I am pretty sure that not many people have heard of Whitstable Castle – neither had I until a few weeks ago! You will see from the photos that it is really a country house complete with turrets, but it is very pretty. We had been told that the cafe is lovely, which it is, they do a gorgeous fruit scone with cream and jam, which we had for our lunch!!! Not a good diet I know but nice for a treat The Castle is set in a public park, which I am sure is lovely later in the year, February is not the best time of year for walking round gardens.
The back of the Castle.
Actually my friend and I were heading for Herne Bay seafront and The Shell Grotto in Margate but we thought it was a good idea to go to the furthest point first and work our way back. I have to say the Castle was a lovely surprise, and is one of those lovely unknown gems. The house is not open to the public as such, as it is used as a community centre, the day we were there numerous Adult Education classes going on in the building. The venue is also used for weddings, a lovely venue for that special day.
The front of the castle, showing the Orangery Tea Room on the right.
The Orangery Tea Room
The Orangery Tea Room is part of the house, as I have said it is a very good tea room. I did manage to see part of the house as I had to go and wash my hands after all that cream and jam, and a very friendly lady showed me the upstairs facilities!! The interior is beautiful, very pretty rooms and a beautiful wooden staircase, but as I was unsure if it was ok to take photos I behaved myself….almost!
After leaving Whitstable we drove down the road to Herne Bay and had a very cold walk along the seafront to the pier, well what is left of the pier, as it was badly damaged in storms in the 1970’s and the whole of the central part of the pier has now disappeared leaving the pier head stuck out at sea, with just a small part of the pier entrance left for the public to walk on. There are plans to rebuild the pier, which would be wonderful if it happens, I am sure the views from the pier head would be amazing.
Herne Bay beach
Having walked off a very small part of our scone we headed back to the car and made our way back towards Margate. Now you know I have been to the Shell Grotto before, but I had come into Margate from a different direction this time. I knew roughly where it was, but we drove round and round and round……after about half an hour we actually found the Grotto – it was closed!!!! Not to worry we have a good excuse to escape another day now don’t we?? And this time maybe we will find the Shell Grotto without too much trouble!