Holiday Rentals in Broadstairs, UK : Ocean Outlook : Macatsim

Walking in Broadstairs / Thanet

Sunset at Kingsgate Beach

If you enjoy walking, you have come to the right place. Walking does not need to be like a military yomp across fields and boring open land. Here in Broadstairs, we have many different types walks available. There are in town historic walking tours, coastal walks to places such as Ramsgate and Margate taking in all the history and architecture of a bygone era or of course, there is the 32-mile circular route known as The Viking Coastal Trail for the fit serious walkers amongst us.

There is a walk for all abilities and ages with lots of things to do and see as you go. For an early stroll, why not head out to Botany Bay, which offers a walk of 2.6 miles. This walk will take you past Joss Bay named after the notorious Joss Snelling, an eighteenth century smuggling icon. He smuggled a variety of contraband to different beaches on the Isle of Thanet making mugs out of the Customs Officials. Unlike some of his colleagues who were hanged or deported, he managed to live until he was 96.

Kingsgate Bay Castle - Small
Kingsgate Castle on the cliffs above Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs, Kent. It was built for Lord Holland in the 1760s. The name Kingsgate is related to an incidental landing of Charles II on 30 June 1683

The walk will also take you to Kingsgate Bay with its white cliffs and many smugglers sea caves. There are eating and drinking facilities here if you stroll on the beach but please be aware that when the tide is coming in you can find yourself cut off at both ends of the Bay.

When you arrive at Botany Bay, you will be impressed with the chalk structures rising from the sandy beach. If you have children this is a great place to go fossil hunting or play in the rock pools. If your walk ends here, you may go to the Botany Bay Hotel for something to eat and a drink If you feel that the walk has taken it out of you then the staff will kindly call a Taxi which will return you to Broadstairs.

Chalf Cliffs at Botany Bay Small
Chalf Cliffs at Botany Bay

Whether you decide to walk to Ramsgate, Margate or inland around the Kent countryside this is a fantastic area to walk with so many different things to visit and to see. One other reason that makes it one of the best areas to walk is the fact that it has so many facilities along the way. You are never too far away from assistance if needed and yet it seems as if you are miles from anywhere.  There are so many routes and things to do around the area, so please check it out and find the things that are of interest to you.

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

Kent Sea Fishing

Sea Fishing Father Son

People often wonder what sport has the most participants in the UK. It comes as a shock when they find out fishing takes the top prize with over 3,000,000 fishermen and Women taking part in all different types of angling. Solitude, peace and quiet with a touch of patience thrown in and your half way to being a decent angler.

Kent not only has a most beautiful and varied coastline showing off its chalk white cliffs and its wonderful sandy beaches, it can also boast some of the best fishing in Britain. The nutrient rich waters are home to many species of fish most of which are edible.

Kent Coast Fishing Compedium

http://www.hagstone.net/broadstairs.html

Autumn Sea Fishing (Sept - Nov)

Autumn is sometimes thought of as the best time to fish, as anglers can often be lucky enough to get the best of both worlds. This is where the summer and winter species tend to overlap and so it has been known for an angler spinning on a light rod for Mackerel to hook into a large winter Cod using lures.

Autumn Fishing Rods and Fish

So, it is true that this time of year when fishing, you never really know what you are going to catch. It is however, the time for the bigger fish of all species to start moving in. There will be larger Conger eels, Smooth hound and Thornback rays. The time to target these is on a fine early Autumn evening where the same rule can be applied to the larger Bass, Pollock and Wrasse.

As autumn moves towards Winter these species will become less as the large Cod move in from the colder Scandinavian waters to join the smaller Cod who have remained around our shores all year round. The Plaice will start to migrate to be replaced with cold water flat fish such as Dabs and Flounder these can be great sport to fish, then as Autumn gets closer to Winter the Whiting will arrive to give you some good sport as well.

Ramsgate Pier and Pegwell Bay are excellent this time of year, as is the reliable Mennis Bay and its neighbour Margate with its pier. Wherever you choose to fish on the Isle of Thanet you are sure to enjoy the experience whatever your ability is.

There are only two things more important than the catch itself. They are conservation where you should adhere to the catch and release policy, returning any undersized fish safely to the water and take all your plastic bags and rubbish home with you. The most important of all is your safety. Check tides and weather conditions before you go fishing and let someone know where you intend to fish.

Winter Sea Fishing (Dec - Feb)

Kent for many years has been known as one of the best sea fishing areas in the UK. The coastline is perfect for fishing all year round. Different areas offer different species and this is the same all year.  The beaches at Viking Bay Main Beach, Pegwell Bay Ramsgate, Ramsgate Main Sands, Reculver and Minnis Bay all offer great shoreline winter fishing.

Minnis Bay in winter offers species such as Whiting which can be caught on Mackerel strips while you may also come across some codling. Wander between Ramsgate and Margate and you will find Kingsgate Bay, Botany Bay and Joss Bay. All these sandy bays have rocks just a little out to sea, which give you the chance of bagging a nice Sea Bass using peeler crab or ragworm as bait. 

There are other species of fish you can catch such as Dogfish and Flatfish so be ready and aware for a bit of a fight with the best time to fish being low tide. It is also possible to catch Smooth-Hound and Rays at these bays. A little further along the coast is Deal, which has a superb reputation for big fish and many species. In winter from this venue stick with your beachcaster and target the large Cod that frequent the area. 

Cod Fish on a plate with lemon

A large bait is used for a large fish so you can either use a large squid or make up a cocktail using a combination of frozen peeler crab, squid, lugworm and muscles. If there are Cod about they won’t be able to resist. 

All you need to have for a great days fishing is a Beachcaster rod, a reel – either a spinner or a multiplier the preference is your decision with 18-20 pound breaking strain line and your rigs with your bait. Make sure you have the correct clothing and safety gear – remembering that good fishermen always adhere to the conservation code which states a catch and release policy for undersize fish.

If you choose to stay with us and fancy a spot of Sea Fishing and don’t have your equipment don’t panic! There is an angling shop known as “Pleasure Angling” in Deal (Tel. 01304 239191) who hire out the equipment and bait you need for a good fishing session.

Spring Sea Fishing (March - May)

Early spring is probably the quietest time of year in which to fish. The reason why it is quieter is that in early spring the Winter species will have left for colder waters whilst the summer species have yet to arrive in any numbers, however, that does not make it a bad time fish!

In later spring the transitional period begins where the species who migrated to warmer waters in the winter start to return as our water temperatures increase. In Later spring, you will see Plaice and Mackerel arriving along with Sprats and Sand-Eel with the odd Garfish making an appearance.

Ramsgate Harbour Boats Yachts Marina
Ramsgate Harbour & Marina

The ever-present Pollock and Wrasse who move out to deeper water in the winter also start to come into shallow water again where they will come in close enough so that the shore fishermen will be able to once again target them. There are always the usual Conger Eels, Rays and Smooth-Hounds to keep you amused or try a light spinner rod and fish for summer flatfish, Bass and Pollock. This can be great fun.

Ramsgate offers two miles of good sporting shoreline with the harbour piers giving the person fishing plenty of options including what fish to target and from where they think they will catch.

For keen anglers, night fishing is probably the most productive as the beaches tend to get very busy in the daytime with holiday makers. From Ramsgate shore in Spring you can expect to catch bass, soles, flounders, dabs and the odd thornback ray.

Broadstairs can be a fun place to fish in later spring. With the Mackerel coming in to join the Bass and Dogfish. Fishing off the jetty can make life a little easier in later spring when tourist numbers increase. Night fishing can also produce good bass and flounder when there are less visitors around.

Do not forget to try Joss Bay and Botany Bay, which also produce specimen fish. If you’re having no luck take a short walk and try either bay.

Margate and Minnis Bay can be a productive mark if conditions are right where you can catch Bass, Thornback Rays, Smooth-hound, Flounders and Eels. Mennis Bay is a fantastic shore fishing venue and is a must if fishing in the area.

Summer Sea Fishing (June - August)

Summer is a great time to fish. A different target species and better weather make it a lot more enjoyable and a lot more comfortable. The Kent coastline remains a fantastic area to fish with record results repeatedly. 

Reculver Tower Whitstable
Whitstable Reculver Towers

There are productive marks around Whitstable Harbour where there are Dabs, Flounders, Silver Eels, Lesser Spotted-Dogfish and School Bass. If you are a decent caster, the same species can be caught from the pebbled beach. Herne Bay is worth a go as on a good day you can catch Flounder and Silver Eels while the estuary can give you the opportunity to spin (spinning requires a light rod, reel and a lure) for Bass for a bit of fun. 

Dogfish can also be caught from the beach along with Rays and Smooth hounds. Three miles to the East, you will come across Reculver, which is a very productive area with several good marks. Fish around the towers of St Mary’s Church and the sea walls which offer good Flounders and dabs with Dover Sole being caught on worm and crab baits. 

In the summer Ramsgate pier and harbour offer lots of variety of fish such as Dover Sole, Pouting, Flatfish, School Bass and Dogfish. Remember also in the warm summer months the Mackerel come into the harbour so there is plenty of action to be had there.  

PortOfRamsgate Map
Ramsgate Harbour Layout

There is good fishing to be had in Sandwich Bay, Deal, Dover and Folkstone. However, in the Summer months there are holidaymakers to consider while contemplating which venue to fish at. Many of the beaches and bays will be difficult to fish from in the summer months – not impossible but restricted.

Boat Fishing

Boat fishing is a great way to get away from it all and fish. You are almost guaranteed to catch something from a boat plus you get to see the fantastic chalk cliffs along the coastline. The skippers look after you and assist you when you are fortunate to catch something. The price of the fishing trip normally includes the hire of a boat rod and all the fishing gear plus some frozen bait. 

It is advisable if possible to get your own fresh bait for the trip. The chances of catching something big are increased as you will be fishing over wrecks and other such marks like the Goodwin Sands . It really is a fantastic days fishing. Tuition is provided on board if required.

http://www.charterboats-uk.co.uk/port/ramsgate/

http://ramsgatefishingcharters.co.uk/

Tackle / Bait Shops

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

Viking Bay & Other Bays

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

Distance – 50m 

Ramsgate Royal Harbour and Marina

Ramsgate is still a working harbour and not at all pretentious. It is in fact a Royal Harbour, the only one in the UK to be given the title. Sat besides the harbour is the marina with leisure craft of all shapes and sizes from various parts of the world. The harbour has an historic past being so important to the country during events such as the Napoleonic wars as well as being central to the mass evacuation of our troops in 1940 from Dunkirk codenamed Dynamo. The boats of Ramsgate harbour set sail that day on a mission to save nearly 310 thousand British troops whilst being bombarded by the Germans. One of the boats (Sundowner) used that day is still on display in the marina. Ramsgate repatriated 40,000 troops alone who were clothed and fed and looked after by local people. Ramsgate has a magnificent history dating back to Anglo-Saxon times and still has a part to play in Britain’s future.

Ramsgate has a rich Regency and Victorian theme, which can be seen through its architecture. In Ramsgate, there are 900 listed buildings 200 of which are near the harbour. You can take in the view of the architecture whilst sitting in one of the many cafes, which surround the harbour. Fine restaurants are scattered throughout Ramsgate, as are wonderful Fish and Chip outlets. Ramsgate has a very cosmopolitan feel about and is well worth a visit. 

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186314-d2281504-Reviews-Ramsgate_Royal_Harbour_Marina-Ramsgate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 2 miles

Margate Main Sands

A perfect choice for the old-fashioned, traditional family holiday. Margate has a strong tradition with the sea being part of the Confederation of the Cinque Ports. However, for the past 250 years it has become the holiday destination for Londoners who enjoy the traditional seaside resorts. Londoners who want to get away from the fumes and hustle of the City come to Margate, spread their wings and fill their lungs with clean fresh air and relax for a few days. The beach is a 200-yard crescent of clean unblemished sand with seawater so clean it has been given many awards. There are many things to do in Margate such as the first ever UK pleasure park known as Dreamland. It boasts rides old and new with their historic 1920 roller coaster now back to its glorious best. The wooden grade II listed ride was unfortunately damaged in a fire in a 2008 arson attack but she has risen from the ashes to thrill the young and old again. Dreamland was immortalised in the “Only Fools and Horses” episode “Jolly Boys Outing”.

If you prefer a more physical pastime why not cycle or walk to either Ramsgate or Broadstairs along the clifftop paths .If its culture you like, try the Turner Contemporary art gallery and cafe .There are many varied food outlets in Margate selling cuisine from various countries.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g503912-d2086751-Reviews-Margate_Main_Sands-Margate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 3 miles

Botany Bay

The quiet neighbour of its illustrious bigger relation Broadstairs, the name Botany Bay came from the fact its local smugglers were caught with their ill-gotten gains and were then deported from there to Botany Bay in Australia. Admittedly, you will not find the excitement of smuggling at Botany Bay these days but there is still plenty of things to do that will pass the time of day. Botany Bay is the quietest of all the bays, ideal for letting the children run wild while enjoying themselves in the nooks and crannies of the brilliant white chalk cliffs that form the beach backdrop.

When the tide has gone out there are plenty of opportunities to put your Jurassic hat on and hunt for the many fossil formations hidden in the chalky deposits. The rock pools are an exciting place to try to discover the different sea life, which hides away in them, pretty much unnoticed most of the time. When you feel the need to relax and take it easy, why not find a little secret hideaway and have a family picnic or beach barbecue. There are cafes and public houses nearby as well as hotels.

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g642236-d2140590-Reviews-Botany_Bay-Kingsgate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 2 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