Whitstable is a seaside town that traces the northern coast of Kent in South-East England. It’s a common day-trip destination.
Locals and tourists alike enjoy a day from London to Whitstable to visit the littoral town that sits on the crossroads of Canterbury and west of Herne Bay.
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Famous for its ‘Native Oysters,’ Whitstable is just one of the many things to do in London. Visit in summer to participate in the Whitstable Oyster Festival, peruse the Whitstable Castle, or venture out to the beautiful beaches.
Whether you’d prefer a train to Whitstable or a self-driven tour, keep reading to learn everything you need to know before journeying from London to Whitstable.
You mean besides the Oyster stuff? Yeah, there are plenty of things to do in Whitstable.
History buffs will find several antiquated treasures in the town. It is home to one of the earliest passenger railway services dating back to 1830. Today, the railway line is a recreational bike path that leads to the neighbouring city of Canterbury.
Whitstable also exudes the European, quintessentially English, charm. It boasts a majestic eponymous castle surrounded by grassland. There’s Harbour Street for foodies and those who like to indulge in souvenir shopping.
Catch a vivid sunset over seaview Whitstable from the promenade at Tankerton. What else? There are tranquil beaches, fantastic nightlife, vibrant pubs to soak up the vibe, art galleries, and more. These are just a few of the things to see in Whitstable.
With so much to do, it becomes obvious why you would want to travel from The Swinging City to the rustic side of England on the seacoast.
How Far Is Whitstable From London?
Whitstable is 59.7 miles (96 kilometres) from London. However, a train to Whitstable can shorten the distance to 51 miles (82 kilometres).
So, is a train to Whitstable from London the only option? When it comes to travelling between these two destinations, you will find all three transport types at your disposal. You can reach London to Whitstable by train, bus, or car.
There are around 59 trains to Whitstable from London and nine buses that depart from London to reach the coastal town every day.
What Is the Fastest Way To Get From London to Whitstable?
A train from London to Whitstable is the fastest way to reach this quaint coastal town. Depending on which train you book, the journey can be as short as one hour and 13 minutes. Driving a car can take almost 2 hours, and a bus ride can last more than two hours.
Even if you take an indirect train and have a few London to Whitstable train stops along the way, the journey would still be relatively comfortable and short.
Read my guide on the best day trips from London
London to Whitstable by Train
As previously mentioned, when travelling from London to Whitstable, a train is the best option. Trains for Whitstable leave from two main London train stations – Victoria Station and St Pancras International.
The fastest train departs from London St Pancras to Whitstable, and you’ll reach your destination within one hour and 13 minutes.
How Long Is the Train Journey From London to Whitstable, UK?
A train will take approximately one hour and 58 minutes on average. There are various train options available. You can choose between boarding at London Bridge, Charing Cross and Victoria Station.
The longest duration goes through Kent and can take up to around five hours depending on waiting periods between stations. The fastest train takes one hour and 12 minutes.
What Is the Schedule of the London to Whitstable Trains?
The schedule varies daily based on where you are departing from and what time of day you choose to travel. You can catch the earliest trains from around 05:45 in the morning. The last one leaves the station after midnight.
You can check the latest timetable for the London to Whitstable trains.
Also, note there may be fewer services available on weekends and public holidays. You can check the latest timetable for the London to Whitstable trains before you go.
Yes, several direct trains are available from London to Whitstable, which means you can travel via railways without changing them at stations.
These convenience-packed direct trains run from St Pancras International and London Victoria to Whitstable. You can book tickets for trains to Whitstable.
You will find different prices for Peak, Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak, GroupSave, and Anytime tickets on the official site. Depending on your budget, you may want to browse the relevant options to get the best deal.
You can also choose between the St Pancras to Whitstable trains. After carefully curating your itinerary, you can choose specific timings and prices that suit your budget and itinerary.
When To Book London to Whitstable Train Tickets?
It is best to book the tickets at least a week in advance, and check for trains running during off-peak or super off-peak hours. Booking an advance ticket won’t just save you the trouble of a last-minute scurry but will also save you a few quid.
Doing it online offers options to compare prices, distance, and time for the most comfortable journey.
An advanced ticket means you get various time slots open as options, be it off-peak or super off-peak. You can book a ticket for any day, time, and train that you like.
I’d say the security of having the ticket ready is better than gambling on trying to buy it at the station. Since the number of seats is also limited, buying an advanced ticket ensures that you get the best ones.
You may have already guessed the cheapest way to travel between London and Whitstable via bus. The bus is neither the most comfortable nor the quickest, but indeed light on the pocket with prices as low as 5 Euros.
London to Whitstable by Bus
An average bus trip duration is more than two hours. While bus services like the popular National Express will help you reach Whitstable within two hours, some might take almost four hours.
