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Scuba Diving in Kent

Scuba Diver Silhouette

Scuba diving is something the whole family can participate in. Children from the age of eight can begin to learn how to scuba dive with an experienced qualified diver. However, they can only dive in a closed pool. Children are not allowed to learn in open water until they are at least ten years of age. PADI’s  Bubblemaker and Seal Team programs are an excellent way for youngsters over the age of eight to learn safely with a qualified instructor in no more the six feet of water. The SSI also have the “Scuba Ranger” course and this is for children who are twelve years of age and is also held in a pool no deeper than 6 feet. If your children are over ten years old then a fantastic way to have some fun is to introduce them to the open sea with an introductory scuba course. They learn from professionals while the whole family has great fun.

The question that is often asked is “How good a swimmer do you need to be to Scuba Dive”? Well, the answer to that question might surprise you. The PADI requirement is that you are required to have the basic swimming skills. You need to be able to swim 200 metres (or 300 metres in a mask, fins and snorkels) and be able to tread water for ten minutes if you can do that you’re on your way.

Equipment you need for UK Diving

  • Scuba Diving Mask
  • Regulator
  • Buoyancy Control Device (BCD)
  • Fins
  • Dive Computer
  • Gauges
  • Torch
  • Weights
Scuba Diving Gear Equipment

The waters of the UK can be very cold so where you may wear different gear in warmer climates it is better in the UK to wear Dry suites this will give you a warmer and far more enjoyable experience when diving.

Kent Diving Equipment Suppliers and Clubs

To be able to dive you will need a club, a boat and equipment as well as local knowledge of dive sites that suit your abilities. 

Kent Scuba (Margate)

Kent Scuba are there to assist you with anything you want to know or anything you may require and they are based in Margate.

http://www.kentscuba.com/ 

Scuba Class Instruction

Thanet Diving & Water Sports (Ramsgate)

Thanet Diving and Water Sports will offer a first class diving experience whatever your abilities are. Whether you want to join the Seals or wish to become a Master Diver, Thanet Diving and Water Sports will help you achieve your targeted ambitions.

Children over eight years of age can join the Seals course which takes place in a pool no deeper than six feet in a controlled environment to give the children confidence to enjoy their diving experience. For the new adult divers there is the “Discover Scuba” course which is in a controlled environment teaching the basics of diving. If you realise that you like the diving experience then “The Open Water” course is where you really get the feel and enjoyment of diving. There is some theory on this course and some pool work before taking four qualifying dives. At the end of the course, you have one foot on the bottom rung of the ladder becoming a qualified diver. It is possible to move your diving career all the way up to Master Diver level with Thanet Diving and Water Sports.

Charter boats can be hired out of Ramsgate, Margate Folkestone and Dover such the Mutiny Diving and Kent Scuba.      

There is an array of wrecks to be explored off the Kent coast. In fact, you are spoilt for choice. There is a lot to thank Jacques-Yves Cousteau for as his Aqualung allows the diver to dive for much longer and go deeper than ever before. Therefore, wrecks which were not accessible many years ago are now ripe for exploration.

http://www.kentscubadiving.co.uk/diving 

Inland Scuba Diving

Buckland Lake Reserve (near Rochester)

When planning your scuba diving trip you need to get everything right and in perfect condition ready for your eagerly awaited dive. Everything is planned right down to the most minute detail. You then arrive at your dive destination to be told the dive has been cancelled due to the weather conditions or the sea conditions. The anticipation turns to dread as you consider the drive back home. This is where you need a “Plan B”. 

Why not dive one of the many inland lakes and reservoirs on your doorstep? Buckland Lake Reserve is a great dive site. The depth of the lake is up to 50 feet and has many submerged items for you to explore. They have a double decker bus, a Falcon jet aircraft, underwater forest and the White Share to name a few. There is even a cafe and more on-site for a warm drink after your first dive.

http://www.bucklandlake.co/index.php?id=9#.WlSjIahl_IU

Links

List of Shipwrecks in Kent
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_shipwrecks_of_England#Kent

Scuba Diving Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/304179562968172/

Other Dive Schools / Businesses

Whitstable Scuba   
http://whitstablescuba.co.uk/

Blue Ocean Diving (Maidstone)
http://www.blueoceandiving.co.uk/

Maidstone Scuba School 
http://www.maidstonescuba.co.uk/

Dive Machine  (Tonbridge)
http://www.divemachine.co.uk/

Kent Vineyards & Wine

Two Types of Wines Grapes Glass Keg

Kent has world class wines and vineyards in the area. Below are a selection of local ones and a link to a review of some of them: http://www.kent-life.co.uk/food-drink/7-of-the-best-vineyard-tours-in-kent-1-4730204  

Barnsole Vineyard Grapes Black and White

Barnsole Vineyard

Barnsole Vineyard is situated in the pretty village of Staple, which is between the Cirque – port town of Deal and the historic City of Canterbury. It was here, just down the road in the Roman Fort of Richborough, that the very first Pinot Noir arrived with the Legions in 44 AD. Barnsole Vineyard has continued the two thousand year old tradition by growing Pinot Noir, they have also added other varieties of grape which results in the finest beautifully rounded English wines.

The Vineyard producers enjoy passing on not just the knowledge they have gained but the passion they have for the wine itself. Their enthusiasm is infectious, genuine and well meant. There are two tours available – the first is the mini tour where you can just drop in anytime and have a 20 minute tour plus you can still wine taste and purchase any bottles of wine that may tickle your taste-buds. For the connoisseurs amongst you, there is a full tour which will need to be booked and lasts approximately one hour. The full tour costs £11 per adult however, it is well worth the cost. On arrival you are welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine, told about the history and the Romans, shown around the Vineyard and the Winery before again, tasting the wines on offer. You are, of course, allowed to purchase as many bottles of your favourite wines as you please. How can you resist the temptation?

http://www.barnsole.co.uk/visits.html

Distance – 10 miles

3 Bottles Gusbourne Wines

Gusbourne Vineyard

Gusbourne Vineyard is one of the new generation of wine makers who hold onto the age-old traditions of making wine whilst adding new technology to try to make a difference. They endeavour to make a great wine into an extraordinary wine. The Gusbourne Estate itself dates back to the 1410 however, in 2004 Mr Andrew Weeber took over the estate with only one clear thought in his mind – to make the best English sparkling wine he could, a wine which could stand up against any other wine in the world. In 2010, they produced their first vintages, which were released to critical acclaim giving Gusbourne Vineyard an instant reputation as a producer of fine wines. They have continued to build on this reputation, remembering the vision they started with in 2004 which was to make “The Best Wine” in England that can take on the wines of the world.

If you are on a day out in and around the “Garden of England” and visiting many sites and attractions it is worth calling in to take a look at the way the wine is produced on the Gusbourne Vineyard Estate in Appledore. You can self-guide with a glass of wine or two and relax and enjoy Appledores medieval history. For a day out it is well worth a visit.

https://www.gusbourne.com/

Distance – 35 Miles

Biddenden Vineyards Grape Vines visit-us

Biddenden Vineyard

Biddenden Vineyard was established in 1969 and since then it has built up a reputation for fine wines and has won many awards. The vineyard produces not just wine but also juices and cider. Originally, the Barnes family only produced cider on their 40 acre estate however, with apple prices falling in the late 1960’s they decided to diversify and planted vines in  one third of an acre. They have successfully grown and expanded the vineyard into the 23 acres you see today. On the gently sloped south facing vineyard there are eleven different types of grape grown, this is the beginning of the production process of the award winning wines White, Rose`, Red and sparkling wines. The vineyard produces 80,000 bottles of wine per year and all the work is carried out by hand, with harvest running from mid-September through to November.

It is possible to visit the vineyard when passing, you can just call in and take a free self-guided tour around the vineyard. Just remember if the weather has not been to good lately to wear the correct footwear such as Wellington boots for those wet conditions. There are guided tours available with minimum numbers of people taking the tour. The vineyard is situated just outside the Wealden village of Biddenden. There are lots of other things you may buy there that they have on offer including artisan foods such as cheese, preserves, locally brewed beer and chutneys to name a few. All can be bought in the coffee shop.

https://biddendenvineyards.com/

Distance – 39 Miles

Chapel Down Vineyard Building Entry Small

Chapel Down Vineyard

Chapel Down Vineyard is situated just outside the picturesque village of Tenterden and is open to visitors all year round. Recognised as one of the world’s leading wine makers, Chapel Down puts its vineyard to very good use supplying such culinary icons as Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver. Not only do they supply top chefs because they also supply Great British Institutions such as The Royal Opera House and The Barbican and No.10 Downing Street. If you frequent the Oxford and Cambridge boat race or Ascot horse racing you are likely to drink Chapel Down Wine.

Guided tours can be taken between March and November. The tour includes a visit to the famous vineyard and winery where you will see and be shown the wine making process. This is followed by the best part of the tour – the tutored wine tasting experience where you will be able to sample the range of both still and sparkling wines. The tour takes approximately 1hr and 45 minutes to complete and you are free to ask questions as you go. If you wish to make the experience something to remember there is also a high class restaurant on site where you can enjoy a 3 course meal and a glass of Chapel Down Wine which would be the perfect way to round off a memorable visit.

https://www.chapeldown.com/

Distance – 42 Miles

Other Notable Vineyards

Woodchurch Wine Estate
www.woodchurchwine.co.uk

The Mount Vineyard
www.themountvineyard.co.uk

Hush Heath Estate and Winery
www.hushheath.com

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

Shopping in Broadstairs

Woman smiling while shopping - small

Take a stroll around Broadstairs and take in its traditional High Street, which is always a pleasant experience. The town is vibrant and diverse with many different shopping outlets from fishmongers to shoe shops and wedding shops to greengrocers – Broadstairs has it all. To experience shopping in Broadstairs you will need to venture onto the High Street, The Broadway, Albion Street, Harbour Street, Charlotte Street and York Street as these are the main shopping areas. 

Fresh Food & Produce

Trout Fish Fried Vegatables Pumpkin Beetroot

The Broadway is where the local renowned Fishmongers Fruit de Mer sell wonderfully fresh fish. They have several deliveries of fresh fish a day straight from the local boats and onto the display shelves you – you cannot get much fresher or environmentally friendly than that.

Red wine, bottle fire

If you fancy a bottle of wine with your fish, you just need to cross the road to The Offy, which is an independent off-license. There are also several high street supermarkets outlets within the town such as Tesco, Co-Op and Budgens. Fresh Fruit and vegetables can be found at two High Street shops, they are Prentis and Hinge of London both sell quality produce.

Desserts and Cakes

There are also a number of Bakeries such as Crusties and The Old Bakehouse where you can rest up and have a cup of tea or coffee and a pastry of your choice. There are three butchers on high street – Brogdale the Butcher, Hazells and Rooks offering a wide selection of fresh, locally sourced meats.

Fashion, Clothing & Antiques

Broadstairs has not been left behind in the fashion stakes either. Recently opened are two ladies boutiques known as The Boutique and La de Da Boutique. However, in between these two new boutiques is Kerry’s Boutique who caters for the larger sized garments.

Teddy Luggage Antiques

If you venture along to Charlotte Street you will see Antiquarian Antiques, Bottleneck Off-license, Peter’s Shoe Repairs and Key cutting services. On this street, there is a great new shop that has just opened named Kits that sells brand new fashion clothes, gifts and housewares suited to both men and women. Their stock is minimal, elegant, and very classy but will not break the bank if you decide to buy.

Gold Crystall Jewellry

When you leave Kits cross the road to G.M. Arrowsmith with its original signage. There you will find gifts and crystal jewellery and downstairs there is a Women and Children’s clothing Department. Broadstairs has lots more to offer with its Antiques, Painting Galleries, Photographic Galleries, Jewellers and quaint seaside gift shops.

Westwood Cross Shopping Complex

https://westwoodx.co.uk/shops

Westwood Cross is an out of town Shopping and Leisure Complex. There are free car parking spaces for 1,500 vehicles and 46 stores within the complex with the main stores being Marks and Spencer’s and Debenhams.

Westwood Cross Marks and Spencer TopShop External

For the Ladies there are many outlets for fashion including JD, Next, Outfit, Primark, New Look, River Island, Select and T.K. Max. If you then require accessories to go with your new designer clothes there are stores such as Clare’s, Design 29 and Monsoon. If its footwear you’re after then Clark’s, Debenhams, JD, DW and Next are there to assist you.

Primark External

If the Gentlemen are looking to spoil their partners why not take look around Clinton’s and Thornton’s who can resist a box of chocolates. Health and beauty is very important to the ladies so a wander around Boots, Superdrug, Holland & Barrett, The Body Shop and The Perfume Shop will leave you feeling refreshed and happy!

If you are a little hungry by this stage you can eat in one of the many Café’s, Bars or Restaurants such as  Ask Italia, Cafe Rouge, Cafe Nero, Chiquito, Five Guys, Frankie & Benny’s, Nandos, Greggs, Subway, Costa Coffee and Coffee Corner. There is something for everyone.

If you are on the look out for a piece of jewellery for that special occasion or special person then Ernest Jones and H. Samuel are both great choices.

Westwood Cross is also a leisure facility so if you are feeling a little more energetic why not join the DW Sport and fitness club. There are classes to suit all ages and abilities and there are even kid’s fitness classes. If you like a dance, swim, yoga, Pilates or fight training it is all here.

If the Ladies would like a hairdresser or the gents need a barber they are available in the club as well. There is also a relaxation area with a steam room and a sauna as well as a lounge area where you can have a hot drink and relax.

Within the complex, there is a Mecca Bingo, which brings great games, great prizes and a bit of fun. For the people who like a night out there is a Grosvenor Casino where you can relax play whatever table you wish, have a drink and a meal.

If you are a Cinema buff then this is the place for you. Vue has 10 cinemas all screening various different films so why not grab your Coke and popcorn choose the film you wish to view and relax.

Distance – 2 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