The Surrounds

One Big Adventure

Explore and discover the areas hidden gems

Prepare to be reinvigorated by Herne Bay and fully immerse yourself in the elements. Here at the mouth of the Thames Estuary, you can feel the sea spray, listen to waves lapping against the fishing boats, enjoy the warm breeze on a long summer’s evening and watch the sunset cast its magical spell along an uninterrupted coastline. All this framed by the remains of the old Pier and other traces of a glorious bygone era.

Jet ski enthusiasts love Herne Bay’s wide beach, you can go kiteboarding and kitesurfing at Whitstable, learn to surf at Botany Bay or try wakeboarding or windsurfing at Lydd. Sea fishing and angling is well catered for too. Take a boat out to see the awe-inspiring, abandoned World War II Red Sand Forts. 

Back on dry land, why not go foraging in Blean Woods and explore the atmospheric Roman ruin of Reculver?

Samphire restaurant, Whitstable
Samphire restaurant, Whitstable
A Casa Mia, Herne Bay
A Casa Mia, Herne Bay

Something To Suit Every Taste

A veritable feast for the senses

Herne Bay has everything you need close at hand. Vintage tea rooms such as the quirky Alice and the Hatter, fresh seafood bars, delis and traditional seaside cafés rub shoulders here with the likes of Charlie’s Bistro serving delicious tapas, the Oyster and Chop House and a Casa Mia, Britain’s first pizzeria to be approved by the Neapolitan Pizza Association.

The Kings Hall is a wonderful spot to watch live music, comedy, dance and other entertainment from around the globe, while the Kavanagh Cinema brings independent movie-going to the town, plus a variety of special live cinema events. For grooming treats there are also plenty of options, including Shakers Hair who bring a bit of SOHO to the seaside.

Hunt down antiques, bric-a-brac and homewares in retro outlets like Attic 72 and Briggs Furniture, and browse the town’s many indie boutiques and gift shops. For more everyday shopping, you’ll find a large Morrisons, Aldi, and a Tesco Express all within easy access of the Elements.

Just a few miles along the coast lies Whitstable, famous for its annual Oyster Festival and home to culinary seafood hotspots like Samphire, the Lobster Shack and the Whitstable Oyster Company, a bustling harbour market and a thriving art scene. 
 

The Garden Of England

Why Kent was the apple of JMW Turner’s Eye

One third of Kent is officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with no fewer than 61 nature reserves and 12 country parks, all making it the perfect playground for outdoor exploration.

There’s a huge variety of stunning vistas to enjoy, from the famed White Cliffs of Dover, the cliffs, caves and stacks of Thanet to the eerily desolate, low lying landscape of Romney Marsh, alongside ancient, dense woods teaming with woodpeckers and bluebells. Rolling pastures here are flecked with orchards and plenty of the county’s defining symbol, the oast house.

Just 200 years ago Herne Bay was little more than a cluster of smuggler’s inns, cottages and barns without even a road connecting it to Canterbury. The popularity of sea-bathing, steamboats and the railway soon put the town on the map.

The town took its name from the Medieval settlement of Herne, a few miles inland, complete with a chapel and a windmill which inspired the Elements’ own Miller’s Rest name.

The Garden Of England
The rolling landscape around Herne Bay provides a stunning backdrop throughout the year
Iconic east houses are a familiar site in the Kent countryside
The Garden Of England
Take in the wonderful scenery of Kent on foot

History and Culture

Inspiration as limitless as the sea’s horizon

For those seeking a dash of cultural inspiration, a raft of opportunities arise from Herne Bay.

London’s gamut of theatres, museums, galleries and festivals are an easy day trip with close by Canterbury, a world heritage site, just a short hop from the Bay. 

Over the years this epic backdrop has provided inspiration for everyone from Ian Fleming and AA Milne, to Geoffrey Chaucer and Christopher Marlowe, whose name adorns the renowned cultural centre that is the Marlowe Theatre.

On your doorstep, Whitstable is awash with independent galleries. Its multi-media Biennale Festival and regular Artists Open Houses trail have rightfully earned its place on the art world map.

Then, along the south east coast, there’s Margate’s Turner Contemporary Gallery, Bexhill’s De La Warr Pavilion and it would surely be remiss to overlook the numerous Charles Dickens sites dotted around the county.