Travelling London to Whitstable by bus means you will almost certainly have to walk at least 200-300 metres. However, it is the best option for the shoestring traveller or those hoping to spend little finances on the commute.
If you ride on a bus during the weekend or on a public holiday, you could get caught in constant traffic. This is less common outside of London, but still, the roads will be busy and impact arrival time.
No, there are no direct buses that run exclusively between these two destinations. But some buses depart from London and arrive at Whitstable.
There are buses available that take you to Whitstable’s Clapham Hill and Horsebridge Road bus stops, which are a six-minute drive and one minute walk from the city centre, respectively.
Where Do I Catch The London to Whitstable Bus From?
If you catch a bus operated by National Express, you will find it at London Victoria Bus Station, located just 185 miles (2.98km) from the town centre. While waiting for the coach, you will find several facilities like an ATM, luggage storage, and kiosks within the vicinity.
Besides National Express, other bus companies also run buses between London and Whitstable. You can catch one of them at Golders Green Bus Terminal, Stratford Bus Terminal, and Liverpool Street Station.
Similar to the Victoria Terminal, these bus stations boast facilities like coffee bars, ATMs, and fast food. However, luggage storage is seldom available here.
You can travel from London to Whitstable by car via either of the two routes – M2 or A2 and M2. The driving distance via M2 is slightly longer at 67 miles, while the distance via the A2 and M2 routes is 61.4 miles.
By taking the shorter route, you will arrive at Whitstable within one hour and 30 minutes instead of the only-M2 route which will take 10-20 minutes more. Note that both the routes have levy tolls.
The car ride between London and Whitstable is worth it if you are all about long scenic drives. Being in control of where to stop allows you to make as many detours off your planned route as your itinerary can afford.
Throughout the A2 and M2 routes, you will come across several travel-worthy landmarks. The journey is lined with pretty villages, quirky old buildings, and a few little-known treasures.
The best of them include the Leeds Castle at Junction 8, the rustic beauty of Lenham villages, Rochester Cathedral, Faversham’s Arden’s House, and its Chart Gunpowder Mills.
If you are up for it, you can also drive farther to sample the mediaeval beauty of cobbled Canterbury.
If you drive straight ahead to Whitstable without any stops, the drive should not take more than one hour and 30 minutes.
But if you want to enjoy the scenic route by driving for personal pleasure, then you might want to keep a slower pace and make pitstops. In this case, the ride might last up to 3 hours or even more.
M2 is neither too long nor too busy, thus facilitating a smooth ride to Whitstable. The A2 route may be busier, but you’ll experience less traffic congestion. But even so, the ride is primarily hiccup-free.
If you choose the scenic drive, you don’t have to worry about parking. The most significant landmarks usually have parking spaces around them, while the roads inside smaller villages allow on-street pop-ins for a few minutes.
Whitstable has enough parking areas to make excursions easy in cars.
Only during July (the peak Oyster Festival season) parking space is extremely difficult to find. If you are going to visit Whitstable in July, it is best to reach Whitstable via train or bus to avoid parking problems and unwanted annoyance.
During less-crowded months, you should be able to find parking easily. Even when the parking lots are full, easy on-street car parking in Tankerton is also a convenient option. Tankerton is the main area for free on-street parking.
Here you will find a few four-hour bays on Tower Hill, whereas unrestricted parking on the Tankerton Slopes (Marine Parade) is also available.
The main car park in the town is Gorrell Tank, opposite the harbour. It often gets full, so your best chance to get a parking space here is by coming early.
How To Skip The Main Town Traffic Queues of Whitstable
To skip the traffic and further avoid congestion in the town centre, avoid Borstal Hill at any time of the day. Instead, approach the town via the Old Thanet Way that winds through A299.
Just after the Tesco roundabout, take a left to Church Street, which becomes Castle Road past the bridge.
The route will take you to the western residential end of Tankerton Road; from there, turn left down the hill.
As you ride, you will see the sign that says Whitstable Proper – Gorrell Tank Car Park is nearly 100 metres further from the sign. You can also take a right at the Castle Gatehouse to reach the Tower Hill and Tankerton Slopes.
Summary | How To Get From London To Whitstable?
Sitting on the coast of southeast England, just 5 miles from Canterbury, Whitstable is a pretty charming town.
Despite being overshadowed by the neighbouring city, the town makes for a scenic day trip from London. You have got to visit Whitstable for its beaches, oysters, festival, and Harbour Street.
Now that you know how to visit Whitstable from London, this London travel guide takes you through everything. From transport options to parking lots and traffic tips, this article answers all kinds of FAQs for the globetrotters in London.
It will ensure that you are able to plan the perfect day trip to Whitstable according to your preferences.