A few weeks ago, in the mood for a day trip, a friend asked if I’d like to go to Whitstable with him to visit another one of his friends. Of course the answer was yes.
Whitstable in Kent has been on my day trip radar since a different friend went last summer and raved about the fresh oysters.
My first exposure to British seaside was Brighton on a warm June day last year. So, I wondered how we’d fare in Whitstable on a grey day in March. Needn’t have worried, temperatures in the 50s meant it was nice enough for us to stroll on the beach, and even drink a pint outside at a season pub.
With less than a full day to explore (we arrived at ~11 am, and left at 4:30 pm), we tried to balance exploring as much as possible with relaxing moments.
After getting off the train, we walked the direction of Whitstable’s high street to grab coffee at Blueprint Coffee. Definitely recommend- great espresso, and a cute cafe to sip coffee in.
Next, we wandered the high street for a pit- don’t miss Taking the Plunge, cute facade and handmade housewares / gifts inside.
We met up with a friend at Samphire Restaurant for an early lunch. I had the halloumi ‘taco’, and while it wasn’t an actual taco, it was ridiculously good.
Post lunch, we veered off the high street for more wandering. Shop wise, we stopped in Harbour Books, Flory & Black (homewares), and a local candy shop.
Next, we wandered the harbour for a bit- we enjoyed walking around the numerous food stalls and indoor fish market. Heading down the coast, our next stop was The Forge for freshly shucked oysters and what locals regard as the best doughnuts in Kent.
If you’ve heard of Whitstable, it’s likely because of the town’s connection with oyster shucking. Whitstable oysters have been farmed since Roman times, and be it shells on the sidewalk or oyster bars you can pop in, there are constant reminders of the city’s connection to the bivalve everywhere.
This part of Whitstable (start behind The Forge) has a lot of cute beach cottages, which we spent time weaving in and out of, trying to imagine what it would be like to holiday there routinely (answer: probably pretty great).
Continuing along the seaside, it wasn’t long before we reached Old Neptune, a dog-friendly seaside pub with plenty of outdoor seating. We grabbed chips, pints and sat down at one of the outdoor tables, watching dogs run all around us (Whitstable is the most dog friendly place I think I’ve ever been), and children playing on the pebbled beach.
Before heading back to the train, we popped in the Insta famous Wheelers Oyster Bar (swoon for this pink facade) for a few more oysters, and then The Black Dog for a final pint.
All in all, it was a wonderful day in Whitstable. We had plenty of time to see the best of the city’s charm, and left feeling relaxed- ready for the week ahead.
Have you ever been to Whitstable? What’s your favourite place in the UK for a day trip?