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Introducing Whitstable

Famous for its succulent oysters, which have been harvested off these warm shores since Roman times, Whitstable has an unspoiled charm far removed from other regional resorts. Still a humble fishing village at heart, its streets sport names like Squeeze Gut Alley and Skinner’s Alley, and a host of venerable old seafood restaurants. The shingle beach is barbed with rows of groins, but is a pretty stretch nonetheless, dotted with multicoloured beach huts and overlooked by sharp cliffs east of town. And from atop the grass-topped Tankerton Slopes you can spy the Street, a narrow shingle ridge stretching half a mile out to sea but only exposed at low tide.

The tourist office (275482; www.visitwhitstable.co.uk; 7 Oxford St; 10am-5pm Mon-Sat Jul & Aug, to 4pm Mon-Sat Sep-Jun) can help you find and book accommodation, while the nearby library (273309; 31-33 Oxford St; 9.30am-6pm Mon, Tue, Thu & Fri, to 1pm Wed, to 4pm Sat) can make you a temporary member to use its internet terminals.

The modest Whitstable Museum & Gallery (276998; www.whitstable-museum.co.uk; 8 Oxford St; admission free; 10am-4pm Mon-Sat year-round, plus 1-4pm Sun Jul & Aug) has good exhibits on Whitstable’s oyster and fishing industry.