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Whitstable cottage, 2 mins to beach - cosy, woodstove, sleeps 2+, dogs welcome

Bedrooms 1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 nights
Popular Features
  • Internet


About the property

Rustic, characterful, cosy little cottage-apartment 2 mins from Whitstable beach&harbour, sleeps 2-3, dogs welcome, woodstove, quiet road

A little cottage-apartment hide-away where you can really feel at home.

Harbour Cottage is the front half of a quirky, cosy, bigger Victorian cottage that would have been a fisherman's home. It's just 3 doors down from the harbour and beach. The cottage's position is fantastic too because it's parallel to the much-loved Harbour Street with all its bohemian shops and restaurants, but the street is somehow tucked quietly away.

Harbour Cottage is small but perfectly formed! It has its own front door, tiled hall and old wooden staircase. There’s a light living room/kitchen with a woodburning stove. And upstairs a small private bathroom and sunny double bedroom. The cottage is ideally suited for a couple, but if you are two friends it works out well too as there's a comfy single mattress and low futon base you can either have pulled out in the bedroom, or downstairs in the living room. I have said that my cottage sleeps 3 because for a couple with a child aged 7+ the single bed means it's possible to all sleep upstairs in the bedroom. Alternatively for a couple who would like a friend to visit for a night or two during their stay (e.g. a grown up child studying at the university etc.), they can have the single bed in the living room. But best is for two! But whoever does stay seems to love my little cottage, it's homely, rustic and comfortable, and everyone says it has a uniquely nice feel.

If you don't already know the town, you will discover Whitstable is really special. It is a good mix of an old fashioned fishing small town community and artistic/foodie sophistication. The sea front has an unspoilt feel with hotchpotch white-washed cottages, old wooden fishing sheds and colourful beach huts. No concrete promenade here but a shingle beach with wooden groynes, wild flowers on the shore and oyster catchers pottering about.

You can make your visit as lively or as quiet as you like: for a little town there's so much going on, but you can easily find complete peace too. There's sailing, wind or kite surfing, boat trips out to see seals and our wind farm, tearooms, fish restaurants, independent shops of all kinds, live bands, unique festivals. Wild seas, rural beaches, ancient woodland, fantastic light, sunny days, geese migrating. Perfect.

And my little cottage is a lovely place to enjoy as your home in our wonderful little town.

Finally my rents help me fund dog welfare and advocacy work in Spain - particularly for the podencos: a breed of hunting hound that are loving, sensitive, athletic comedians, and so stunning to look at. Tragically they are abandoned and so many killed in their thousands upon thousands every year in Spain when deemed redundant. So I try to balance providing a good value, lovely space for visitors, with keeping my income level so I am able to provide reliably for the dogs depending on me, and keep working with others to try and change this terrible situation. My thanks to all guests who rent my little cottage and thereby help these innocent souls who desperately need our support. Come to Harbour Cottage to find happiness for yourself and to help bring happiness to the dogs!

More Details

Polly Mathewson
Member since: 2003
Speaks English, French, German, Spanish
Calendar last updated:
18 March, 2018

About Polly Mathewson

I look forward to welcoming you to my little Harbour Cottage and hope you will have a happy stay here. I live next door, in the back half of the cottage (Garden Cottage) with a mix of family, friends and animal friends living or visiting here too. I've worked for many years in aid/international humanitarian work, with a focus on East Africa. Nowadays I am freelance and mostly work from home on environmental, animal welfare and art projects. In particular my rentals are helping fund a rescue and advocacy project for the podencos of Spain. Podencos are wonderful, gentle, athletic hunting dogs that are abused in their working lives and abandoned in their hundreds of thousands at the end of the short hunting season. I rent out the front half of the cottage as a separate apartment and aim to make it a welcoming place where visitors can really feel at home. I love to meet people from all over the world.

Polly Mathewson purchased this cottage in 2006

Why Polly Mathewson chose Whitstable

I moved to Kent for a period of study. I meant to leave straight afterwards but I fell in love with Whitstable and stayed! I bought this cottage from a friend who was moving away and I have renovated it to divide it into two little homes: one for me and one to rent out.

Everyone who comes to stay in Harbour Cottage says the cottage has a uniquely nice atmosphere and people comment that the cottage is more home than holiday rent. The position is great - right in the heart of the town and next to the beach, but a quiet street.

