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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

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine and Boat

When you stand on Viking Bay sands and look out over the big blue yonder you might just question yourself about what those wind turbines are and what they are doing? What you see seven miles out to sea, just off the Isle of Thanet, are 100 wind turbines generating enough electricity to power 220,000 homes a year.

The Turbines are owned by the Swedish company Vattenfall and were commissioned in 2010. The 100 turbines have a combined output of 300MW and at the time of construction, it was the biggest wind farm in the world. The turbines are spaced at 500 meters’ apart in a line cover an area of 35 square kilometres.

The electricity generated out at sea is brought to shore in two large export cables, which come ashore at Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate. From there it travels to a new sub-station at the former site of Richborough Power Station where it is then filtered into the national grid.

Windmills date back as far as the Chinese in 1200 AD and the Persians 500-900 AD. If we consider the use of the wind, it has been used for many things to create energy. The obvious ones are sailing boats then of course came the windmill. Daniel Halladay back in 1854, in the USA, started to invent different windmills and struck gold when he devised a windmill which pumped water to farms and ranches reaching the expanding western frontier. At this time the railroad system was starting to expand as all trains were steam the railroads needed water pumped up to them. Halladay devised a system where windmills did this job making life easier for the railroad workers. Between 1850 and 1970 there were over 6 million windmills installed in the USA alone.

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm - Ariel
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm - Ariel

There were many people in many different countries trying to come up with a commercial wind turbine which could be used to create electricity, was efficient and reliable and it was not until NASA became involved in the 1970’s that the idea progressed. It moved forward to a level where many of the multi-megawatt technologies researched by them are still used today.

The Thanet wind farm broke records for not only being the largest wind farm at the time but also being the quickest ever constructed. MHI Vestas who manufacture the turbines altered the way they were transported to the offshore sites, which assisted in the construction speed. They built and tested 100 turbines in 100 days, which was another world record beaten by the wind farm. There are moves ongoing to expand the wind farm by adding another 34 turbines by 2021. These new giant turbines will be twice the size of the ones you see there now. The existing turbines stand at 115 metres high and the giant new turbines will be a height of 250 metres tall, the added turbines will be built just 4.9 miles offshore. These extra 34 giant turbines will have the same output as their 100 smaller counterparts where the amount of homes they will be able to supply electricity to will double to 430,000 homes . There lies the dilemma for local inhabitants? Do you have many small turbines or less giant turbines?

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine 01

Wind farms and wildlife are words you generally would not put in the same sentence. However, it has been found that in the case of offshore wind farms, over time, they do become compatible. The turbines were initially accused of luring certain species to their deaths and in other cases such as marine mammals, the noise would drive them away. This has since been questioned, because species are returning to the wind farms and are found to be thriving. Beneath the waves, such things as barnacles, muscles and other crustaceans attach themselves to the hard turbine structures. This then attracts other marine species and over time, the turbines will become a manmade reef allowing the area to become a breeding ground for many marine species, especially Cod and Whiting. Divers who work on the turbines have already reported the increase in lobsters and crabs. The seals that are resident just off the Kent coast are there for a reason as the offshore wind farms are an easy food source for them with plenty of small young Cod and Whiting available to them.

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine Blade Transport
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine Blade Being Transported

As the wind farms are out of bounds for the commercial fishermen and their trawling nets the marine species and mammals are left to breed in peace.

Why not take a boat trip out to get a close up of the wind farm, for a leisurely trip you can board the Sea Searcher for a 3 hour trip out of Ramsgate Harbour (Tel..07837562076 ). If you want some excitement and fun take a 2 hour trip with “ Go2Sea” out to the wind farm in a speedy RIB boat. This also operates out of Ramsgate (Tel. 07931744788)

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.

