Situated in a seaside town like no other, Whitstable hotels are based in a town renowned for delicious oysters, boutique shops and historic buildings, all a short distance from the ancient city of Canterbury. You can choose from charming hotels such as the White Doves Cottage, the Oyster Guest House, and The Pearl Fisher. If you wish for Whitstable's beachfront practically on your doorstep, then explore your options at The Marine Hotel, or at Hotel Continental.
Whitstable harbour was built in 1832 to serve the ‘Crab and Winkle’ railway line that connected London and Canterbury and the steam ships that carried coal from one city to the other. One of the most popular tourist attractions in the harbour area is the world-famous Whitstable Fish Market, the best place to buy fresh fish and shellfish in the town. A seafood lover’s paradise, the fish markets are bursting with sustainably sourced fish. In the summer there are a number of events in the fish market, including BBQs and food festivals. Also along the harbour are cruise ships offering tours of the local area.
Away from the harbour you’ll find Whitstable Castle, a manor house built in the 1790s by Charles Pearson, a London merchant. The castle was the Pearson family residence until it was sold to Wynn Ellis, another London merchant, in 1835. The house changed hands several time over the following century until the Whitstable Urban District Council bought it in 1935. Today the castle and its grounds are a picturesque location for family picnics and romantic strolls.
Whitstable was once awash with illegal smugglers and the town’s thin alleyways served as a convenient escape route from the authorities. One of the most impressive surviving old alleyways is Squeeze Gut Alley, also known as Granny Bell's Alley. The name of the alley is said to have come from a game young boys would play in the area when they were being pursued by an overweight policeman.
Shops and restaurants
Whitstable is a great place to catch up with a spot of retail therapy. One of the nicest shopping locations is Harbour Street, full to the brim with chic boutique shops and cosy restaurants. You could very easily spend a day drifting from one colourful shop front to another, perusing through vintage clothes, antiques and seaside souvenirs.
No trip to Whitstable is complete without trying a meal of oysters. The most famous restaurant for seafood in Whitstable is The Crab and Winkle Restaurant, where you’ll find everything from oysters and crabs to lobsters and fresh fish. Also worth visiting is Wheelers Oyster Bar, one of the city’s best seafood restaurants. There are also plenty of other international restaurants, cafés and pubs dotted throughout the town.
If you decide to head south from Whitstable you’ll soon reach the ancient city of Canterbury, a cathedral city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition to a selection of high street shops and boutique independent stores, Canterbury is home to the historic Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Also in Canterbury are the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and the Canterbury Tales Experience. Head east along the coast from Whitstable and you’ll come across Herne Bay and Margate.
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