What makes this cottage unique

Harbour Cottage is a comfortable place to stay in any season - in the summer you can cross the road to the beach, in the winter you can hunker down by the wood burning stove and get cosy after a windy walk or a meal out. Whitstable is great for townies (there's lots going on for such a small town) and for country-lovers (a couple of miles in each direction there are beautiful coastal nature reserves backed by fields) - and for sea-lovers of course. It's peaceful in the winter and lively in the summer, and a very warm community. It's great here!

Guestbook comments from the owner

Some comments on my cottage from another site where I advertise, and which has more of a review culture.

The cottage was perfect for us. Great location, great facilities with an incredibly comfortable bed! Polly was a great host,introducing herself when we arrived ,leaving all of the information we needed in a really detailed information pack and not imposing on us at all. The cottage had all the amenities we needed, was comfy and really cosy. It is literally a two minute walk and you are on the harbour and beach. Whitstable is a fantastic place to spend some time, we loved it and Harbour Cottage is a great place to explore it from.

Jackie, October 2016 ·

Polly was a great host throughout our stay. She was in touch from the initial booking right up until the end, very approachable and keen to ensure we had a pleasant stay. She even offered to check up on our dog while we were out :) The cottage is very close to the harbour and the main street with plenty of shops and restaurants to choose from. The cottage had all necessary amenities. We didn't get to use the woodfire but looking forward to another visit to give it a go! Thanks again Polly!

Nikki, September 2016 ·

A lovely cottage for 2 within a quiet neighbourhood, yet right in the heart of all things Whitstable. Immaculately kept and comfortable throughout: everything was as described by Polly, the very helpful owner (plenty of local information for those new-to Whitstable, as we were). We'd love to make a return visit.

Ian, September 2016

Very central location and very nice cottage which had everything we needed. Everyone including our dog was made very welcome,

Dawn, September 2016 · ·

Very, very occasionally you meet someone who you immediately feel is a friend - so it is with Polly, who runs the most comfortable, cosy and clean of holiday homes just near the harbour. The flat is like Whistable itself - quietly stylish, a little bit boho and extremely welcoming. Highly, highly recommended.

Sue, September 2016

Most comprehensive notes of anywhere I've stayed! Polly was quick to email and answer any questions. We had a wonderful weekend in a particularly hot September. Cute little cottage perfect for two, minutes walk away from the heart of Whitstable. We ate at some great restaurants, and enjoyed take away oysters with a bottle of wine sat on the beach watching the sun go down. All in all a wonderful weekend by the coast. Thanks Polly!

Sarah, September 2016
Aug 2016
  • 1 of 1


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Whitstable in City of Canterbury

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00 / Check-out: 12:00
  • Max. occupancy: 3
  • pets considered ...
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 3 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Shower room 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • A private bathroom, very, very small but with all you need and it's light thanks to its old box sash window, white washed walls and wooden floorboards. It's not en-suite, but almost - next door to the bedroom on the landing. Sink, shower, WC.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom 2 - 1 Sofa bed/Futon , There is a single mattress+futon base available on request
  • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps two very comfortably and is ideal for a couple, but it is also fine for two friends and there is space for a third person staying for an extra night or two visiting, or for a couple+child (on request - cottage only suitable for children aged 7+). Notes on bedrooms: 1 bright double bedroom. The room has a pretty, comfortable antique bed and a desk at the window looking out over quiet gardens. The street is pedestranised just beyond the cottage so there is little traffic. If 2 friends visit you can use the single mattress&low wooden futon base stored under the double bed. You can either have this beside the double bed in the bedroom or I can move it downstairs for you to use in the living room and have more privacy. This stores in the hall in daytime. It is a thick full length mattress and very comfortable. If a couple stays and wants a friend to visit or has a child aged 7+ then there is a third bed option with this single mattress+futon.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Television
  • Golf ...
Notes on accommodation: Harbour Cottage is the front half of a larger cottage. It's a self-contained apartment with its own entrance. The owner lives in the back half of the cottage (Garden Cottage) with an entrance through the garden. Dogs can be accommodated but please discuss directly with the owner. Generally accept up to one larger dog or two smaller ones. Smoking is not allowed in this property. Parking - Harbour Cottage does not have its own parking. However in quieter times it is easy to park in the street (free) just outside the cottage or very close by. In busier seasons there is the large Gorrell Tank town car park a two minute cut-through from the cottage. This is not expensive and there is always space. The cottage is ideal for a couple as there's just one bedroom (double bed), but if two friends want to stay it's easy - there is a pull out single mattress on low wooden futon base to have in the bedroom too or in the living room. Outside: Harbour Cottage does not have a garden or any outside space. This is at the back of the cottage in the half used by the owner (Garden Cottage)... BUT there is the beach a couple of minutes away!! You just cross the road and you have the whole length of the coastline available to you. Nearest is the harbour with its fishing boats, fish market, restaurant, craft stalls and live music at weekends. Then the shingle beach with groynes, the backs of old cottages and some restaurants facing the sea. On the other side of the harbour is a sandy (at low tide) beach and further along to the west is the south swale nature reserve beach or to the east Tankerton Slopes with its colourful beach huts and good kite surfing. Take a picnic or an evening glass of wine and olives across the road and sit with a huge sea view. If the owner is away visitors may be able use her small secluded pebbly garden and sunny patio on request. It can be accessed via a gate nearby Harbour Cottage's front door. Utility Room: Dustban & brush, hoover & cleaning materials under kitchen sink. Iron+ironing board stored in bedroom. Visitors staying for longer are welcome to request use of the owner's washing machine in the next door Garden Cottage. Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Bedlinen will be supplied. Please bring own towels.. The cottage will be cleaned when you arrive. Vacuum cleaner and other cleaning materials available for your own tidy ups during your holiday. Other: Harbour Cottage is small but isn't cramped. Rather it is characterful and lovely! The living room & double bedroom are each 12 foot x 11 foot with high ceilings for an old cottage and big windows. Everyone says the cottage has lovely feel of its own and many visitors come back year after year as a real home from home.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(10 traveller reviews)

