A quintessential British seaside resort, sat between the towns of Whitstable and Margate, Herne Bay oozes nostalgia. And where better to make the most of the summer sunshine?

From the historic clocktower to the prominent bandstand, and the colourful and unique properties, there’s also lots to see and do in Herne Bay.

With the helter-skelter in the distance and the old-fashioned fairground horses, it is easy to see why Herne Bay Pier (hernebaypier.co.uk) run by the Herne Bay Pier Trust, a registered charity, still remains popular. But it’s not about the rides, there’s the summer nights on the pier events which take place until September. The retail village is home to some independent businesses, too, including crafts, food and gifts.

Treasures from the area have been collected by the Seaside Museum Herne Bay (theseasidemuseumhernebay.org) since the early 1930s. Located in William Street, there’s lots to see, including the Dambuster prototype ‘bomb’ from World War Two and tusks and fossils including a sea turtle from around 50 million years ago in the Ecocene when Herne Bay was part of a shallow tropical sea fringed with lush florists. Special events take place regularly and thanks to funding from the Herne Bay Festival all events in August are free. See the website for more details and to book. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday between 11am and 4pm.

With summer holidays looming… no trip to the seaside would be without a visit to the amusement arcade, and while loose change may not be in your pocket as much as it used to be, the longest indoor amusement arcade (cainamusements.co.uk) continues to create childhood memories and bring them back for adults!

Herne Bay is all about community and ‘community in mind’ is the theme for this year’s festival (hernebayfestival.com) which runs between July 29 and August 26…and the carnival takes place on August 12. Save the dates!

Great British Life: Alice and the Hatter (c) Kate RiversAlice and the Hatter (c) Kate Rivers


When Alice was in her wonderland adventures, she asked “I wonder which way I ought to go?” So, if you’re curious about a place to eat then Alice and the Hatter (aliceandthehatter.co.uk) is a must. From themed wall art, chequered floor, throne chairs and grassy nooks, the menu items give a wonderful nod to this classic novel. From the Hatter’s Table to Mad Hatter’s Platter, there’s also gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan afternoon tea options, as well as the ‘shrink me’ menu aimed at children. While you may not fall down an actual rabbit hole, you’ll be glad you went through the door!

Views, location, there’s lots on offer from this great pub…The King Ethelbert Inn (kingethelbertinn.co.uk). A popular meeting place for locals and visitors, before or after a stroll around the Reculver Towers, food is traditional pub food which is locally sourced wherever possible. A variety of locally brewed ales, lagers, spirits and wines are also available.

For something a little different, try The Cosy Cat Café (thecosycatcafe.co.uk) thought to be Kent’s first cat café. The cats, who range in age, have all been rescued and are now enjoying the tlc at the café. Advice on adoption, events, as well as afternoon tea, is available, too!

Great British Life: The Little Green Bookshop's Mia Rodriguez, marketing manager, Jacqui Delbaere, owner and bookseller and Tim Jenkins, artist and booksellerThe Little Green Bookshop's Mia Rodriguez, marketing manager, Jacqui Delbaere, owner and bookseller and Tim Jenkins, artist and bookseller


The Little Green Book Shop (thelittlegreenbookshop.com) has just celebrated its first birthday in the high street. The shop, owned by Jacqui Delbaere, has a range of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, local artwork, cards and homeware. There’s also some great events including poetry workshops and open mic nights during the summer. It has a book subscription service, too!

Herne Bay Farmers’ and Craft Market (kfma.org.uk/Herne_Bay) takes place at Wimereux Square on the second Sunday of every month. It showcases traders, local and guest producers and there’s something for everyone. The market runs between 10am and 2pm.

Want to brighten up your home or send a gift of flowers? Wild Daisy Florist (wilddaisyflorist.com) in the high street has a wide range of floristry service, including wedding flowers. Plants, as well as gifts to complement flowers, are also available,

Great British Life: The imposing Reculver Towers (c) Getty ImagesThe imposing Reculver Towers (c) Getty Images


Dominating the skyline of Herne Bay, the imposing towers of the medieval church at Reculver acted as a navigation marker for ships at sea. The site is one of the earliest Roman forts built against Saxon raids on the Saxon Shore and much of the site has now been lost to the sea. Although the Reculver Towers and Church will be closed until October for a £1.1m major conservation project, the Roman Fort is still open to visit…put a date in your diary to see the renovation later in the year. (visitreculver.com)


Great British Life: A bed and breakfast bedroom at The Sleep-Inn Hare (c) Dave HareA bed and breakfast bedroom at The Sleep-Inn Hare (c) Dave Hare


A short walk from the beach and town centre, The Sleep-Inn Hare (thesleepinnhare.co.uk) adds a touch of luxury as a family-run bed and breakfast. Four spacious and individually designed rooms, three of which have a separate sitting room, and all come complete with an en-suite shower or bathroom. Further benefits include private off-street parking, small fully licensed bar, serving a selection of alcoholic beverages and snacks. We also have an indoor and outdoor eating area for you to enjoy your home cooked breakfast and relax in.

Caravanning and camping has surged recently as many enjoy a holiday closer to home and Hampton Bay Park (hampton-bay-park.co.uk) offers a relaxing and chilled break in Herne Bay. The small, family-run and friendly site offers electrical hook up and is a perfect base for exploring the area.

Offering nine rooms, Evening Tide Hotel, (evening-tide.hotelskent.com) is also a good base and local attractions. Wi-fi is found throughout the guest house.


Post office: Several offices are dotted around the town including Sea Street, Herne Street, Mortimer Street, Reculver Road and Margate Road.

Healthcare: GP surgeries include The Heron Medical Practice, The Coach House Surgery, William Street Surgery, Park Surgery and 38 Herne and Broomfield Surgery. The nearest accident and emergency hospital is Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital. Visit nhs.uk for more health information.

Schools: Primary and secondary education is available in the town and Herne Church of England Junior School is rated Outstanding by Ofsted while Herne Bay High School has been graded as Outstanding for its Sixth Form provision and Good in all other aspects.

Transport: Herne Bay has its own railway station and is operated by Southeastern. It’s just a 20-minute walk to the beach and high speed trains from St Pancras International take around one hour and 20 minutes. Stagecoach provide a bus service in the area and beyond and provide a dayrider day rider and megarider season ticket to suit individual travel.