The Victorian seaside resort of Herne Bay, with its historic pier that has a funfair at the end, and with beach hut shops, selling a range of items including, of course, the traditional essential – buckets and spades – means it is a brilliant place to visit. Herne Bay is a quintessential coastal town, with arcades and rides along the front and the pier.
A must is a visit to The Seaside Museum, where the town’s history and its coastal influences are highlighted. The accumulation of items for a museum for Herne Bay dates back to 1932 with collections on seaside pastimes, the 1953 flood (a fascinating story of the town’s history) and the Dambusters prototype Bouncing Bomb. There is a new statue of Sir Barnes Wallis, the bomb’s designer, near where he held the trials off of the shores of Herne Bay.
The Herne Bay Pier is the town’s iconic attraction, which is also host to a number of regular events. Nearby you can walk on water along the boardwalk, known as Neptune’s Arm, an offshore breakwater that was built to protect some vulnerable areas because the town’s flood defences were considered inadequate.
Aviation history is honoured with the statue of Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930. The statue is close to where she was last seen before her plane crashed into the Thames Estuary near the town. There is also a wooden Biplane Bench at the front of the pier to commemorate her aviation achievements.
Visit the town’s vaired range of outlets and independent retailers and eateries. Don’t miss a visit to the King’s Hall, an impressive Edwardian building with original features. It offers a range of entertainment, including live music, comedy, festival events and much more. Plus you can enjoy the seafront location in its cafe.
After all the sights and rides, take a rest in the town or seaside gardens, with a seafront play area, which is also host to a number of summer events and festivals that showcase the town’s vibrancy.
Nearby, the Reculver Towers and Roman Fort is an impressive sight right on the coast, and the imposing twin towers of the medieval church dominate the skyline acting as a navigation marker for ships at sea.
Close by too is another attraction not to miss, Wildwood, a conservation of British wildlife home to over 200 native animals from past and present, including bears and wolves. It is set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland that showcases the animals in a natural environment.
It’s not hard to see why both these towns are popular with local, national and international visitors.
In nearby Whitstable, famous for its oysters and the festival of the same name, there are many artistic attractions, with lots of galleries as well as the Horsebridge centre, an arts venue that includes exhibitions, films and shows. Plenty of galleries if an art trail is on the agenda, it is a perfect town for that and some retail browsing. Whitstable Harbour, with stalls offering fresh seafood, including the famous Whitstable oysters, is a must on any visitor’s list.
Boat trips, photographic tours and the nearby Castle all make Whitstable and its surrounding countryside a great area to explore and enjoy. Plenty of cycling routes to see more of the landscape too, including the Oyster Bay Trails linking the two towns. Or the Crab and Winkle Way is also a popular trail. The beaches are pretty great too…
It is not hard to see why both these towns are popular with local, national and international visitors.
See Kent, Know Kent.
Picture credits top to bottom: © Herne Bay Pier Trust © Whtstable Beach by Dan Senior on Unsplash © Reculver Towers and Roman Fort, English Heritage.