Holiday Rentals in Broadstairs, UK : Ocean Outlook : Macatsim

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)

Cycling in Broadstairs / Thanet

Margate Harboue Couple on Bikes

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

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

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

The Viking Coastal Trail

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

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

Viking Coastal Trail Area Map

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

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

Viking Coastal Trail Sign

Kent Sea Fishing

Sea Fishing Father Son

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

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

Kent Coast Fishing Compedium

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

Autumn Sea Fishing (Sept - Nov)

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

Autumn Fishing Rods and Fish

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

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

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

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

Winter Sea Fishing (Dec - Feb)

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

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

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

Cod Fish on a plate with lemon

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

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

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

Spring Sea Fishing (March - May)

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

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

Ramsgate Harbour Boats Yachts Marina
Ramsgate Harbour & Marina

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Sea Fishing (June - August)

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

Reculver Tower Whitstable
Whitstable Reculver Towers

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

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

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

PortOfRamsgate Map
Ramsgate Harbour Layout

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

Boat Fishing

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

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

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

http://ramsgatefishingcharters.co.uk/

Tackle / Bait Shops

Viking Bay in Broadstairs

Viking Bay just 50m from the flat.

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

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

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

Created by Matt

Outdoor Sports

Joss Bay Surfing Home Page Stretch

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

Kent Surf School

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

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

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

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

Distance – 150 metres

Joss Bay Surf School

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

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

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

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

Distance – 2 miles

Revolution Skate Park and Climbing Centre

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

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

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

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

Distance – 1 mile

Horse With Kid

Manston Riding Centre

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

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

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

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

Distance – 5 miles

True Grip Off Road Driving Experience

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

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

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

 Distance – 27 miles

Viking Bay & Other Bays

Viking Bay just 50m from the flat.

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

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

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

Distance – 50m 

Ramsgate Royal Harbour and Marina

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

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

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

Distance – 2 miles

Margate Main Sands

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

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

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

Distance – 3 miles

Botany Bay

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

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

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

Distance – 2 miles

History & Attractions

Vintage Broadstairs Photo

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

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

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

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

Broadstairs Destination Photos 01 Charles Dickens House

Charles Dickens House

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

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

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

Distance – 150 metres

Bleak House

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

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

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

Distance – 400 metres

St Peters Village Tour

St Peter's Village Tour

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

The Tours are: 

Village Tour
Churchyard Tour
WW1 Graves Tour
WW2 Graves Tour

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

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

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

Distance – 1 mile

Turner Contemporary Building

Turner Contemporary

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

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

https://www.turnercontemporary.org/

Distance – 3 miles