Holiday Rentals in Broadstairs, UK : Ocean Outlook : Macatsim

Cycling in Broadstairs / Thanet

Margate Harboue Couple on Bikes

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

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

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

The Viking Coastal Trail

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

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

Viking Coastal Trail Area Map

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

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

Viking Coastal Trail Sign

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