Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

Whitstable

A characterful town on the north Kent coast, Whitstable looks out towards Essex across the Thames Estuary and the Isle of Sheppey across The Swale. The big attraction is the unspoilt nature of the place – a traditional seaside resort with long pebble beaches and a working harbour that supports a lively fish market – but it’s also a town with sophisticated restaurants, excellent pubs and a thriving artistic community, whose recent gentrification has led to it being dubbed ‘Islington-on-Sea’.

History

‘Witenestaple’ appeared in the Domesday Book, but the area’s history goes back even earlier; in Roman times oysters were exported from here all across the Roman Empire. Oysters continued to be the town’s claim to fame right up to the 1950s, when they all but died out: it is only in the last 10 years or so that the traditional industry has been revived. In the Middle Ages, Whitstable was the main port for Canterbury, just five miles away, and in 1830 the world’s first steam-hauled railway was opened, connecting the two places – the old line is now a cycle path, the Crab and Winkle Way. The railway, and Thames shipping, along with the fame of the oysters, attracted Victorian holiday-makers to what became a thriving bathing resort.

Whitstable gallery 2983 large large

Whitstable

Unspoilt, incandescent Kentish shores, renowned dining and a lively fish market.
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