A couple of weeks ago, I headed down to the lovely seaside town of Whitstable, out there on the Thames Estuary. Close to the Cathedral City of Canterbury, it is actually quite a charming little spot to take in some of the seaside air and to get a view of life, beyond the great metropolis. And luckily for me, it was a sunny day!
The British seaside has a huge tradition in this country. Starting with the Victorians but persisting to this day, the tradition is as follows: Queue up on a train/in traffic to get to the seaside. Exit said mode of transportation. Walk around the sea, flick some sand at each other, eat some fish and chips, have an ice cream and head back home to bed in the city before 9pm.
And because, really, that is day to the British seaside, I have avoided it at all costs. I have been to more seasides abroad than in this country. Okay, pick a country without a huge coastline like the USA, and I have still seen more seaside over there than in the UK, with its long and easily accessible coastline.
One thing being on the coast (or technically in the Thames Estuary) is that fishing is big business here. Still. You do get Oyster’s served up in buckets (what better way is there to sample such delights?). But for some reason in recent years, the oysters have moved away. The water has got too warm. Some blame the London Array, which is easily visible from all over Whitstable, and some blame added pollution. But whatever, the climate and the seaside is changing. For, this area is the place that will be blighted by Boris Island, should that project ever get off the ground. But for now, that development, should it ever happen, is a generation away. And you bet that the residents will fight tooth and nail to make sure it is not built. After all, Whitstable is famed for being one of the happiest places in this part of the UK. A saunter down any of its streets will reveal families galore. Oh yes, this is where you come to live and raise children, The town is a bohemian hive of activity, with artists and readers of the Observer living here in droves, somehow making (quite a good living) from doing very little work…ah, nothing like a good grant to keep you in pocket…
One thing to mention is the castle that overlooks the town. Now, this castle is a folly. It is not real, in the sense it was not built for any defensive purpose during the turbulent Medieval period. In fact most of it is around 150 years old, built by a rich Victorian gentleman…as a place to keep his mistress…yeah, not exactly a subtle occurrence…imagine the conversation between his wife and himself.
So do take a trip, if you fancy it. I do not venture often to this part of the world, but I thoroughly recommend it. Whitstable is a fantastic little place to while away a day or so, and as trips to the easide goes, it is rather fun…
(sorry for the picture quality, but they were taken on the 3DS – not that great a camera…)