follow the signs and you can't be far off
Mention Whitstable to the Londoner and you'll get two vastly different responses - "Oh, the oysters place!" or simply a blank stare.
Whitstable located in southeast England is just over an hour's train ride from London's Victoria train station (20 quid for return ticket). It is unlike the many other more commercial seaside towns in the region; it doesn't have vibrant nightclub scene of Brighton, the cheap casinos and bingo clubs of Southend-on-the-Sea, and Dover's white cliffs that draw tourists by the trainloads. It doesn't even have Portmouth-styled giant shopping mall stuffed with high end brands.
everything goes slow in Whitstable, which suits me just fine
the defunct theatre converted to a bingo hall, the one only that I came across
I wouldn't be surprised that a significant number of visitors to Whitstable are return visitors for Whitstable has a unique charm of its own. Those who have, like me, grown tired of familiar high street brands that seem to have popped up in every other towns in the UK will find much relief in Whitstable. Other than a couple of high street bank branches and three supermarket chains (a defunct Woolworth inclusive), In fact, I couldn't find a single MacDonald's, Starbucks or Waterstone's along its High Street and Harbour Street.
this doubles up as an ice-cream van as well
And nope, there's pier with tacky theme parks at Whitstable as well. But it does have a lazy pebbled beach with rows of beach houses thrown in.
What Whitstable has to offer is a variety of well-stocked charity stores, delightful craft and furnishing shops, galleries mostly with artworks depicting coastal scenes of the seaside towns, cosy book stores, comfortable tea rooms, and more than its fair share of oyster bars feeding on the large oyster catchment just off its coast.
a hog stands guard
feeling peckish? how about some fresh catch?
a small dock harbours the fishing boats
keeping Whitstable unique is serious business here
Interestingly, Whitstable is the first town where I actually wanted to post just pictures 'cause words would have done it injustice. But I figured that I'll split it up into a couple of posts on a couple of highlights - Harbour Books store, its thriving oyster trade, its beach and tea rooms.
So sit back and enjoy, my friends.
Whitstable beaches 2/5
Whitstable oyster paradise 3/5
Whitstable Harbour Books 4/5
Whitstable Tudor Tea Rooms 5/5