We were treated to a mini tour by Catriona, creative tourism specialist2 starting from the edge of Seasalter along the coastal footpath, past the golf course, over the railway bridge and along the beach where we came upon the ‘Cultural Baton’7 a small shiny airstream caravan, parked on the beach where we were invited to make a boat and given a beautifully made map of Kent showing the journey made by the artists around Kent. Then we walked past Peter Cushings House (according to the blue plaque) and past various stalls selling seafood delights and freshly ground coffee toward the harbour and the ‘Crab and Winkle’4 which I had to be winkled out of, after enjoying a plate of oysters and one of my favourite dishes; savoy cabbage and bacon with crème fraiche. I didn’t think the day could improve after such a satisfying lunch but we finally tore ourselves away with the youngest clutching a large crab claw by way of a souvenir (and yes, it will be some time before we forget our visit as the car will carry the smell of that crab claw for weeks to come!).
Catriona then took us along the Island Wall street, so we could ‘ooh’ and ‘ah’ at some of the architectural treasures along its way, such as the Horsebridge Arts Centre5 and the lovely Kentish Clapboarded cottages, we were all delighted to make it safely through ‘Squeeze Gut Alley’ and then to come across ‘Starboard Light Alley’ where the hulk of an old oyster yawl ‘The Favourite’ built in 1890 and retired in 1944 has come to rest, finally coming upon Windy Corner Stores6 in Nelson Road before returning to our journeys start, for chocolate cake and tea surrounded by Kentish Apple trees. If only every Sunday could be like this! As it was, we know we have to come back, we’ve yet to see the Castle, the museum and to fully explore Marine Parade, Tankerton and then there’s Faversham creek along the coast…. But huge thanks to Catriona for sharing her insider knowledge and exciting both our palate and our imaginations with a brief walking tour of Whitstable.