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The local area guide to living in Whitstable: The Local Area Guide

A short drive away from the city of Kent, Whitstable is a charming seaside retreat that lives up to stereotypes about the classic English seaside. Painted beach huts line shingle beaches and stalls sell fish and chips, while the quirky street names and sleepy atmosphere capture true English charm.

In an area that’s popular with retirees, likely because of the slow pace of life, Whitstable has enjoyed a surge of growth in popularity in recent years. The annual Oyster Festival, which celebrates the local delicacy every summer, sees large numbers of foodies flock to the town, and it’s a popular stop for those in the nearby town of Kent who are seeking a tranquil weekend break.

Information about the local residents

Whitstable has a high number of senior citizens, with around 65% of residents aged 65 or over – compared with the national average of 16%. The high number of retirees may also contribute to the low unemployment rates. The majority of the working age population are employed in retail or the public sector, and there’s also a thriving fishing industry in the town. Education is another large employment sector, likely due to the number of schools and universities in nearby Canterbury.

With the focus on tourism, the local government regularly undertakes schemes to improve the town’s tourism provisions. Additional shopping centres and retail developments have been discussed, hoping to boost the number of jobs in the town in turn.

Nearby schools

Most of the secondary-aged students in Whitstable attend the main school – The Community School. The school’s results are on the rise, with recent years seeing the number of Year 11 pupils that achieved five good GCSEs (grade A* to C) reach 37%.

There are several primary schools within the town, including those run by the Kent council, and Church-run establishments. The closest university can be found in Canterbury – four of them, in fact – with the most well-known being the University of York, regularly voted one of the world’s top 100 performing universities.

Getting around

There are excellent public transport links in Whitstable, with two trains an hour running directly to central London. Other frequent routes include Margate, Broadstairs, and Dover Priory, and there are also coaches that run between Whitstable and major cities like Canterbury and London. Within the town itself there are frequent bus routes, but for most locals who like to take advantage of the town’s small size and scenic setting, walking is the preferred method of getting around.

The closest airports are in London, and with the train links to the city, international travel isn’t difficult. Direct trains – from Whitstable’s own station - run during morning and nights on weekdays, linking to Cannon Street in London, making the town an ideal spot for commuters.

Local shops

Whitstable is a popular seaside destination, and many visitors stop by for a day at the beach and some top-quality seafood. The shingle beaches are said to be worth a visit all year round, and the town celebrates a number of festivals every year, such as May Day and the Whitstable Oyster Festival.

The town itself is lined with the quaint gift and craft shops, bakers, stalls and cafes that you’d expect to see in a coastal town, as well as a number of pop-up stalls that appear over summer to draw in extra tourists. There’s also the playhouse, which puts on regular performances and is a great way to finish a day of sightseeing.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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