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Whitstable Castle, once known as Tankerton Towers, was an 18th-century family home.
Since that time it has had many different owners and was even once the offices for Whitstable District Council. Located in the beautiful seaside town of Whitstable in Kent (famous for its oysters!), it is now open to the public and is a popular wedding venue.
However, it’s award-winning gardens and stunning coastline views make Whitstable Castle the perfect place to visit with your family. Read on below to find out our top five things to see and do at Whitstable Castle and Gardens.
Capture the Castle
When you arrive at the castle reception, an enthusiastic and knowledgable tour guide will help you explore the rooms and discover the rich history. Whitstable Castle was originally built as an octagonal tower in 1789 and every room is currently styled as it would have been in the 18th and 19th centuries, allowing your children to see and experience the period.
Whitstable Castle gardens are the main attraction of the castle, with the landscaping team being multiple winners of the coveted Green Flag award. Each year a section of the grounds are completely redesigned keeping it fresh for repeat visitors. Many of the plants have been grown there since the plots were first laid out in the 1780s. Due to the wide expanse of gardens to walk through, seating is provided at short intervals to allow little legs to be rested and time to admire the glorious views out to the Thames Estuary, the nearby Isle of Sheppey and beyond!
Dollar Dan's Tankerton Cave Play Area
Named after Dan the head landscaper and bringing inspiration from the nearby Whitstable caves, the castle boasts an imaginative adventure play area with a huge wooden pirate ship plus swings and a roundabout for hours of fun. If big climbing frames are not suitable for your kids, there are also lots of interactive activities such as sandpits and a water feature for younger or more sensory-focused children.
Tea Time Treat
After you’ve finishing strolling around the gardens, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a cream tea in the tea garden whilst taking in the incredible sea views. With freshly baked scones and a selection of deliciously tempting cakes (gluten-free options available), take in the refreshing seaside air while you try a traditional English treat!
Spring Into Easter Action
Every Easter Whitstable Castle Events hosts an egg hunt around the extensive grounds. Popular to visitors and the local community, it's open for all ages and last year over 150 children took part in the search. There will also be different craft workshops from skilled members of the local community for you and your family to enjoy. Craft something to take home, give as a gift or even just discover a new skill or hobby for the future.
Kidadl Tips To Know Before You Go
- With a designated picnic area, costs can be kept low with packed lunches. However, The Orangery room at Whitstable Castle offers a wide selection of main meals with weekend deals including getting a child’s meal for only £1 with the purchase of an adult meal!
- Whitstable Castle parking is available at the castle grounds but spaces are extremely limited. Luckily there is ample free parking in the streets around Tankerton/Tower Hill that the local community are happy to share.
- Baby change facilities and wheelchair-accessible toilets are located next to the outdoor playground.
- Dogs are very welcome at Whitstable Castle gardens with plenty of room to run however the castle itself is off-limits to four-legged friends.
- Due to the castle being a very popular wedding venue, it is best to call ahead before you visit to check whether the Whitstable Castle and gardens are open to the public.
- Remember Whitstable Castle is not just a summer venue, the gardens also boasts one of the biggest living Christmas trees in Kent!
Where is it? Tower Hill, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2BW. Contact them on 01227 281726 or [email protected]
How much to budget for: With free parking, free entry and reasonably priced food, Whitstable Castle is a perfect purse-friendly family day out!
Nearest station: Whitstable
Is it buggy friendly? Yes, the ground floor cafe and castle grounds are fully accessible and mobility friendly.
Kidadler Rebecca says: "Whitstable, UK is lovely - pebbly beach, gorgeous cafes and shops, good for crabbing! My children love it!"
Sarah was born and raised in the North West. Her love of art and culture brought her to study in London and she never left! She can be found teaching painting classes, trying out new recipes, or drawing with a cup of tea.