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Whitstable cottage, 2 mins to beach - cosy, woodstove, sleeps 2+, dogs welcome
average rating of 4.9 based on 11 reviews

Perfect spot for a relaxing few days

  • 5 of 5

We were looking for somewhere to relax on the coast the first week of December and this cottage was perfect. It's in a great location just accross the road from the harbour and beach and equally close to the shops and excellent cafes, restuarants and bars of Whitstable. Being so close to the harbour made it easy to wander accross the road to watch the sunset or to see the changing landscapes of the estuary. We also took a number of walks in both directions along the coast.

The house itself had everything that we needed, including a great selection of dvds and books.

Polly was very helpful arranging arrival and departure and gave us a great deal of info to ensure that we made the most of the week. This included recomending local walks, attractions, places to visit and up to date info.

All in all, we had a superb week at the cottage and look forward to returning!

  • Review Submitted: 17-Dec-2017
  • Date of Stay: December 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
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Cosy cottage in Whitstable

  • 5 of 5

We enjoyed a lovely stay in the cottage with our Beagle over a frosty weekend in December. The former fisherman's cottage was toasty warm at all times and one night we lit the wood burner with the firefighters, kindling and wood provided to add to the Christmassy feeling which had arrived in Whitstable.

The cottage is in a quiet street of interesting terraced houses and old buildings, an easy few minutes walk to the harbour and the pretty shopping streets with their quirky, independent shops, cafes and pubs. Many of the pubs allow dogs in if they're on leads; even those pubs serving food which was great for us.

We had no problem parking outside the cottage which meant we could leave the car and walk everywhere. We enjoyed a walk along the waterfront and then headed off into the streets around the front which are really interesting.

The cottage has everything you need to enjoy a break with a fully equipped kitchen, a large bedroom and small shower room. There are well stocked bookshelves and plenty of guide books and we couldn't believe it when we found our favourite film Harold and Maude in the box of DVDs. It's as if we were a perfect fit for the cottage.

The cottage is in a great location, lovely and quiet and great value. We would happily stay again.

  • Review Submitted: 14-Dec-2017
  • Date of Stay: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Tanya and family, it was a great pleasure to welcome you to my little cottage and it's wonderful to read your enthusiastic words for the happy time that you had. Whitstable is a brilliant place and everyone who stays seems to love my little home as it just has a lovely feel of its own. I will really look forward to your coming back and then to meet in person (and dog!). But it's been really nice being in touch by text and email. Happy festive wishes to you all.
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perfect holiday

  • 5 of 5

We spent a lovely week in November in this cosy appartement. When we arrived, the cottage was nicely done and warm.

The cottage is perfectly situated, just across the harbour and beach. High Street with shops and restaurants is a couple of streets away. There's a lot to do and see in Whitstable, so we enjoyed the days with walking, sightseeing and then relaxing in our comfy cottage. It's small but well equipped and has a very comfortable bed. Polly the owner was very nice and made us feel very welcome.

