The town has many beaches which are popular for swimming, watersports and sunbathing, Perhaps the most famous of these is the gorgeous, unspoilt Tankerton Beach, a pebble beach which offers some of Whitstable’s most stunning views. Tankerton Beach’s groins and colourful beach huts provide a timeless seaside charm, and visitors will be spoilt for things to see as on a clear day the seafront affords views of Southend, The Isle of Sheppey, The Maunsell Sea Forts and the Kentish Flats offshore wind farm. At low tide the waters recede to reveal ‘the street’, a shingle strip extending half a mile out to sea, which according to local lore was used by Roman troops for unloading cargo.
Other attractions include Whitstable Castle which is located on the suburb of Tankerton and border of Whitstable. Built by the Pearson family in the 1790s, and also known as Tankerton Towers, the castle is a wonderful example of mid-period Georgian architecture situated on the seafront just a short walk from the harbour. Serving these days as a highly sought-after venue for prestige events such as weddings and parties, the castle features a public park complete with extensive ornamental gardens, maintained by a team of gardeners working year-round to ensure every season is filled with colour and life. There is also a children’s play-area, perfect for kids to run around in, perhaps while you enjoy a spot of tea at the castle’s Orangery tea rooms, open seven days a week.
Whitstable’s tourist economy benefits hugely from the area’s great natural beauty, and as such the town places great importance in preserving the environment and working towards a greener future. Much of the power used by the town’s 70,000 households is generated by the 30 wind turbines of the Kentish Flats Offshore Windfarm, each of which measures a staggering 459 feet high.
Whitstable’s quaint seaside architecture provides a great deal of the town’s quirky charm, and the fascinating local history is hewn into the town’s very foundations. Whitstable grew up around the road to Canterbury (now the high street), and a network of alleyways sprung up to afford residents access to the sea, as well as to facilitate illegal trade in tobacco and spirits during the Napoleonic wars. These alleys are the veins and arteries of Whitstable, linking the homes, pubs, restaurants and shops with the heart of town, and their singular and curious history mirrors that of the town’s own growth over the centuries, and provides a glimpse into life in the Whitstable of the past, as well as a few amusing names and stories.
Whitstable is also home to England’s largest Village Green: The 52-acre swathe of public land at Duncan Down. Incorporating two ponds and a brook, the famous Duncan Down is an authentic slice of an more traditional Britain, offering fantastic views of the windmill and situated conveniently close to the sea and the Whitstable and Seasalter Golf Club. A must-visit for families with young children and pets, this picturesque green space is also a dream destination for nature lovers, with its friendly rabbit population, and wide array of flowers, including: birdsfoot trefoil, buttercup, clover, flax, ox-eye daisy, and vetch.
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