Oysters, not only me, but also Ralf and even my four-year-old daughter love it. I prefer them on a sunny afternoon with a glass of champagne, but you can secretly wake me up for it. In the Netherlands we regularly visited the famous oyster village Yerseke, where you can go to various oyster farms for the freshest oysters from Zeeland. Earlier I wrote something about our visit to this place, which you can read back here.
In London you can get these delicacy, but a little less fresh and cheap as we were used to in the Netherlands. Of course there is the famous fish market Billingsgate where you can get fresh fish and seafood, but it’s not always easy to go to. And there are restaurants and some local food markets that offer them. But you won’t get them as tasty and fresh as in Zeeland, I suspect.
Therefor we got very curious about the oyster village of Whitsetable in Kent, about an hour’s drive from London. The perfect getaway by the sea for a day or weekend. – Here’s why you should go to Whitstable, plus personal recommendations on where to stay.
Things to do in Whitstable
We were most looking forward to the food, we love seafood and in Whitstable you’re at the right place. As soon as you enter the coastal town, the restaurants show you on both sides that you’re entering a fishing village. Personally, I think the nicest thing is to get a fish along the water and so we parked our car just a bit outside the centre, where we could still easily walk to the harbor.
Along the water you’ll find restaurants and stalls where you can order fresh oysters, mussels and other fish. For example the Lobster Shack, where you can enjoy a delicious fish with a drink and a great view over the Whitstable Bay. – The East Quay, Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable CT5 1AB / open Mon till Sun from 12pm till 9pm
Another nice place to stroll around when you’re around the harbor is the local craft market where you can find handmade toys, accessoires, clothes, little sculptures and paintings. – Whitstable Harbour, The South Quay, Whitstable CT5 1AB / Open Mon, Thur & Fri from 11am till 5pm – Sat & Sun from 10am till 5pm
The most famous oyster stall is The Forge and can be found right next to the market and is known for its delicious oysters and craft beer. You have to stand in a line for a while, but it’s worthwhile. – 1 Sea Wall, Whitstable CT5 1BX / Open Mon till Sun from 9am till 8pm (Wed closes at 5pm)
If you like antiques and curiosities then you’re in the right place in Whitstable, in Oxford Street and High Street you’ll find several shops that make a collector’s heart beat faster. I am such a person, but because I was with my daughter and hubby, I skipped this part. Hunting on your own is always better, it can take time.
After a wonderful afternoon, we ended our visit at Whitstable Castle. Built in the late 1790s and was originally a private family home. It has known many owners since then and for 40 years in the mid-20th century to 1972, it was the offices for the Whitstable District Council. A local association was established in 1975 with the aim of making the castle available to the local population. – 15 Tower Hill, Whitstable CT5 2BW
The gardens are wonderful to stroll around and have a wide variety of unique plants that were established when the gardens were first laid out in the 18th century. On the lower terrace there are seats where you, as a visitor, can sit down and enjoy the beautiful view and the fresh sea air.
Children can enjoy the Dollar Dan’s Tankerton Cove, an imaginative and attractive playroom created with natural materials, surfaces of different textures, water, sand and level changes. It is intended for children up to 8 years and parental supervision is recommended for younger children.
Whitstable is definitely worth a visit, you can easily spend a whole day here, but a weekend with perfect weather can also be very nice. There are beach houses which you can rent and in the area you’ll find many hotels and B&B’s. Keep in mind that it can be very busy on weekends or during bank holidays. Therefor I would advice to book on time.