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Historic Site, free entry

Whitstable Oyster Yawl 'The Favourite'

Whitstable Oyster Yawl 'The Favourite'


Whitstable Oyster Yawl 'The Favourite'


Island Wall,


Whitstable Oyster Yawl 'The Favourite' is the last Oyster Yawl to remain in Whitstable and in public ownership. She commemorates the oyster fishing and shipbuilding industries that once thrived. Favourite is a much loved part of the street scene in Island Wall, near the disappeared shipyards, sail makers and forges once built on the beach.

Whitstable Oyster Yawl 'The Favourite' was built in 1890, when dredging for oysters was an important industry in Whitstable. In some years, up to half the oysters sold in London came from Whitstable! Looking out to sea a hundred years ago 80 or more of these sailing craft could be seen at work.

Farming oysters is a better description than fishing as the oyster may need to be sown on the sea bed, checked annually and predators such as starfish removed before the four or five-year oyster is harvested.

Favourite is the last Whitstable Oyster Yawl in the town, although several other yawls are still sailing elsewhere. In public ownership, she was rebuilt in 2006 using traditional materials and methods.

In 1944, Favourite was machine gunned by a German aircraft and beached to prevent her sinking. In 1952 she was hauled up the beach into Harry Hurford-Jane's garden on Island Wall, just before the sea wall was built.

Visiting Favourite is easy as she can be seen close up from the sea wall, Island Wall and the alley alongside. Favourite was built in Whitstable on the beach about 250 metres to the west of her current location.

Children welcomeDisabled access

Partial disabled access.

Open all the time


Free entry



See location of Whitstable Oyster Yawl 'The Favourite' on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: TR 104666  Lat: 51.35945 Long: 1.02205

- M2 from London (or from Dover)
- At Brenley Corner (Junction 7) take the A299 for Whitstable.
- Take the A2990 turning and follow signs for Whitstable.
- Second roundabout, after the Long Reach pub, left for the High Street, about 1 mile.
- From Thanet, take the turn for Whitstable from the A299 bypass.
- Check the street map link shown left. There is a small car park in Keems Yard to the north end of Island Wall.
- But it may be safer to choose one of the larger car parks and walk.

Accessible by Public Transport: 1 mile from Whitstable station


  • Children welcomeChildren welcome
  • Disabled accessDisabled access

Partial disabled access.

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