Guide to good cottage holidays in Whitstable, north Kent

Enjoy reading through our information guide as to what Whitstable has to offer for cottage holidays.  Holidaymakers come in their droves to eat oysters, enjoy the beach, sailing and to stay in the old fishing huts and holiday homes around the town.

coastal holiday home to rent whistable

Come for a short break or week in Whitstable

Whitstable is an old town situated on the North Kent coast, the first seaside stop on the modern railway line from London.  It was originally called Northwood and was later changed to Whitstable, made up of ‘whit’ meaning salt, and ‘stable’ meaning market place.  In 1837, when registered records were first made compulsory, there were 3,000 inhabitants and Whitstable was fast becoming a busy fishing port.  Whitstable oysters have been dredged for many years, and still are, and are well known all over the world.  Now, what better reason to holiday in Whitstable than oysters?

whistable holidays for oystersIn the early 19th century, there were numerous shipyards along the coast and with Whitstable harbour becoming busier, it was decided that a railway line should be built taking goods from the harbour inland to Canterbury, six miles away.  This was called The Crab and Winkle Line and there is a lovely restaurant in the harbour today called The Crab and Winkle in remembrance of this railway, together with a fish market below.  A railway bridge built at this time, which was the oldest railway bridge in the world, was unfortunately pulled down in 1969.  There has been an Oyster Festival held in the town for years and is still held for two weeks every July/August.

Stay near the tourist hot spot of coast, harbour and high steet

The High Street has changed over the last few years, but has remained one of small, individual and interesting shops.  With goods coming into the town in the 19th century, a vast majority of the population there involved in the industry, including numerous sailors and, of course, smugglers around.  There were as many as fifty pubs in Whitstable at one time, with about thirty remaining today, quite a few with original features.  There are numerous narrow alleyways between many of the shops and these have interesting names, such as Squeeze Gut Alley, with interesting stories as to how they got their names.

whitstable sea front

Whitstable boasts a Yacht Club, with a Sailing Club at Tankerton, which is part of Whitstable, and these have attracted many visitors from London, etc., who have purchased holiday homes in the area.  There is a ‘Castle’, built by a former resident, Wynn Ellis, and then taken over by the Council and used as offices.  Today, it is a function venue with a tea shop and bowling green and set in lovely gardens which are free to wander around.

Although the beaches are mostly pebbles, this does not deter the many holidaymakers who make use of the beaches in Whitstable and Tankerton and use the very long promenade at Tankerton for lovely walks with views of the estuary, the Isle of Sheppey and even Essex on a clear day. Cycling is popular along the coastal path from Whitstable, through Tankerton and on to Margate at the far east end of the Kent coast.

Tankerton beach huts

There are sporting venues such as a bowling alley, tennis courts and a small swimming pool and, of course, many organised trips - fishing, sailing, water skiing, etc.  Historic Canterbury is only a few miles away by bus or car.  What a shame they didn’t keep the railway open from Whitstable to Canterbury, which unfortunately closed in 1952, and would have been a wonderful attraction today.

We recommend weekend breaks and holidays in Whitstable

Whitstable is an interesting, well-looked after seaside town, with many varied attractions, including a small museum cataloguing the history of the town with memories of the several floods that have occurred over the years.  For those interested in history and outdoor pursuits, it is a wonderful town to visit for a self-catering holiday or day trip.

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Find a variety of places to stay in Whitstable

From Whitstable it is easy to enjoy trips to the Bluewater shopping Centre for designer shops, Canterbury, London to sightsee and the towns and villages of the north Kent coast.

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