Back in August we have visited Broadstairs for the first time as we had to cancel our holiday in France. Never mind we thought, as we have planned more staycations in the future and clocking in less air miles (although, we meant to travel to France by train). So we booked a few days in a little boutique B&B close to the main beach in Broadstairs. We didn’t really know what to expect but it looked lovely on the photos. Our staycation in Broadstairs didn’t disappoint. Broadstairs is located in the Thanet district of east Kent, known as the “jewel in Thanet’s crown”. There are lots of beautiful places to visit in east Kent, like Rye.
We visited in Summer and on our first day we had real luck: it was lovely and warm by the seaside so we went to Viking Bay, which is the main beach in Broadstairs. It’s a bay so it’s lovely and shallow plus it’s sandy. There’s lift (out of order when we were there) or stairs leading down to the beach from the cliff top promenade. On the beach, there are a couple beach shops with selling beach equipment and a snack bar with mainly fried food, there’s also a beach chair rental. There was a couple of trampolines and a merry-go-round for children entertainment. And surf schools.
Broadstairs has 14 beaches and bays nearby, this covers the Marsgate-Ramsgate area as well, most of them are sand-filled:
- Louisa Bay
- Viking Bay Broadstairs
- Dumpton Gap
- St Mary’s Bay Broadstairs
- Stone Bay
- Kingsgate Bay
- Joss Bay
- Ramsgate Main Sands
- Botany Bay
- Pegwell Bay Ramsgate
- Palm Bay
- Walpole Bay
- Fulsam Rock Margate
- The Bay Margate
Broadstairs seaside is full of charm, channelling some vintage vibe of old times: Victorian houses, a tidal pool that have been built around the first part of the last century, two ice-cream parlours: Morelli’s and Chiappini’s that are dating back to the 1950’s (and looking like both in size and in decor like a fine dining restaurant) cute little streets and harbour, a music pavilion and more.
Eating out is not a problem in an around Broadstairs. There are lots of fantastic, independent places to eat. Cafes, cute pubs, vegan restaurants, Italian trattorias, authentic English seaside fish & chip bars – you name it. You can find most of them and book at Square Meal UK. We however, on our second night managed to book a really cool place we were eying with since we booked this last minute holiday. It’s the The Royal Harbour Brasserie and although it’s located in Ramsgate – only a really short drive from Broadstairs. (We also stopped for some playground time on the way in King George VI Memorial Park that is situated high on the chalky cliffs between Ramsgate and Broadstairs.)
The Royal Harbour Brasserie
Really lovely find this place was. It’s located by in the historic of East Pier (free parking for patrons) so it’s probably one of the most interesting restaurant locations in the UK. We thought the sonar was still operating on the top of the pier building? It has a super relaxed atmosphere, prices are right, absolutely stunning views both to the sea and the harbour and a large terrace, a hidden gem. The food was excellent – apart from my miso burger, that was a little bland but the rest was very good. If you’re into seafood, this is your place.
But if you’re vegan or vegetarian, there is little choice. (That’s ok, I know it’s going to be like this, but I generally think, restaurants could do a little better on this front. Especially given the boho-ish vibe of the Royal Harbour Brasserie, I thought – as I entered – oh looks like a place with at least one exciting vegan option that is not curried.) The kids were happy with their food too – and the place was big and interesting enough for the children. We watched the boats returning to the harbour just before sunset – whilst waiting for our food and listened to good music.
On our second day the weather turned and it was rainy and got quite chilly in the morning. We still went down to the. bay after breakfast and had a lovely long beach walk. (met sleepy baby seagulls and a little crab – first we thought it’s injured but it was well and scurried away after letting us have a little closer look , followed by pottering around in pretty Broadstairs, coffee and cake. We also bought the cutest and cheapest (and plastic-free!) souvenirs: little lucky dip bags in the local gem shop. (Yes, a cute gem shop, even that.) we looked at Dickens House (from the outside, it was still closed since the lockdown – hopefully next time we can visit it) and played mini golf.
Other things to do:
- you can cycle or hike on the Viking Coastal Trail
- visit galleries like New Kent Art and Broadstairs Gallery
- visit the Crampton Tower Museum
- there are a few festivals held each year you can enjoy
I think we will be back next summer! Broadstairs is such a gem.
Have you ever been to Broadstairs?