The Charm of the British Seaside in Kent- A Summers Day in Whitstable and Herne Bay

The British seaside transports your back in time with its irresistible quaint charm. It has many faces, from old charming architecture to bright, vivid colours to fun beach days. Come with me to the English seaside to Whitstable and Herne Bay in Kent for an authentic summer day at the British seaside in this blog post.


It takes about 90 minutes to travel to the coast with a high-speed train from Kings Cross train station. Part of the journey is on the Eurostar fast track, then goes slower once it moves towards the coast. Nonetheless, it’s an easy and enjoyable journey.

Whitstable is a walkable distance from the train station to the town. Did you know that the town was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086? It became a fishing community and Canterbury’s main port in 1700, mainly for coal.

It was designed as a Heritage town in 1980 with its maritime character, and guess what it’s famous for? Oysters! In 1850 there were 80 oyster boats in the fleet, harvesting over 50 million oysters in a year. Nowadays, before walking into town, you can treat yourself to a platter of oysters at the Harbour Market.

Whitstable beach huts

The town is a pretty sight, the streets are lined with old buildings harmoniously blended with new ones. You will find many independent boutiques and quaint and quirky shops where you can find unique fashion styles. There are many healthy places to eat and fancy coffee shops to stop at for lunch.

Whitstable Town

While I loved the town, I was a bit disappointed by the Harbour. Maybe I didn’t wander far enough and was confused by a noisy large factory plant that completely ruins the Harbour ambience. I felt I was missing something to create engaging visuals with my camera. I decided to hop on the local bus to Herne Bay.

Herne Bay

Herne Bay was a buoyant seaside resort in the early twentieth century with single-storey shops decorated with ironwork above the roof line of the central promenade. When I stepped off the bus in the middle of town, I felt that it was in a dire state. Many of the buildings were in a state of much-needed TLC. I didn’t know what to expect as the houses looked shabby. I decided to walk to the seaside, through one of the main streets.

Herne Bay was much more down-to-earth than Whitstable, with no fancy coffee shops, more like a traditional English seaside resort with fish and chips shops. When I arrived at the beach, I uncovered another side of Herne Bay with a street lined with beautiful, colourful regency homes. I love the Regency architecture style and was completely blown away by these beautiful houses restored in a modern style.

Herne Bay Sea Front
Herne Bay Seafront with beautiful regency homes

The pebble beach is across from a calm sea. The sky with a blue and grey colour palette created the perfect holiday postcard. It was past 2.30 pm, and I still didn’t have lunch. I choose a Turkish restaurant and opted for a feta salad the perfect summer lunch with cracking cucumbers, olives and tomatoes served with iced coffee. I had lunch outdoors overlooking the seaside. It felt like being on a holiday.

Herne Bay Seafront with the Pier
Herne Bay Pier and Beach

I continued my walk along the beach towards the pier, which looked like all English seaside resorts pier, with fun fairs and stalls. I watch people standing along the balustrade pier holding water buckets, fishing for crabs. It was fun to watch the children’s amazement playing with the crabs swimming in the see-through buckets. I do hope that they put the crabs back into the sea when going home! Not sure you could even eat these as they looked very small.

Herne Bay Beach Huts from the beach and the back

If I chose to go spend the day in Herne Bay, it was to photograph the beach huts at the end of the beach towards Hampton Beach. I could spot the huts in the distance, walking on the pebble beach toward the huts. I watched the families sitting in the front of the hut while the children were playing in the water. I decided to take a higher viewpoint for a better sight of the huts and walked up the main street where I could see the line of wooden beach huts. It looked like a piece of art with a varied colour palette, some huts standing out in a pastel colour hue and stripy colours. I loved the sight of it and stood there for at least an hour photographing the huts, walking on the beach and letting the time go by.

Herne Bay Beach Huts on the sea front
Herne Bay Beach Huts on the sea front
Herne Bay Beach Huts on the sea front

The British Seaside can be a charming and romantic place to visit, a little escape from the stresses of urban life. Visiting places like Whitstable and Herne Bay is a perfect excuse to escape the city for the day or even stay for the weekend by the sea. The towns offer plenty in terms of daytime and nighttime entertainment. Shop till you drop in Whitstable independent boutique and have fish and chips on the beach. These places are the perfect little getaway from the hustle and bustle and everyday stressors of urban life.

PS. Share your comments about your favourite English Seaside Resort. Have you been there? Would you like to visit?

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