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

Local Castles

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

Dover Castle Aerial View

Dover Castle

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

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

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

Distance – 17 miles

Walmer Castle and Gardens

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

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

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

Distance – 11 miles

Deal Castle Aerial View

Deal Castle

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

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

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

Distance – 10 Miles

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre

Richborough Roman Fort and Amphitheatre

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

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

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

Distance – 6 miles

Mini Golf / Putt Putt / Crazy Golf

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

lillyputt-minigolf

Lillyputt Mini Golf​

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

Rascal Bay Adventure Golf manston_course

Rascal Bay Adventure Course

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

Quex Adventure Golf

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

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

Storkes Adventure Golf

Strokes Adventure Golf

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

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

Golf Courses in the Area

When you’re looking for something to do, it can be challenging to find an activity which is sufficiently entertaining but is also something you would not usually do while you are on holiday. To meet these criteria, a lot of people choose to play golf. It is a sport which is relaxing yet highly enjoyable, and it is easy to see why so many people are so keen to get out on the green. To try and make sure that you’ll have a wide selection of choice in this field, we’re going to be looking at a few of the best golf courses in the local area.

Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club

Like me you’re probably wondering where the name comes from? Cinque Port is a port that historically, provided a fleet of ships to support and serve Royalty during the Tudor era with it last being called upon in 1588. The golf course itself is a lot younger opening in 1892 and was originally only a nine hole course with the clubhouse opening in November of the same year. Four years later 1896 it was decided to add another nine holes. The work was completed in 1898 creating the superb 18 hole championship course we see today.

The course has held the British Open on two occasions – 1909 and 1920. The links course is a test for all golfers of all abilities. If you have a weakness, this is the course that will find it. Rolling fairways, superb fast greens and open to all elements, this course is one of the best. If you require equipment, balls or a golf lesson there is a golf shop and a professional coach to assist you. The clubhouse is very welcoming with a restaurant and two bars with one being formal the other a more casual affair While there, take a look at the putter and driver presented to the club by Seve Ballesteros himself.
https://www.royalcinqueports.com/

North Foreland Golf Club

North Foreland Golf Club which has been around since the early 1900’s, this is an establishment which has enjoyed popularity since it’s conception. Visitors to the organisation can expect to see an 18 hole course to experience, as well as a dining area and bar for people to enjoy. You might want to bring your smarter clothes for here, however, as this is a sophisticated place with a strict dress code. Their website provides a suitable explanation of what is accepted within the grounds, but it is worth visiting nonetheless.
 http://www.northforeland.co.uk/ 

The Royal St Georges Golf Club

The Royal St Georges Golf Club

Founded in 1887, The Royal St Georges Golf club was built to rival the home of golf – St Andrews in Scotland. Over the years, the course has maintained its status as one of the best courses in the world. The club boasts fourteen British Open Championships with the last taking place in 2011 when Darren Clarke took home the trophy. It has also hosted five P.G.A. Championships, Walkers Cup competitions on two occasions plus a multitude of other tournaments. It is fair to say that is does a great job at rivalling St Andrews in the South of England.

The course has not changed in 130 years and it provides a real challenge if the elements are against you. The course has a first class professional and a fully stocked professional shop with a wide range of golfing equipment available. Once you have completed your round you can retire to the club house for refreshments and a bite to eat.
https://www.royalstgeorges.com/

The Princes Golf Club

The Princes Golf Club was first opened in 1906 and held its first championship “The Ladies Open in 1912”. Unfortunately the course saw difficult times in both the First World War and even more so in the Second World War where it was commandeered by the military and used for target practice. It was de-requisitioned in 1949 and saved by an Australian Sir Aynsley Bridgeland. In 1950 the course was brought back to its former glory following a redesign. It was 1954 when the club returned to the big stage holding the Dunlop Masters won by Bobby Locke.

The present day Princes Golf Club consists of 27 holes over three courses. The three courses are The Shore, The Dunes and The Himalayas and all are fantastic championship courses. The course also boasts a 2AA Rosette restaurant, lounge bar, sun terrace a fully equipped gymnasium, snooker room and a conference room. There are other eateries on site to choose from such as the Brasserie on the Bay, Princes Suite and the Spike Bar. The Princes Golf Club is a fantastic venue for golfers and their families.
http://www.princesgolfclub.co.uk/

Stonelees Golf Club

Nestled on the Kent coast and built in the mid 90’s this public ‘pay as you play’ golf course is a venue for golfers of all abilities. The club is fantastic if you’re learning the art of Golf. They offer lessons with the professional at the driving range or if the weather is against you, a lesson inside on the Golf simulator is equally as beneficial. If your short game is struggling or if your putting is making life a misery then there are practice greens to sharpen both skills to get you back on the straight and narrow.

The club has three nine hole courses and they are set out for golfers of varying abilities. The par 3 is for the beginner or the low handicap player who wants to sharpen his short game. Middle ground is the 9 hole Executive Course with its par 3’s plus two par 4’s for your average golfer. Along with this, there is The Heights course which is a 9 hole championship standard course which is a test for any competent golfer .There is a course for every golfer  making this a course that is open to every golfer. If the golf has not gone well do not despair because the Fairways Kitchen serving warm meals and a drink.
http://www.stonelees.com/

WestGate and Birchington Golf Club

Westgate and Birchington Golf Club

The Golf club is perched high up on the clifftop between the seaside towns of Westgate and Birchington. The 18 hole course is not a long hitters paradise at only 4877 yards long making it fairly flat course that is ideal for the casual golfer. Don’t make the mistake of taking the course for granted regardless of your golfing qualifications because the course will bite you if you do not take care with your shots and show it some respect.

The views whilst on the course are spectacular with the better holes being the 2nd and the 4th both of which hit out towards the sea .The tees and greens are kept in top condition. If you have the chance to play this course then you will understand that the weather can make or break you. If the wind is at its worse it will take a toll on your scorecard. On the other hand if conditions are benign you can take advantage and shoot low scores. The club has a resident professional and a well-stocked pro-shop. The clubhouse has a dining area, seating up to sixty people as well as a lounge and a bar. This is a great place for the golfer’s “If Only” stories.
http://www.westgate-and-birchington-golfclub.co.uk/

St Augstine

St Augustine’s Golf Club

St Augustine’s Golf Club in Kent, offers an 18 hole course, which provides plenty of challenges for the casual and experienced player alike. The club was established in 1908 and has a rich history and lots of experience with catering to all kinds of players. There’s also a clubhouse and bar so that you can unwind after an enjoyable afternoon in the field. Their website offers plenty more information, as well as a good indication of the high levels of service you can expect.
 http://www.staugustinesgolfclub.co.uk/ 

manston range

Manston Golf Centre

The Manston golf course is a place which is well known for being friendly and approachable, with a team of helpful staff on site. The course offers a suitably challenging nine-hole system, and also provides a driving range for people to kick back and enjoy firing shots into the distance. It has a trendy cafe which opened in 2016 and is a definite must for anyone who wants to enjoy golf and also have a beautiful day out. You can find out more information by going on their site, and we’re sure that you’ll enjoy your time there.
http://www.manstongolf.co.uk 

Kent Golf Academy

Kent Golf Academy

The Kent Golf Academy is based near Sandwich in Kent. This facility is different to the usual golf coaching approach as it has an indoor facility with lessons being taken indoors at all time, therefore eliminating the chance of your golf lesson being cancelled due to bad weather. The exclusive facility aims to mix the importance of your golf tuition with a bit of fun and enjoyment mixed in. This is carried out under the watchful eye of The Director of Instruction Mr Howard Bonaccorsi and his team of professionals.

Whether you are a starter in golf or a seasoned tour professional this state of the art facility will get your game going in the right direction. The professional coaches provide students with honest feedback and an understanding prior to an assessment of how to correct your faults. To assist them in analysing your game they use advanced technology systems such as Launch Monitor and V1Pro Swing Analysis giving them instant data feedback. To correct your faults you may need the club fitting service. The Kent Golf Academy can also provide this service in one of their custom built fitting studios. They can fit 5 makes of club Titleist, Callaway, Mizuno Scotty Cameron and Odyssey.
http://www.kentgolfacademy.com/