The beaches at Whitstable are beautiful all year round. There is always something new to spot and on a cold winter’s day there is nothing nicer than to sit on a bench and take in the choppy view. When the tide is in there are fantastic swimming and kayaking opportunities. When the tide is out it’s a great excuse to wade out in the mud finding crabs and surprisingly smooth feet when they are rinsed off afterwards.
Where are the best spots ?
Marine Crescent and Long Rock
Set about two miles along the shore from Whitstable, Long Rock is an ideal spot for dog walking and exploring. At high tide it’s a long walk round to get to the beach, but when the tide is low a quick hop through the mud will take you to a relatively untouched and wild section of the coastline.
Just up from Long Rock are pebbled beaches, sectioned off by groynes, which provide a popular area for kite surfers. On a windy day it is worth heading down there to see some of the fantastic jumps and stunts that they pull. This area has the bonus of having street parking available and there are grassy slopes rolling down to the beach if sitting on stones isn’t for you.
This is a great section of coast, bordered by colourful beach huts and ideal for families. There are lifeguards, based in the lifeguard hut, on call during the summer and two pubs, The Royal and the Marine Hotel, available for when you might get thirsty. Above the beach are Tankerton Slopes, which host the Whitstable Regatta in August and provide space for an open air cinema during the Oyster Festival. There is free on-street parking and a public car park located on Tankerton Road at Pier Avenue.
The Whitstable ‘Street’
The Street only reveals itself at low tide, but is a beautiful stretch of shingle heading about half a mile in to the sea. Walking along it, one can find a multitude of shells and mother of pearl, perfect for skimming. Be careful of the tides though, they come in quickly, so if you feel water lapping at your feet it is time to turn back. Also it’s advisable not to swim on the beaches surrounding The Street as the currents are particularly strong.
Cushing’s View and the Oyster Fisheries
This is quite possibly the busiest beach in Whitstable because it is so close to the town centre. It is the perfect place to take in a Whitstable sunset and eat your fish and chips while they are still warm. The beach is also the main focus of Grotter building during the Whitstable Oyster Festival and there are regular outdoor music events during the summer months.
Whitstable West beach
The unmissable start of West beach is The Old Neptune, I think the only pub in Britain with a beach for a beer garden (although I could be wrong). With coloured houses along one side and the sea on the other, the view is picturesque and the beach is quieter in the summer. As you walk towards Seasalter the chance of finding an empty beach becomes greater and greater.