East Kent's average annual rainfall is about 728 mm (29 in); October to January being the wettest months.[31] The national average annual rainfall is about 838 mm (33 in).[32] A recent drought caused Mid Kent Water to impose a hosepipe ban between August 2005[34] and February 2007.[35]

The main activities at the harbour are fishing, fish processing, cargo handling and boat storage.[40] The harbour area is the site for other industries such as tarmac manufacturing and a maintenance port for an offshore windfarm.[41] Business parks located on the outskirts of the town provide premises for large retailers, offices and light industries.[42]

The playwright and novelist W. Somerset Maugham was sent to live with his uncle in Whitstable, at age 10, after the death of his parents.[80] His novels Of Human Bondage (1915) and Cakes and Ale (1930) are set in the fictional town of Blackstable. It is likely that he based this town on Whitstable, as the names and description of places around Blackstable, including The Duke of Cumberland Inn and Joy Lane, are identical to places around Whitstable.[81]

Wondering where to dine out in Whitstable? Browse our selection of restaurants.

In 1830, one of the earliest passenger railway services was opened by the Canterbury and Whitstable Railway Company; in 1832, the company opened Whitstable harbour and extended the line to enable passage to London from the port. The railway has since closed but the harbour still plays an important role in the town's economy.

We have two new exciting additions to the festival this year – The Shuck, our very own showcase restaurant, bar and performance venue - and The Oyster Bed, a family campsite overlooking the bay. The Shuck and camping tickets are on sale and are going fast, so don't let yourself be disappointed.

The Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre opened in March 2004 as part of the Horsebridge redevelopment. Built with an "upturned boat" design, and three floors totalling 900 square metres (9,700 sq ft), the centre contains an art gallery, a performance space, art workshops, a learning area, and conference rooms.[55][56] The building in 2004 won the Kent Design Award in the Town and Village Renaissance category.[57]

England's most charismatic chunks of chalk, chic eateries, boutique sleep spots, history-rich ports and prime golf courses, make Dover a must-see stretch of the Kent coast.

The town is a popular destination for watersport enthusiasts. Established in 1904, the Whitstable Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in England and takes part in local and national competitions throughout the year.[72] Each year, the town hosts the International Waterski Championships.[73]

The town claims to have the largest village green in England at Duncan Down (52 acres (210,000 m2)).[70][71]

Hop on board one of the county’s glorious steam trains and explore the Garden of England from a whole new perspective.

The Playhouse Theatre Whitstable is owned and administered by theatrical group, The Lindley Players Ltd. The theatre is regularly hired out to other local groups such as The Canterbury Players, Herne Bay Operatic Society, Theatrecraft & The Deborah Capon College. More recently Nick Wilty has adopted the venue to host the OyOyster Comedy nights, attracting stars such as Harry Hill, Jo Brand and Paul Merton.[54]

A very unusual (some say unique) shingle spit locally named "The Street" extends into the sea to the east of the harbour, formed by the local currents. It is exposed at low tide, and visitors, ignoring the warning signs, are sometimes trapped by the advancing tide, needing to be rescued by the local RNLI lifeboat. See Culture: Attractions and Landmarks below.

The South Quay, The Harbour, Whitstable CT5 1AB

Whitstable is the hometown of the narrator, Nancy Astley, in Sarah Waters' 1998 novel Tipping the Velvet.[82] Whitstable also featured in the 2002 BBC drama adaptation.[83] The Old Neptune Pub on the seafront was used as a filming location for the 2006 movie Venus, for which the actor Peter O'Toole earned an Academy Award nomination.[84]

A large number of shops are independently owned and shoppers can delight in the town's Bohemian charm.

