Whitstable is a fantastic place to use as a base for further adventures around East Kent. Once you’ve seen everything that Whitstable has to offer, there are some gems hidden away for you, and with good transport links they’re easy to get to as well.
Dominated by its towering medieval Cathedral and listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, Canterbury has a lot to offer a day visitor. Filled with historic buildings and brimming with history, there is something for all members of the family.
Take a walk around the Cathedral and learn about the grisly death of St Thomas Becket or visit the Canterbury Tales, based on the book by Geoffrey Chaucer, to get an interactive feel of medieval Canterbury. In the summer there are boat tours on the Stour, where guides will tell you the history of the town and show you hidden medieval buildings.
Alternatively, there are a number of museums in town where you can see Roman and Medieval artifacts, the original Rupert Bear books and Invicta, one of the very first steam locomotives.
Canterbury is easily accessible by bus from Whitstable town centre and has multiple car parks available should you choose to travel by car.
For a proper British seaside experience head to Herne Bay. Filled with ice cream parlours, cafes and arcades, the town offers a friendly and traditional day out. Check out the bandstand for live music or have a game of mini golf on the promenade.
A bit further down the coast is the Isle of Thanet, incorporating the towns of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs. Each town is quintessentially different from the other.
Margate has experienced a recent, retro, revival and is the location of Dreamland, the oldest amusement park in the country. Take a ride on the lovingly renovated, grade 2 listed, Scenic Railway (the oldest roller coaster in the UK) or have an icecream on the sandy beach. For art lovers, there is the Turner Contemporary, which hosts regular exhibitions by well known artists. Tucked away in the centre of the town is a stunning hidden gem. The Shell Grotto is a set of underground chambers painstakingly decorated with thousands of shells. Discovered in the 1830s, no-one has any idea why it was built or how old it is. It’s definitely well worth a visit.
Alternatively, visiting Ramsgate, you will find a town with a growing arts scene and a beautiful marina. Take in the view of the boats whilst enjoying handmade gelato or have a roast at the Belgian Cafe next to the Marina (huge portions and an almost infinite selection of Belgian beers.
Further down the coast is Broadstairs, a quintessential seaside town and home to Charles Dickens. Enjoy the sandy beaches and independent shops or catch the Folk Festival in the summer. It’s also worth visiting Botany Bay, a smuggler’s cove and popular beach. Take in the soaring chalk cliffs and see if you can spot any smuggler’s caves. The bay is named after the famous Botany Bay in Australia, as those found in possession of smuggled goods were deported there as a punishment.