Whitstable is a coastal town in Kent. It is siuated just north of Canterbury, and not far from Margate, and the English Channel. It has a rich history, and has been known for oyster production since Roman times, as well as fishing of all kinds. The town became a popular holiday destination after the rise of the railways. By the late 1830s, the harbour had been expanded for use in the coal trade, as well as for fishing, and Victorians liked nothing better than to visit the town to indulge in their passion for eating oysters, which at the time, were a comparatively cheap food.
These days, the oyster production continues, alongside a busy fishing industry. However, the town’s proximity to the affluent London suburbs has increased the demand for second homes near the sea, and a selection of arty shops and businesses, as well as some exclusive restaurants, have taken over much of the high street. My cousin, Keith, moved there ten years ago, and he has just retired, after a long career with the British Transport Police. As we were only forty minutes away, we arranged to go to see him, and we were blessed with warm and sunny (if breezy) weather for the whole day.
After lunch, we strolled through the harbour, where large and small fishing boats were much in evidence. The dark brown wooden buildings are home to small businesses, or still used as oyster sheds and fish stalls.
We strolled through the town, eventually arriving at the Old Neptune. This friendly pub is situated right on the beach, and was very busy. We sat outside, a few yards from the sea, and enjoyed a drink. This is Julie and Ollie, with my cousin. The shot is looking east along the beach, in the direction of Tankerton. Ollie had to have his lead on here, so doesn’t look too happy!
After a cup of tea back at Keith’s, we said our farewells, and headed back to the house in Gravesend. It was a most enjoyable day, and a great way to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary.