Holiday Rentals in Broadstairs, UK : Ocean Outlook : Macatsim

Cycling in Broadstairs / Thanet

Margate Harboue Couple on Bikes

Broadstairs and the surrounding areas are fantastic cycling destinations, not only because they have superb designated cycling routes, history and architecture they are also easily accessible.

Broadstairs has many places for you to hire a bicycle and cycling gear from one should you wish to do so which makes cycling accessible to all. They hire all types of bikes for all ages so you could make it a family cycling holiday without having to bring all of your bikes and safety gear. In fact, the hire companies will even deliver the bikes to your accommodation and then collect them when you are leaving which reduces the hassle – leaving you more time to have fun.

Cycle routes can be found here: http://www.mapmyride.com/gb/broadstairs-eng/

The Viking Coastal Trail

There is a 32-mile circular route known as “The Viking Coastal Trail” which can be taken at a leisurely pace. On route, you can take in Margate, Ramsgate and the beautiful surrounding inland villages of South East Kent. The route is an easy ride, family friendly, traffic free, safe ride along promenades, broad sea walls and long quiet leisurely lanes.

While on this trail, which encompasses the Isle you can enjoy the wonderful views of the white chalk cliffs, The Turner Contemporary, Pugin’s Grange, The Minster Abbey and the coastal path between Pegwell Bay and Cold Harbour. The route is also known as the Regional Cycle Network 15, which is well signposted throughout with the trail logo.

Viking Coastal Trail Area Map

If you are going to take the 32-mile Viking trail please give yourself around 5 hours 30 mins to complete this is at an easy pace. If you wish to speed up and cycle at a steady pace then the course can be completed in around 4 hours. If you are a strong rider and want to push yourself that little bit more then the 32-mile course can be completed in 2 hours. However going at this pace you may miss all the wonderful scenery, architecture and history that the trail has to offer. The decision is yours of course.

Thirty two miles of cycling in one go is not to everyone’s taste or ability of course, therefore, you have the options of either doing the course in stages or dividing the course into manageable sections and returning to Broadstairs every day. When you set out on the Viking Coastal Trail you do not need to worry about food or drink, as there are many places to stop, take a rest, eat and have a drink.

Viking Coastal Trail Sign

Viking Bay in Broadstairs

Viking Bay just 50m from the flat.

Time appears to have stood still for Viking Bay. The half-moon shaped sandy bay remains the same today as it has always been. It is still the premier beach and resort in the area however it does have some stiff opposition. Viking Bay is a typical Victorian beachside destination and it still has its brightly coloured beach huts, pier, and wonderful promenade sitting nonchalantly at the top of the resorts white cliffs. Looking down onto the harbour is Bleak House, which Charles Dickens used to frequent, he actually wrote his novel David Copperfield there. There are steps taking you down to the clean sandy beach or if you have mobility issues, there is a lift to take you down and bring you back up to the promenade.

While at the seaside, you should really try the fish and chips. There are many good fish and chip outlets such as Aqua 43, Shakey Shakey or Star of the Sea – all of which are equally first class however, there are many great restaurants if you would like a bit of comfort. Why not try Wyatt and Jones, The Tartar Frigate Restaurant or Star? They offer great food. If you wish to burn off those excess calories, you can take the walk to Ramsgate or try water sports. There is so much to do in Broadstairs – It’s interesting, it’s old, and very quaint.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g635678-d2155277-Reviews-Viking_Bay-Broadstairs_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Created by Matt

WWII History

WWII History in the area is rich being one of the closest points to continental Europe. Here are some places for WWII buffs. 

Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum

Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum

The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum is situated on one of the last surviving airfields that actually took part in the Battle of Britain. The RAF station Manston took a pounding from the German Luftwaffe in the summer of 1940 this was probably due to the fact Manston was actually the nearest Air-force base to German territory. The Spitfire and the Hurricane are fantastic original examples of the 2 second world war fighter aircraft who helped the Allies defeat Hitler and his men.

Spitfire Mk XV1 (LF)

The Spitfire, housed in the Manston Museum actually saw action in the second world war with 403 Squadron. If you observe the four German crosses painted onto the side of the aircraft this denotes the Spitfire shot down four German aircraft. Unusually, the four combat “kills” were all carried out by four different pilots. This is due to the Spitfire, which was coded as “Z” was the scratch aircraft of the squadron which means it was basically a spare and used whenever a pilots usual aircraft was grounded for repair.

Hurricane LF751

The Hurricane museum was officially opened by wartime sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn on the 7th October 1988. There were over 14,000 Hurricanes manufactured for the second world with many being involved in the Battle of Britain war. It played second fiddle to its more illustrious partner The Spitfire, however it is forgotten that the Hurricane can account for more than 55% of downed German aircraft. It was the RAF workhorse while the Spitfire was a thoroughbred. We should be grateful to both!!

The Museum has ample parking for cars and coaches and there is a souvenir shop along with the Merlin Cafe. A great place to visit.

http://www.spitfiremuseum.org.uk/

Distance – 4 miles

Ramsgate Tunnels

The award winning tunnels of Ramsgate saved hundreds of lives during World War 2 as Ramsgate was bombarded with hundreds of 500lb bombs dropped by the German Luftwaffe. The tunnels would never have been dug if it was not for the Mayor of Ramsgate Mr Arthur Kempe later to be fondly remembered as “The Mad Mayor”. The British Central Government refused permission to dig the tunnels so Mr Kempe badgered and hounded them for three years, until reluctantly, permission was given for work to commence in 1939. In 1940, the first Blitz of the second world war took place and it was the Ramsgate Tunnels that kept the people of Ramsgate alive.  The tunnels run for 4 miles underneath Ramsgate and are dug to an average depth of 67 feet. They were designed as an air raid shelter to protect up to 60,000 people.

During the war there were over 300 families living there due to their homes and businesses being flattened by the Luftwaffe. The labyrinth of tunnels were well ventilated, had electricity, toilets and even a hospital. The tour of the tunnels brings back to life the way it would have been during the difficult times. The guides are informative and give you the experiences and quotes from individuals who actually lived down there during the war. You can have a cup of tea and a cake in the Ratz cafe, look at artefacts, documents and a lot more.

http://www.ramsgatetunnels.org/

Distance – 2 miles

RAF Manston - Jaguar

RAF Manston History Museum

The RAF Manston History Museum is based in close proximity to both the Spitfire and Hurricane museums (across car park). The RAF base of Manston was on active duty from 1916-1996 and the Museum houses wonderful exhibits of both military and civilian aviation proving its importance in times of need. Once inside the museum it will take you on an aviation journey explaining how the base started life in 1916 as a naval airfield supporting sea planes at Westgate Bay. The Museum houses some complete aircraft such as De- Havilland Canada Chipmunk T10, Gloster Meteor TT.20, Hunter Pathfinder, SEPECAT Jaguar GR.3A plus Helicopters Westland Wessex and the Westland Whirlwind. The famous Dambusters story began here with Barnes Wallace using the base to perfect and test his amazing bouncing bomb which inflicted serious damage onto the Germans.

The museum which houses the Gloster Meteor also explains how RAF Manston was the first airfield to have a squadron of Jet Fighters where the Meteor was used to shoot down the German equivalent of today’s cruise missile the dreaded flying bombs nicknamed “The Doodlebug”. There are many more pages of history to be turned over with a visit to RAF Manston History Museum. It is absorbing and very interesting. There are on-site cafe and toilets facilities also available.

http://www.rafmanston.co.uk/

Distance – 4 miles

Helicopters & Balloons

A great way to experience the scenic countryside is with a helicopter or balloon tour.

Heli Charters Deal Castle
Flying Past Deal Castle

Heli Charter

Heli Charter Ltd were founded in 1997 and now operate ten helicopters for charter, lease and event support from their purpose-built facility in Manston. This is the main headquarters for the company however, they also have bases in Turweston in Buckinghamshire and Devizes in Wiltshire where they operate the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.

Heli Charter offer a wide range of tours around Kent. This includes the Castle Tour, The Cathedral Tour, Deal Coastline, Kent Lakes, Local Tour, Whitstable Tour with the most popular tour being the Hell Fire Corner Tour. Starting in Manston, flying the coastline over Deal, Walmer and St Margaret’s Cliff before changing course over to Dover’s White Cliffs, Port and Castle before heading out over the channel to the Hell Fire Corner area in Ypres in Belgium. Historians will know the terror Hell Fire Corner brought to British troops in the 1st world war. If you prefer something a bit more relaxing why not organise a Heli-Dining or Heli-Dining and Spa package. The flight takes you over the superb Kent coastline onto Canterbury and over the great Cathedral before landing at Eastwell Manor Hotel to continue your chosen package. Heli Charter is there for you to spoil yourselves whether that is for business or pleasure. Either way it is a fantastic experience.

http://www.heli-charter.com/charters-and-tours.php

Distance – 5 miles

Kent Ballooning

Kent Ballooning was established in 1990 and is a family run business. The scheduled flights take place 7 days a week between April and October with flight times being at sunset or sunrise. Kent Ballooning have a fantastic safety record and have a very experienced pilot in Michael. He has flown Kent Balloons since 1998 and he is therefore blessed with a huge amount of local knowledge making it possible to provide you with in-flight information on the significant landmarks you will see. Michael has a vast amount of experience due to the fact he has ballooned all over the world including America, Australia and Ottawa Canada.

Kent Ballooning are the proud recipients of the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for the last five years which is a massive achievement proving they provide a consistent level of service. While you are floating around in the serenity of the open air with the occasional blast of the burner you will be aware there is no disturbing engine noise just the click of cameras as you take in the spectacular 360-degree view. On landing you will be looked after by their ground crew who will be waiting for you. There you will be able to peruse the in-flight pictures that were taken of you, which you can purchase if you wanted plus there’s the worldwide tradition of a glass of champagne after every flight. Then hop onto the minibus and return to the departure point.

http://www.kentballooning.com/

Distance – 25 miles

Polar Helicopters Line Up

Polar Helicopters

Polar Helicopters operate from Hangar 10 Kent International Airport, Manston. They offer various services, one of which is showing off the Kent countryside from the air. On offer is a one-hour flight to take on board the ultimate trip to view Canterbury and the beautiful Kent Coast. Polar Helicopters offer trips lasting 20, 30, 40 and 60 minutes taking in various sights, which can be arranged prior to leaving the ground. There are also gift vouchers that can be bought online if you have any budding helicopter pilots in your midst’s.

Trial Lesson Gift Vouchers are a fantastic present for those inclined to fly themselves. It is also possible to charter an aircraft and cater it to your requirements. That could be for a Wedding, Photo Shoot, A Sporting event such as F1 or Horse Racing and sightseeing a commercial or private event. They can accommodate up to 4 people in the slick streamlined Bell B206 JetRanger aircraft which cruises at 110 knots and is able to fly at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The Pilots and ground staff have many years of experience in flying and looking after clients. If you need or want to take a flight, then Polar Helicopters are there to assist you in meeting your requirements.

http://polarhelicopters.co.uk/

Distance – 4 miles

Sky Charter Helicopters

Sky Charter Helicopters

Sky Charter Helicopters operate out of London Manston International Airport. They are situated in the Helicopter Centre, which is located on the North side of the main airport runway. At present, they operate 20 helicopters, all offering something a little different to fit in with your requirements with bases at Lee-On-Solent (Southampton) and Sherburn in Elmett (York). Sky Charter Helicopters can be chartered for many purposes such as Private and Corporate flights, Sightseeing Tours, Weddings, Filming and any other purpose you may require.

If holidaying in Kent why not take the Kent Castle Tour where you will fly over Richborough Roman Fort, Deal, Walmer, Dover, Westenhanger and Bodiam Castle to name a few. You will also be able to view the garden of England in a way not many others can, the lush green fields and orchards look wonderful from the air. If you wish, there are packages to fly you and three guests on a tour before landing for you all to take lunch or dinner and if you’re adventurous you can throw in a Swim and a visit to the Spa. The staff at Sky Charter Helicopters are very helpful, accommodating and professional. They have a “Can Do” attitude for you.

http://skycharteroperations.co.uk/

Distance – 5 miles

Days Out & Activities

Places and things to do that will be a great day out including Dreamland, boat trips and museums.

Dreamland Margate - Stretch

Dreamland

If you fancy a trip down memory lane then Dreamland is the place for you. All the fun of the fair and more! This fairground has been brought into the 21st century with love and attention to detail and is now free to enter and is open all year round. The old rides have been restored while the 1920’s Scenic Railway considered to be the queen of the fairground has been completely refurbished along with the 1930’s Brooklands speedway roundabout. The rides have been painted and the fair has had a lot of investment and there is once again an energy and a buzz about the place.

It’s not just the traditional rides any more as a 15000 capacity music venue has been added along with the Octopus garden which is well above your average indoor play area catering for children under 8 years old. There is the Roller Room for your roller skating needs which is open all year round for children’s parties, hen parties and anything in between. Dreamland has also upped its game regarding catering. There is a new food court offering street food plus a new “Tree House Bar” build on stilts. There is also the seafront pub called Cinque Ports with Ziggy’s rooftop Rum Shack. Dreamland is now a great all year round venue for kids and adults alike.

https://www.dreamland.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g503912-d7999625-Reviews-Dreamland_Margate-Margate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 3 miles

Margate's Shell Grotto

Margate’s Shell Grotto is one of life’s mysteries. Nobody knows who built it, why they built it or when they built it. It was discovered some 180 years ago purely by accident when, in 1835  Mr James Newlove the Master of nearby Dane House School was  digging a duck pond with his son Joshua. While digging, a hole appeared from nowhere which took Mr Newlove completely by surprise. Mr Newlove filled with intrigue decided to tie a harness around his small 12-year-old son Joshua and lower him through the hole. Joshua was slowly lowered and he was able to walk around 70 feet in the dark deserted tunnel before his Dad, concerned, pulled on the rope and retrieved Joshua. Once back in daylight wide eyed Joshua passed on to his father the astonishing story of what he had encountered whist in the cavern. He spluttered he had seen tunnels, which led him into a mystical large Temple with an Altar, all the walls and ceilings were covered in thousands if not millions of seashells.

The hole was widened for adults to explore and they found exactly what Joshua described. They found the Chamber with an Altar and a rotunda plus more passageways. There are estimated to be 4.6 million shells used to decorate 2000 square feet of mosaics. In 1837, Newlove purchased the land and opened the Grotto to the public as it can be seen to this day.

http://shellgrotto.co.uk/

Distance – 3 miles

Go2Sea / Rib Request

Rib Request offer exhilarating adrenalin and fun for all the family. Safety on these excursions is paramount to the company that operates the trips. Therefore a life-jacket is compulsory. Here are a few different trips the Rib Request can take you on.

Seals: The Rib will whisk you out to sea where you can get the feel of the wind in your hair as the 200hp engines roar. The boat owners will take you to the locations the seals frequent where you can get close up to the seals and other wildlife. On the return to Ramsgate hold tight because you never know what fun the skipper may have in store for you. The trip lasts approximately one hour.

Wind Farm: The Rib will take you seven miles north east of Ramsgate. The destination is Thanet Offshore Wind farm one of the largest wind-farms in the world which is capable of supplying 200,000 homes with clean electricity. The trip will last approximately two hours.

Bays and Beaches: If time is against you or you just want to relax and take in the scenery this is for you with the trip taking you along the Thanet coastline as far as Foreness Point. During the trip you shall see the famous North Foreland Lighthouse, Charles Dickens Bleak House and beaches with several smugglers coves. This fun excursion lasts approximately 1 hour.

http://go2sea.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186314-d4258744-Reviews-Rib_Request_Day_Tours-Ramsgate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 2 miles

Quex House

Quex Park and the Powell-Cotton Museum

Quex Park is situated in Birchington, East Kent. The park covers an area of 250 acres with many trees planted by John Powell in the 19th century. Another attraction worth a few minutes of your time is the Waterloo Tower built in 1819 which has a rare secular peal of 12 bells. During the summer months, 2 days are set aside to operate guided tours of the tower. Also worth a visit are the lookout post and clock tower built in 1820.

However the jewel in the crown of Quex Park has to be the Powell-Cotton Museum. The museum is the best of its type in Europe with its Natural History Dioramas perhaps being the best in the world. A tour around the house is a must as well. There are House Stewards who will assist you with their knowledge and tales of the family and their home as you wander through the Powell-Cotton residence admiring the culture and the eclectic array of collectables from all around the world. Once you have seen the house why not take a stroll in the wonderful seven acre Victorian Garden.

It’s not just the adults who have fun at Quex Park. There are lots of things to do for the little people in the family. There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a craft village, a garden nursery, Quex carriages, Quex paintball and laser rush while in the summer months there is also a giant maize maze. Cuisine is not a problem as there is an on-site restaurant. There is so much to do and so little time to do in!

http://www.quexpark.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1192242-d1930514-Reviews-Quex_Park_and_The_Powell_Cotton_Museum-Birchington_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 5 miles

Sea Searcher Boat Trips

If the speed of the Go2Sea / Rib Request is too much for you and you wish to have a more leisurely time sightseeing then look no further than the Sea Searcher Boat Trips. The Sea Searcher is a traditional fishing vessel modified to take non fishing passengers on sightseeing excursions when needed. If you’re not a particularly good sailor don’t panic because all is not lost. You can save face with your family and friends by taking a gentle trip around the harbour checking out all the yachts and motor cruisers moored up. Remember the harbour you are taking a trip around is the only Royal Harbour in the UK and the trip only takes 20 minutes.  If you are feeling a little more adventurous why not take a leisurely trip out to the Local National Nature Reserve to see the colony of residential seals plus the seasonal wild birds that frequent the same venue. The trip takes one and a half hours.

The Sea Searcher still takes fishermen out on fishing trips of various lengths of time. There are many species of fish that can be caught including Sea Bass, Skate and Dogfish to name a few. The experienced Skipper is there to assist you or show you depending on your fishing experience. Rod hire and bait are included in the price.

http://www.seasearcher.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186314-d1417294-Reviews-Sea_Searcher_Boat_Trips-Ramsgate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html 

Distance – 2 miles

The Micro Museum Computers 2

The Micro Museum

The Micro Museum is an award winning attraction that is run by Husband and Wife Mike and Carol Deer. For more than 40 years they have collected, bought and repaired personal computers, calculators, games and microelectronics. They have a vast amount of knowledge and enthusiasm, which they have gathered over the years. When entering the museum you will come across devices from the early 20th Century all the way through to the beginning of the 21st Century. The displays on show include computers, games consoles and a heap more interesting electrical devices from the 1970’s and 80’s. This is the era where computers and technology in general became part of everyday life and made their way into most of our homes in one way or another.

If you were a fan of David Bowie, Slade or maybe Queen and remember the Concorde era then a visit to The Micro Museum will take you on a trip down computers memory lane. Take a look and see if your first ever computer, console or gadgets are on display. It is of great benefit for youngsters to visit the museum so they can see and get a feel of how and when the home computer revolution began. There are competitions for all ages and certificates for those boffins who get all their questions correct. There is so much to do here it is very informative and a lot of fun.

http://www.themicromuseum.org/

Distance – 2 miles

Vue Cinema External Close Up

Vue Cinema

Vue Cinema has 10 screens, the latest films and tickets start from £4.99. There is a licenced bar and plenty of parking.

https://westwoodx.co.uk/leisure/vue-cinema

Distance – 2 miles

Outdoor Sports

Joss Bay Surfing Home Page Stretch

The area is great for a variety of outdoor sports including surfing, skate boarding, rock climbing and horse riding, to name a few.

Kent Surf School

Kent Surf School is owned and run by Husband and Wife Andy and Gemma Webb. The school is an award-winning venture and the owners and instructors teach a little more than the usual. Yes they teach you to surf however, they also try to pass on their passion and enthusiasm for the sea stating it should be respected at all times. You will be aware whilst having a lesson how they try to instil into the pupil the fundamentals of beach safety hoping this will promote good lifelong practices. Of course, they ensure at all times you are learning and enjoying the experience, which of course is paramount to the success of their business. Teaching water-sports to people of all abilities is where they come to the fore. Whether you wish to learn how to Surf, Stand up paddle-boarding, Body boarding or Kayaking they will get you on the sea or maybe in the sea very quickly.

If you are on holidays in the area and do not have access to the equipment, Kent Surf School hire out safety checked equipment. They offer many different packages from individual tuition to Hen and Stag parties, however, they prefer smaller classes so they can give a personal learning experience. For friends and relatives who are not partaking in the water-sport tuition there is a cafe and a viewing area for them to admire their friends or loved ones efforts. 

http://www.kentsurfschool.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g635678-d3342200-Reviews-Kent_Surf_School-Broadstairs_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html 

Distance – 150 metres

Joss Bay Surf School

The award winning Joss Bay Surf School was founded in 1998 to help promote Joss Bay as a safe and enjoyable way for people to change their lives for the better. People have surfed Joss Bay for over 40 years however, there is now professional tuition available for the next budding Luke Dillon. The staff at the surf school are friendly, approachable and extremely knowledgeable about their sport. The instructors have given thousands of lessons to all sorts of clients young and old, able and disabled, novices and experienced in a fun professional manner. They are also portraying not only their knowledge of surfing but also their love of the sea and their passion in what they are trying to achieve. They take great pride in improving surfers of all abilities.

The Joss Bay Surf school also give professional lessons in stand up paddle boarding so the choice is yours. You can have lessons as a group or individually and they have also, for the last 18 years been able to hire out quality surf equipment, this comes with experienced sea safety advice. The hire equipment is only used under the watchful eyes of Joss Bay Surf School Staff who are trained lifeguards. So remember “The best surfer out there is the one having most fun”.

https://www.jossbay.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g635678-d2140584-Reviews-Joss_Bay_Surf_School-Broadstairs_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 2 miles

Revolution Skate Park and Climbing Centre

Revolution Skate Park welcomes people of all ages and abilities. There are professional staff there to assist and direct anyone who needs tuition. Revolution does not only cater for skateboarders but also BMX riders, scooters as well as rollerbladers so why not pad up and give it a go? Revolution is a state of the art indoor facility built in three large warehouses with the skate park split into a Street Course, Bowl room and a Ramp Room. This inspired facility was first opened in 1998 during which time it has become known as not just one of the finest extreme leisure centres in Kent but the finest in the UK.

Alongside the immaculately maintained skate park is another large warehouse, which is home to one of the country’s best indoor climbing facilities. Yet again, this immaculate climbing centre is full of surprises. If interested you can take it a step further and try the Climber Trial Session. When you arrive, you will be given climbing shoes and then be allowed to climb supervised to a height of 9 metres. If this gets the adrenalin pumping and you have Everest in your sights why not give “Bouldering” a go. During the “Bouldering” session you will have to overcome such obstacles as overhangs, cave and natural wall problems and all sent to test your climbing ability. On this wall, you may climb up to 5 metres high. On site there is a cafe, climbing shop, spectators viewing area and toilets plus a lot more.

http://www.revolutionskatepark.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g635678-d3342272-Reviews-Revolution_Skatepark-Broadstairs_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 1 mile

Horse With Kid

Manston Riding Centre

Manston Riding Centre is a fully-fledged member of the Association of British Riding Schools. The riding centre is located just outside of Ramsgate. The Equestrian centre has two floodlight schools, one of which has full set of ride on jumps. Manston Riding Centre also have on site, a feed store and a tack shop, these should alleviate any hunger pains for either you or your horse.

In the Summer months they have many  Equine shows for all abilities of rider and horse. There are also available, a full range of horse boarding facilities which can be tailored to your needs. There is a Full Livery service available where there is a professional supervisor to give your horse the care and attention is deserves. The horse is fed, given bedding and haylage, is turned out and groomed -7 days a week. If you prefer a little more hands on then it is possible to have assisted livery where your horse is fed, watered and hayed with bedding provided and it will also turned out. Schooling and exercise can be arranged whenever you require it. Lessons are available for riders of all abilities either on your own horse or on one of theirs.

https://www.manstonridingcentre.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g3681139-d8507461-Reviews-Manston_Riding_Centre-Manston_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html 

Distance – 5 miles

True Grip Off Road Driving Experience

Off road driving can be fun for all the family. If you are maybe wanting to improve your driving skills, require professional training or just want to have a blast with family or friends you can do it here. There are a few different vehicles and courses for the off road driving enthusiast. The courses are set in the rolling Kentish Countryside in the 3,000 acre Eastwell Park Estate near Ashford. There you will find numerous difficult surfaces to drive on with chalk, clay, sand, water crossings and mud runs all aimed to test both car and driver to the limits. You will be able to drive the various lanes and tracks laid out in this Kent Estate, however, if you’re feeling brave have a go at the purpose built off road test circuit. This was designed not only to test the vehicles but the drivers skills and concentration also. Here you can take on the steepest banks, ruts and slide slopes plus a lot more.

It’s not just cars that True Grip have to offer there is also off road Quad Biking. They offer 1 person per quad and groups of 4 quads for each instructor. There are courses for people of all abilities ranging from extreme off road obstacles to the safari runs which meander gently through the wooded Kent countryside. The minimum age is 16 years old and all the Instructors are professionally trained to ensure safety is paramount.

http://www.truegrip-offroad.co.uk/

 Distance – 27 miles

History & Attractions

Vintage Broadstairs Photo

Broadstairs is an all year round destination with its Blue Flag beaches, clifftop walks, restaurants and an abundance of history. It is a great place to visit at any time. Continue reading about its history and attractions.

Broadstairs is a coastal town on the Isle of Thanet. Broadstairs started life with the name Bradstowe which means “broad place” possibly referring to the large bay. Bradstowe became a large fishing village where the fishermen helped construct a clifftop shrine – the Shrine of our Lady. Stairs were then built into the cliff to give access to the shrine and this is where it is believed that the name “Broadstairs” was born and used up until the present day. St Mary’s Chapel now stands on the site of the shrine. In 1540 York Gate was built which is an arch over Harbour Street. In its heyday it had huge wooden gates which could be slammed shut should the French decide to attack. The arch survives to this day.

One of the most famous names mentioned in the history of Broadstairs is “The Honourable Major Henry Percy”, of the 14th Light Dragoons. Percy was The Duke of Wellington’s right hand man never more so than during the battle of Waterloo. As news filtered through that Napoleon was about to commence battle, Percy was in Brussels attending a ball in his red dress tunic. He had no time to change and was still in the same clothes after the battle had ended. The Duke of Wellington did not have the will to celebrate victory at Waterloo as he had lost so many fine men in battle. He summoned his close aid Henry Percy to take the battle report back to London . He set sail on the warship HMS Peruvian, heading back to Britain with the good news.  On the 21st June 1850 he landed in Broadstairs clasping the captured French Eagles and Standard won during the Waterloo battle. Tunnel stairways were dug joining the beach to the clifftop fields and they were christened “Waterloo Stairs”. A plaque has been erected on Viking Bay, Broadstairs to commemorate Henry Percy’s landing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadstairs#History

Broadstairs Destination Photos 01 Charles Dickens House

Charles Dickens House

Charles Dickens had a long affectionate relationship with both the house and the owner –  Miss Mary Strong. The house was apparently the inspiration behind Betsy Trotwoods home in David Copperfield.  The description Copperfield gave of Betsy Trotwoods garden still stands today as does the description of the parlour full of old furniture. Dickens put all the characteristics he observed whilst visiting Miss Strong into his fictional character Betsy Trotwood. Charles Dickens son Charley remembers affectionately Miss Mary Strong being very kind to both Charles and Charley. She would ply them full with cups of tea and some lovely cakes. Charley also recalls the belief that Miss Mary Strong had that her rights to prevent the donkeys straying into her garden. She was convinced she had the right to prohibit the donkey’s right of way across the clifftop in front of her cottage. Her stubbornness towards the donkeys was shown in Dickens writing of the donkey incident involving Betsy Trotwoods and the immortal quote “Janet! Donkeys!”

Charles Dickens House is now a museum to the great man. He frequented the house in 1837 – 1851. The museum is a must visit for all Dickens fans. You get the feel of the era, the man and the many interesting artefacts that still remain there.

https://www.thanet.gov.uk/the-thanet-magazine/campaigns/dickens-house-museum/

Distance – 150 metres

Bleak House

Bleak House formerly known as Fort House has had and still does have many faces. In its 1801 it was home to one of the Captains whose job was to keep Broadstairs safe. It had advantageous views of the harbour as well as a clear and spectacular view across Viking Bay. Charles Dickens often spent the summer months between the 1850’s and the 1860’s nestled in Fort House high above the working harbour below. It was while holidaying at Fort House that Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfied. In the early 20th century, an unknown guest referred to Fort House as “Bleak House” from Charles Dickens 1853 novel of the same name. Strangely enough the name stuck hence the name is the same to this day. Dickens openly stated that Bleak House was his favourite residence and most definitely his most favourite watering hole.

For the best part of the 20th century, Bleak House was split into two. Half of the property was used for residential purposes and the other half was a memorial museum to Charles Dickens. In 2012, the present owners opened the historic house as a luxury bed and breakfast with all rooms referencing novels from Dickens’ wonderfully written library.

http://www.bleakhousebroadstairs.co.uk/

Distance – 400 metres

St Peters Village Tour

St Peter's Village Tour

You can sit and listen to lectures in History but there is nothing better than seeing history in the flesh for it to mean something. This award winning tour of St Peters Village will do just that. You will come across actors dressed in uniforms and various other forms of clothing from a by-gone age transporting you back in time bringing the past back to life. The tour is detailed and very interesting while it takes you all the way back to when the Village first came to life, through the Napoleonic wars up to the recent history of the village. The village volunteers run 4 tours around the village all being excellent and very informative as well as being run very professionally.

The Tours are: 

Village Tour
Churchyard Tour
WW1 Graves Tour
WW2 Graves Tour

When you take a tour you will be asked to form into five groups of ten people, the groups will then start the tour in 5 minute intervals. During the tour you will be flat walking a little under one mile and standing listening to the presentations so it is advisable to wear a pair of comfortable walking shoes if possible. During the tour and all that walking there will be breaks where you can enjoy a tea or coffee. There is access for visitors with disabilities and children are also welcome. It is suggested children should be aged 10 years or over to enjoy the experience.

http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/attractions/st-peter-s-village-tour/8439

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g635678-d3342177-Reviews-St_Peter_s_Village_Tour-Broadstairs_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 1 mile

Turner Contemporary Building

Turner Contemporary

The Turner Contemporary is an art gallery situated on Margate seafront. There was once a boarding house sited in exactly the same spot where J.M.W. Turner stayed whilst visiting the town. The Organisation was founded in 2001 with the aim to produce a rolling programme of temporary art exhibitions and events. The gallery itself was designed by architect David Chipperfield and was eventually opened in 2011. The Turner Contemporary Art Gallery has, over the years, become an important visitor attraction of national and international importance. The belief is that the Turner Contemporary has aided in the regeneration of Margate having already welcomed 1.8 million visitors. The hopes and aspirations of the organisation are to bring world-class art to the many and not just the few. The gallery has had many important visitors. In 2011 Queen Elizabeth II visited, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge visited in 2015 and David Cameron made a visit in 2013 and all were impressed with both the architecture of the gallery and the art on display.

When visiting Margate, The Turner Contemporary Gallery is well worth a visit. Entrance is free and they have a cafe overlooking Margate harbour serving modern seasonal cuisine. In the shop you will find books, exhibition mementos, gifts and accessories. 

https://www.turnercontemporary.org/

Distance – 3 miles

Local Castles

In the UK we are fortunate to have many Castles full of history and interesting artefacts. Here are four local castles worth a visit in the area.

Dover Castle Aerial View

Dover Castle

Dover Castle stands proudly on the famous white cliffs, which is the shortest sea crossing distance between England and France being only 21 miles. The site dates back to the Iron Age and inside the castle wall the Romans built a Lighthouse whilst the Anglo-Saxon’s built a church “The Church of St Mary in Castro” which still stands to this day. The present castle was built in the 1180’s by King Henry II and over the next 800 years the castle changed its defences to accommodate the changing threats from potential attackers.  The castle has protected its shores even in recent times. The Napoleonic tunnels which were dug beneath the castle were brought back into use in 1940 and were used to organise the evacuation of Dunkirk .

A visit to Dover Castle can easily fill a whole day. The Great Tower is as good a place to start as anywhere is. Seeing how royalty lived all those years ago and how the medieval kings lived. There are Audio and visual effects on offer that are designed to give you a feel of what it must have been like during that great Dunkirk rescue. Facilities are good with a Cafe, restaurant, picnic area and toilets available.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/dover-castle

Distance – 17 miles

Walmer Castle and Gardens

Walmer castle was built by Henry V111 in 1540 as part of his coastal defences against the French and the Spanish after his split with the Roman Catholic Church. Thankfully, the defences were never tested so the battle ready castle evolved into what it is today which is an elegant country home with beautiful gardens to match. The castle now serves as the official home to the Lord Wardens of Cinque Ports. Some colourful characters have held the position of Lord Warden including Winston Churchill and the first Duke of Wellington who lived in the castle very simply until his death in September 14th 1852 at precisely 3.25pm. These days the position of Lord Wardens is mainly ceremonial but is still a prestigious position. In the 19th century the gardens were added and became a favourite with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother with part of the eight-acre garden is named after her.