Whitstable Adult Education Centre runs adult learning courses.[50]

The town is criss-crossed by numerous small alleys, once used by fishermen to reach the beach. Many of these are now registered as public rights of way and are still in frequent use. Squeeze Gut Alley whose name suggests (erroneously) that most people have to walk sideways due to its narrowness, is one of the more notable.[69]

Whitstable's secondary school is The Community College Whitstable. It is a secondary modern school which changed its name from Sir William Nottidge School in 1998. In 2009, 25% of its pupils gained at least five GCSEs at grades A*–C – this increased to 37% in 2011.[46] The School was rated 'Requires Improvement' by Ofsted in March 2015.[47]

There are monthly beach cleans carried out alone the Whitstable sea front. They are organised by the Canterbury Council Foreshore service in conjunction with the Marine Conservation Society. The location of the beach clean alternates each month between the beach by the Neptune pub and the Sea salter end. Times and dates can be obtained for the Fore shore services or the MCS South East Groups website, calendar page.

Find out what events are taking place in Whitstable. From festivals to theatre.

Along the coast at Tankerton, grassy slopes dip to meet the sea throwing out an invitation to visitors and locals to walk along the prom and take in some bracing sea air. There's a chance too to get unsurpassed views of Whitstable's skyline from The Street, a wide ridge of shingle stretching out to sea, but only revealed when the tide is low.

Whitstable is famous for oysters, which have been collected in the area since Roman times and are celebrated at the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival.

Whitstable has a local radio station in KMFM Canterbury which also serves Canterbury and Herne Bay. It was previously known as CTFM, until it was taken over by the KM Group in September 2007.[79] County-wide station Heart Kent (formerly Invicta FM) is based on the John Wilson business park in the town.

My show will consist of bright and colourful paintings which will compliment most of today's homes I am influenced by childhood memories of beach huts,... at Horsebridge Arts and Community Centre

Visit Canterbury and discover some of the best things to do in Canterbury. You'll discover why it's the jewel in Kent's crown. Buzzing with a youthful vibe thanks to the universities, Canterbury also excels at the historic. Parts of the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral date back to the 11th century. Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered there in 1170, one of of medieval Europe's great places of pilgrimage and knowledge. 

Looking for accommodation in Whitstable? Take a look at our selection.

With its sense of intimacy and rich character Whitstable has secured a favoured spot in the hearts and minds of all who visit the town.

We look forward to seeing you here this summer !

Whitstable is like no other town by the sea. Its traditional charms, strong arts culture and rich maritime history complement Whitstable's modern appeal.

Head to the Hythe Imperial on 8th October for an unmissable tribute of the coolest cats of all time ruling the Las Vegas & Hollywood during the 50's and 60's.


The geology of the town consists mainly of London Clay (which covers most of North Kent).[28] Much of the centre of the town is built on low-lying marshland. Sea walls are in place to prevent coastal flooding. The land in the east is higher, with slopes down to the coast at Tankerton.[29] The whole of the north-east Kent coast has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.[30]

Enjoy sixteen days of art, literature, music and film curated in response to the spectacular Thames Estuary in Gravesend.

Discover the family home Sir Winston Churchill. Explore the house, the range of memorabilia and try fresh produce from the garden.

Who will you be travelling with?

The Whitstable Museum and Gallery displays artefacts and portraits relating to the town's seafaring traditions, with special features on oysters, diving and shipping. In 2001, the Museum was awarded the international Nautiek Award for services to diving history.[53]

The ethnicity of the town was 98.2% white, 0.8% mixed race, 0.2% Chinese, 0.4% other Asian, 0.2% black and 0.2% other. The place of birth of residents was 95.5% United Kingdom, 0.6% Republic of Ireland, 1.2% other Western European countries, and 2.7% elsewhere. Religion was recorded as 74.8% Christian, 0.3% Muslim, 0.3% Buddhist, 0.2% Jewish, 0.1% Hindu and 0.1% Sikh. 15.8% were recorded as having no religion, 0.4% had an alternative religion and 8.1% did not state their religion.[39]

Off the coast of Whitstable is a windfarm, consisting of 30 wind turbines, each 140 metres (459 ft) high, providing enough electricity to power 70,000 households.[63] A now-redundant offshore World War II sea fort is visible from the town's coast.[64] Sailing trips are available from the harbour to the windfarm, the sea fort and a seal watching spot in the Thames Estuary.[65]

Whitstable offers a variety of attractions on the North Sea coast.

Tourist Information Centre, Beaney Art Museum and Library, 18 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RA Tel: 01227 862162 Email: canterburyinformation@canterbury.gov.uk