We'll surely come again.

Claudia and Tina from Germany

  • Review Submitted: 08-Dec-2017
  • Date of Stay: November 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

I stayed at the cottage for a few days with my two dogs about 3 weeks ago and had a wonderful time. Polly was very welcoming and could not have been more helpful. The cottage is very homely and contains all required amenities for a comfortable stay. The cottage is in the centre of Whitstable, but in a quiet road. I found the drive to Whitstable from London very easy. There are a lot of parking opportunities on the surrounding streets that the cottage is on. Whitstable is so charming and has a wonderful atmosphere. There are so many good places to eat, great fresh fish and I highly recommend The Forge for a beach picnic - based on the main beach, they sell one the most amazing homemade ice-creams that I have ever had (English Toffee), the fish and chips and oysters there looked great too and the Kentish lager was lovely. Whitstable is great for walking, so easy to walk (or cycle) uninterrupted for miles along the coastline. One day I walked to the South Swale Nature Reserve and the next to Herne Bay, I think they are both about 5 miles along the coast in opposite directions starting from Whitstable, try The Sportsman pub (no food there though, unless you book for several weeks in advance) for a cold drink next to the nature reserve and there are lots of places to stop in Herne Bay, I also got the train back from Herne Bay to Whitstable, I would recommend getting the bus back if you are considering getting transport back as the bus goes from a more central place in the town and arrives back in central Whitstable too. I am looking forward to going back to the cottage in the autumn and to having a fire in the wood burner in the evenings.

  • Review Submitted: 13-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Jane, thank you very much for your kind and so enthusiatic review. I am happy you enjoyed staying in my little Harbour Cottage so much! Certainly I loved to meet you and your little hounds Tiger and Mrytle, and I will really look forward to welcoming you all back in the Autumn. Come and get cosy by the fire after some more good walks along the shore. There are many beautiful places nearby for you still to explore - including our nearby Blean woods (ancient woodlands), the creek area down by next-door Faversham and all the orchardy inland countryside which is stunning in Autumn. Numerous excellent eateries waiting for you to try them out too and live music etc in the pubs. Whitstable is great in the wintry months, a different kind of magic from the summer. It's lovely that you have posted so many good tips for other visitors from your first trip to the town. I hope you can become a regular visitor to my little cottage so it becomes a special home from home for you all. I have quite a few guests already who come several times a year and it's fun to see each other regularly. Meanwhile a warm welcome to any potential new visitors reading here. As you can tell Whitstable is special. Do come and stay! Polly
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Bijou property

  • 4 of 5

Although the property is small it fits all your needs perfectly for a great stay in Whitstable. It is a well equipped place a real home from home. Very dog friendly. It is pleasantly located on the edge of the town in walking distance of all amenities. Some great places to eat locally no shortage of choices. Parking was not a problem when we stayed in June managed to get a space close by.

Polly the owner is lovely and on hand if needed.

  • Review Submitted: 15-Jun-2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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A cosy, quirky cottage in a great location.

  • 5 of 5

I stayed at Harbour Cottage from 23-27January 2017. It is a small cottage with a lounge/ kitchenette downstairs & small bathroom & decent sized bedroom upstairs. During my stay a couple of the days were bitterly cold but the cottage was toasty warm and cosy. The cottage is really well located at one end of Whitstable High Street with access to all its shops & restaurants and a few steps to the end of the road & you are at the bus stop to take you into Canterbury & on the other side you can catch the bus into Herne Bay. However, it is a really nice walk into Herne Bay. The cottage itself is really clean & tidy, with everything you need to make it a home from home. The little wood burner is a cosy bonus (although I didn't use it!) & there is a TV & DVD player (not for blue ray though) if you fancy a night in. Although I didn't get to meet the owner, as she was away, all contact with her was really friendly and very helpful. She provided really useful clear notes about the cottage & local area & adding ideas of where to eat & walks you might like to do. This was really helpful.

All in all, I loved my stay at this cottage, I felt like I had found a little gem. I would not hesitate to recommend this as a great place to stay and hope to make a return visit soon!