If you’re visiting Walmer Castle and Gardens give yourself a full day as there is lots to see and do. There is obviously the Castle itself while the Wellington Room is a must where you can see how the Duke lived, the campaign bed he slept on and his beloved armchair in which he passed away. Outside there are the gardens to see and refreshments in the Lord Wardens Tea Room.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/walmer-castle-and-gardens/

Distance – 11 miles

Deal Castle Aerial View

Deal Castle

Deal Castle was built by Henry VIII as part of his coastal defence against the French and the Spanish with whom he had a disagreement with in 1538. Henry VIII felt that the Deal coastline was one of the most vulnerable to attack therefore he built his first and largest castle there in 1540. In fact he felt so insecure at the time he built three castles within two miles of each other. Deal Castle had the super-weapons of the day to protect itself. It was armed with the most modern armaments possible including the new cannon. The castle had 119 gun positions which Henry VIII considered was enough to defend that area of coastline. He was however concerned about the castle if it was built using traditional methods as it was vulnerable to direct hits from incoming cannon fire . He employed engineer Stefan Von Haschenperg to design the castle and he came up with the idea to construct a concentric castle. A series of curved overlapping walls which if hit directly would deflect the cannonballs lessening the impact. This in turn would allow his men to continue returning cannon fire. If observed from the air the castle looks like a flower.

 Many say Deal is not a castle and that it’s a fort but it is certainly different to Walmer Castle. Deal had a military history and remains the same today as it was in Tudor times. Take a walk around all of the castle, see the store rooms, the rounded bastions and get a feel of what it was like back in the day.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/deal-castle/

Distance – 10 Miles

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre

The Romans invaded Britain in 43AD and during their occupation which continued until the end of the Roman rule in 410 Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre was a key strategic site of theirs. The first military fort was very basic as the Romans only intended it to be a beachhead on enemy territory and not a permanent military camp. It was not until the middle of the first century that Richborough became far more important to the Romans because all the Army supplies came through there. With the successful invasion came the inevitable Roman Triumphant Arch, which was located in the centre of the fort. Unfortunately, there is not much left of the arch although you can see where it was constructed.  As the Romans moved North, Richborough became a civilian town with a hotel, temples and an amphitheatre. In the late 3rd century, the town was re-militarised and turned into a Saxon Shore Fort to defend against the threat of Saxon Pirates. The fort was completed in 285 but unfortunately, the triumphant arch was demolished during the build.

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre is an incredible site, with the aid of the audio guide you really get a sense of what life was like there in Roman times. Whatever the weather you are conscious of what has gone before you, it can be a very spiritual environment. So, why not let your children and your imagination run wild at Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre.

http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/richborough-roman-fort-and-amphitheatre/

Distance – 6 miles

Mini Golf / Putt Putt / Crazy Golf

If you’re not up for the traditional golfing experience, then why not try mini golf? There are several locations in the area to have a swing and a giggle.

lillyputt-minigolf

Lillyputt Mini Golf​

Established in 1993 and being a break away from the general golfing experience, mini golf is known for being a unique and enjoyable experience. There’s a cafe too so that you can make a day out for everyone. This is something which the younger holiday goers might enjoy, so it’s well worth checking out, and if you need more details, then you can find them here.
http://www.minigolfbroadstairs.com

Rascal Bay Adventure Golf manston_course

Rascal Bay Adventure Course

Here you’ll encounter dinosaurs, pirates, waterfalls, a volcano, a couple of rafts and a variety of animals. This is part of the Manston Golf Centre.
http://rascalbay.co.uk/manston/

Quex Adventure Golf

If it’s relaxation you enjoy but secretly crave a more competitive pastime why not indulge your family into the world of crazy golf? Quex Adventure Golf in Birchington, Kent is a great destination to fulfil your cravings. It is fun and action packed for all the family regardless of age. The 18 holes have been put together with inventive, artistic endeavour as you have to negotiate old castles, bridges, a garden shed, waterfalls and towers to name a few. There may also be a moving obstacle to manoeuvre around as a family of residential ducks often decide to walk across your putting line.

The idea of Adventure Golf is to get the ball into the hole taking the least amount of shots.  The mission is to get all the family from young children to the elderly grandparent to participate. It really is fun for all the family creating lasting memories of the fun times. During the heat of battle when putters become a blur and balls fly around like cannonballs it may be a good time to take a break. This is the time the ice-cream parlour comes into its own and will cool everyone down in readiness for the last few holes.
http://quexadventuregolf.co.uk/

Storkes Adventure Golf

Strokes Adventure Golf

Strokes Adventure Mini-Golf course consists of 18 holes that are designed to test the skills and patience of everyone who takes up the challenge. The course is situated on Westbrook Promenade overlooking the beautiful sea of Westbrook Bay and has many natural built in hazards such as rockscapes, plants and water features. The course has been designed for children aged from 2 years old right through to the elderly should adventure golf be their thing . Children love to play with grandparents especially if at the end of the day they can gain the bragging rights as to who won!

This mini-golf course really is a challenge for children and adults alike. It is great fun and something that all the family can participate in together. There are not many activities these days where that is possible, especially as all concerned will enjoy it. If you have pushed yourself too hard and need a break, refreshments and a bite to eat can be had at the on-site restaurant. When you are finished and refreshed return to the undulating rolling lush green grass of the mini-golf and enjoy the experience. Strokes Adventure Mini-Golf course is also used for the serious golf fanatic as it is affiliated to the British Mini Golf Association which has enabled the course to host the prestigious British Open five times.
https://www.strokesadventuregolf.com/