Whitstable Beach has a huge presence in the town. Even when the waves aren’t within view, reminders of the seaside are everywhere, from the souvenirs sold around town to the oysters served on restaurant plates. Spend an afternoon basking in the sun and strolling on the beach then watch the sun sink into the horizon while sipping an ale in a beachside bar.
The beach is a stretch of shingle patrolled by swooping gulls and lined with wood-clad cottages. It is central to Whitstable’s identity and the first stop for most visitors.
Splash around in the waters and try your hand at watersports. Windsurfing and sailing are both popular activities here. If you’d rather stay dry, go for a walk instead. When the tide is out, the large mud flats are good for crabbing.
Walk east along the promenade past the harbor to reach Tankerton Slopes. Bring your camera to take pictures of the colorful beach huts, an iconic image of this resort. These are privately owned and used as changing facilities and to shelter from the wind and sun.
Walk west from Whitstable and head toward the town of Seasalter, where things tend to be a little quieter. The path here forms part of the Saxon Shore Way long-distance footpath.
Return to the town’s main beach for sunset. On sunny evenings, crowds gather in the Old Neptune, a delightful pub at the edge of the shore. Scenes from the 2006 movie Venus were shot here. Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Oscar for his role in this comedy-drama. If you’re hungry, head to one of the nearby seafood restaurants or pick up a bag of fish and chips to eat while watching the waves.
While summer is the busiest time at the beach, winter also attracts visitors for its altogether different charms. Come here during the colder months when the rough waves have a hypnotic quality and the grey sky and empty shorefront bears a kind of desolate beauty.
Whitstable Beach is located by the harbor, within easy walking distance of most places in the town.