Nowadays Whitstable is still easily accessible by train, being just over an hour from London, and this has contributed to its popularity with Londoners hungry for seafood, to the point where it has earned the nickname Islington-On-Sea. The Oyster Festival is obviously a big draw, but added to that is a thriving arts scene and an abundance of charming fisherman’s cottages and of alleyways formerly used by smugglers. Attractive shops, restaurants and cafes all add to the appeal of the town. A reminder of the earlier days of the oyster trade is on display on the Island Wall, the road running parallel to the beach: a restored example of a vessel known as the “oyster yawl”, this particular one named Favourite. During the Oyster Festival, children are invited to come to the beach to revive the tradition of “grotters”, glowing shrines built of oyster shells to mark St James’ Day.
For events in Whitstable and surrounding area see here.
Map of the area.