  • Review Submitted: 28-Jan-2017
  • Date of Stay: January 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dear Amanda, Thank you for your kind review. I am glad you liked my little Harbour Cottage and felt at home, and enjoyed Whitstable so much. It's been really nice corresponding before your stay; I am just sorry we couldn't meet up this time due to my being away all of January and February working on my Spanish dog project. Do come back and we can meet properly! I am glad you are thinking to return - you would be very welcome and there is so much more to explore in our area. Thank you for leaving everything tidily. I am very happy to recommend Amanda and family as lovely guests to other Owners Direct hosts.
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Special interest holidays:

Whitstable is especially good for sea-food lovers (it is famous for its oysters and has several award-winning restaurants). Water sport fans (kite-surfing, wind-surfing, sailing, boat trips all possible). Artists, musicians and culture vultures (Whitstable is home to tens of artists, there is a vibrant arts centre, our local play house, lots of live bands, fantastic light to paint in). Also, Canterbury and London are respectively 20 minutes and one hour and a quarter away, so you can go to Canterbury's festival, to the cathedral and take a day-trip by train to everything London has to offer.

Whitstable is full of sea birds, the South Swale reserve is a 10 minute drive away (migrating bird site), the ancient woodland of Blean woods is just down the road (you can walk to it from Whitstable down the Crab and Winkle Way foot and bike path) and all of Kent's inland countryside on your doorstep.


Two minutes walk from pebbly characterful beaches. Softly sloping with groynes to break the waves - so ideal for children to paddle and for barbecues in private and out of the wind. One end of Whitstable the beach is famous for kite-surfing, the other end it is great for sailing. In between there are cheerful beach huts and access to good eating places and galleries. A 10 minute drive to a long sandy beach in a nature reserve. A coastal walk to Faversham along the shore is beautiful.


Whitstable to London Victoria is a 1 hour 20 minute train journey. There's also the high-speed train between Whitstable and London St.Pancras. Luton, Heathrow, Gatwick airports are very accessible. Trains run from Whitstable to Herne Bay, Margate, Sandwich, Ramsgate etc. in the other direction.

Canterbury is about 20 minutes drive or bus journey away. Whitstable is small -you don't need a car at all and public transport is great. Or bring your bike (or rent one locally £15 a day) - it's flat!


Canterbury and Faversham each about 7 miles away:

Canterbury - Cathedral, museums, great eating and shopping, beautiful architecture. Canterbury Festival mid to end of October (with artists Open Houses in Canterbury, Faversham, Herne Bay and Whitstable).

Faversham - historic market town with atmospheric creek-side wharfs with beautiful Thames Barges and interesting boats, wonderful walks across fields to peaceful pub. Hop Festival, folk club, local food, old-fashioned cinema, live music.

Further Details:

Whitstable has won awards for its independent shops. There are local green grocers, a British cheese shop, independent wine shop, a local butchers, bakers along Harbour Street (not to mention restaurants, boutiques, gift shops and banks etc.). Just nip round the corner from Harbour Cottage and you are there. There's also a small Budgens and Co-operative supermarket within 10 minutes walk from the cottage. If you want a big supermarket there is a large Tesco and Sainsbury's a 15 minute drive away.

Whitstable is known for so many things - art, water sports, beauty, sunsets, nature... it has that rare mix of being peaceful and homely with vibrant and quirky. Too much to write here - best to check out on Google etc.


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable Damage Deposit £100

Booking Notes - please see below for points 1-3:
Please contact the owner by email or phone for clarification on booking.
(1) The full amount is payable on booking for all short visits that are less than a week duration, or for full weeks booked within two months of the visit. Otherwise 50% of the rent is payable on booking as a non-refundable deposit, and the remainder should be sent 2 months before check in.
(2) Weekend only stays: Unfortunately there is no flexibility in the system to express that I charge more per night for weekend only stays. These are £90 per night for Friday and Saturday nights and £80 a night for a 3 night weekend Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I have had to give a basic average nightly rate as the system demands this. I hope that we can organise the correct rate by talking by email or phone.
(3) Ideally bookings taken for full weeks and prices for different seasons are as given. For short stays there is a mimimum stay of 2 nights. Weekends and longer stays can be negotiated. A rough price guide for short stays is between £58 - £90 per night depending on the number of nights and time of year, and whether a short break will block a full week's rental in the high season.

Changeover Day:
I can often be flexible about changeover days, and about arrival and departure times.

Notes on prices:
Ideally bookings taken for full weeks and prices for different seasons are as given. For short stays there is a mimimum stay of 2 nights. Weekends and longer stays can be negotiated. A rough price guide for short stays is between £60 - £90 per night depending on the number of nights and time of year, and whether a short break will block a full week's rental in the high season.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.