Want to buy something different, without the hassle, while enjoying a day by the sea?
Whitstable is the place; a unique little town on the north Kent coast, with bags of character - yet only a stone’s throw from London. Famous for its oysters, alleys and artists, Whitstable is worth a day out shopping or a whole weekend of retail therapy combined with seaside ambiance.
Apart from being beautiful to look at, it is full of interesting little shops (not the usual high street chains), where you can pick up gifts from pennies to hundreds of pounds.
If you are looking for a piece of local artwork, handmade jewellery or designer clothes you will find it here – without the pushing and shoving of the city! But if it’s just an unusual knick-knack, a kite, a delicious cheese or heavenly cupcake, Whitstable has that too.
Yes the chain stores are slowly moving in, but they have yet to make their mark. Whitstable strives to retain its character as a town that does not look like it could be just anywhere.
The beauty of the place is that you can combine the shopping with a wonderful meal at the numerous restaurants or just go for the good old seaside fish’n’chips. Blow away the cobwebs with a brisk walk along the beach, watch the boats in the harbour, have a break in the independent little coffee shops, or sit and watch the sunsets that the town is famous for.
It is such a beautiful place, that you may even find yourself staying over for a full weekend, and having another day to explore and maybe go for even more unusual retail therapy.
You will not be disappointed.
Whitstable is on the North Kent Coast. Easily accesible from London on the A2 / M2 and then the A299. It has a train station within walking distance of the town and beach.
Google map: bit.ly/rqDl8R
A gem of a bookshop, squeezed in a picturesque row of independent shops, in this seaside town more famous for oysters than books. Harbour Books is a tardis, crammed full of tempting titles. The wonderful staff have an amazing knowledge of the stock and every personal recommendation has never yet disappointed. A fair proportion of the stock is carefully selected remaindered titles, meaning great variety at a good price (many are under £3). This shop certainly stocks some best-sellers, but even more likely are many great reads that have just not made the mass-market. The children’s section has produced endless presents and its quality can be assured by my 10-year-old niece who asks in equal delight if we can go to the bookshop and traditional sweet shop next door. The most telling sign is that it is impossible to visit without a purchase (or so my own small scale research has found).
21 Harbour Street, Whitstable, Kent CT5 1AQ
+44(0)1227 264 011
Google map: bit.ly/dqM3fu
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