Where fisherman’s cottages border Whitstable’s beach, Tankerton’s beach is approached by beautiful, green rolling slopes. Almost 1 ½ miles long, they are fantastic for a dog walk or a run and fitness groups regularly meet there in the mornings and evenings. At the base of the slopes are colourful, privately owned beach huts, which can be hired from some owners. They are a fantastic base for any day out on the beach.
Everyone in the area has his or her favourite place to sit and take in the sunsets, which, during the summer, are spectacular. Additionally, Tankerton Slopes are the site for the Whitstable Regatta. Held in mid-August, it is the oldest Regatta in the world and, while there aren’t so many boats involved nowadays, provides great family entertainment including a funfair, community stalls and fireworks.
In Winter, during rare snowfalls, The Slopes become the focus of sledging and most residents in Whitstable have, at some point, slid down them on a stolen For Sale sign. In Summer, they are there to enjoy barbeques and views or a football knockabout.
The Slopes are also the site for the open-air cinema, which takes place during the Whitstable Oyster Festival. Showing free films ranging from Dracula to West Side Story, turn up with a blanket or chair and a bottle and enjoy the film and the sunset in one go. July also sees the annual Classic Car Show, which fills the grassland with a wide variety of international historical cars and models.
Aside from their recreational value, Tankerton Slopes are also a site of special scientific interest and are host to the rare plant Hog’s Fennel and the two moths that it specifically supports. This explains why not all of the site is well mown.
Another interesting focal point is The Street, a narrow shingle spit that becomes visible at low tide. It’s great to walk along, but beware; the tide does come in quickly, so you don’t want to be caught short.
With free and easily accessible parking and a wealth of beaches available, Tankerton slopes are a must go to place in the area.