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Tuesday 26 September 2017

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Whitstable – the north Kent coast’s haven for a little soul therapy

Whitstable beach at sunset

There is a deep desire inherent in all of us to find some kind of retreat, an almost meditative state where we can align ourselves with our Universe; where all will be well with us and our World. Finding somewhere in which to achieve this most blissful of conditions can be another matter. We have all pondered on that secluded retreat; somewhere we can go and sit in a field and look at a tree, and feel the pleasant warmth of enlightenment play over our very being.

In reality, of course, this rarely happens. It is, however, important to at least reach a halfway measure; to repair to a little corner of this earth where we can forget our cares and woes, and recharge our batteries in order that we may then attack our normal daily routine with renewed vigour of both body and soul. Such a place, for me, is the sleepy town of Whitstable, nestling unassumingly on the north Kent coast.

And if you want to take the visceral element of such a restorative sojourn even closer to the bone, you could repair to one of the seafront fishermen’s huts, and gain that exclusive quietude of which we are all so desirous at times.

To awaken in one’s tiny apartment hearing nothing but the tap and clang of a vessel’s rigging against a backdrop of lapping waves is exquisite beyond compare. Once up and about, you can break your fast at the nearby hotel, or take a morning promenade along the beach, fetching up at the seafront café shack for a half dozen fresh oysters for brunch, or delicious fish and chips if the clock has more neared your lunch hour.

Whitstable offers such staples for replenishing the soul so as to make leaving it a wrench. Take a moment to gaze across the water from Cushing’s View, enjoy a cream tea at one of the many cafeterias, or a refreshing mug of ale at any one of the fine, traditional public houses. To wander around this unhurried, delightful town is to truly reconnect with oneself, and once you have managed to leave it behind, you cannot help but dream of one day returning.

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