of the few things that Britain exported to the rest of the Roman Empire.
Nowadays, the fishing fleet is virtually gone, like most other UK fleets, a victim of illegal overfishing and EU regulations, although a few boats still hang on to a precarious existence. The most numerous craft here now are the flotilla of sailing dinghies that sit on the beach adjacent to the Yacht Club (see photo). The town now is is predominantly a daytrip venue from London, and a very nice one at that. Good rail and road connections make it an ideal place for a day away from the city.
Update April 2009. I have just revisited Whitstable again and spent a couple of days relaxing in this wonderful little town. The sun shone, we ate well, relaxed and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. I think I have fallen in love with this place all over again.
Probably Whitstable's most famous export, it is reported that Whitstable oysters were even sent to Rome in Roman times. This is a photo of the shells awaiting recycling (that is what it said on the sign), although what they are recycled for or into I have no idea.
An interesting building on the seafront, this was apparently the old Oyster store, and the royal warrant shows that the very highest in the land enjoyed the fruits of the sea from here. If you are wondering about the term native, there are two types of oyster cpmmonly available in Whitstable, the native which is seasonal and the Pacific which is available all year round.
The building itself is now an upmarket seafood restaurant.
- Pros:Nice beach, good seafood, easy access from London.
- Cons:Can't think of any.
- In a nutshell:A great daytrip from London.
Now, I don't want to mislead you, there is not an old German U-boat moored off the coast at Whitstable, rather it is the... more travel advice
My friend and I had decided on a couple of days away at Whitstable and looked at options for accomodation. We both stay... more travel advice
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