DISCOVER KENT’S COAST THIS SUMMER
Kent is the proud parent of over 50 glorious and vastly different beaches along its shoreline on the south-eastern tip of England. On the northern tip are the up-and-coming coastal towns of Whitstable and Herne Bay – head east and you’ll find the traditional seaside resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Snake down the east coast to Dover and Folkstone, before coming to an abrupt halt at the stark desert of Dungeness, neighbour to the glorious dunes of Camber Sands in East Sussex.
Our beautiful beaches will give you so many cherished memories to take away – endless days rock pooling, crabbing and hunting for dinosaur footprints, kids ready with buckets of seawater for annual sandcastle competitions. Try your hand at one of the many water sports on offer, from sailing and windsurfing to the more adrenaline packed kitesurfing and land yachting. Whether you are looking for a modern beach holiday with cool beach huts and contemporary cuisine, or you want return to your childhood with a vintage-style traditional beach holiday with funfairs and arcades, you’ll be sure to find a wonderful selection to choose from with Bramley & Teal.
Read on to discover some great places to visit and stay on the Kent coast this summer.
One of Kent’s most visited areas and famous for its annual Oyster Festival, the quirky town of Whitstable is situated on the north Kent coast, just 7 miles north of the cathedral city of Canterbury. A working harbour with an eclectic range of restaurants, cafes and stalls, you’ll not be stuck for places to sample the locally caught fish and seafood, especially the renowned oysters.
The town’s vast stretch of shingle and sand beach is lined with colourful beach huts and is perfect for long walks and sunset swims. A couple of miles along the coast is the upmarket Seasalter Beach, less busy and great for water sports – its Michelin-starred restaurant is an added treat.
Bring 4 guests to stay at the contemporary Beach Bliss in Whitstable with stunning sea views
MINNIS BAY AND WALPOLE BAY, MARGATE
If you fancy a little seclusion, but still want things to do on tap, the sandy beach at Minnis Bay is perfect. Water sports including kayaking and kitesurfing make it a popular holiday destination, and there are also coastal cycle and walking routes at the entrance to the beach. Why not catch the open-top bus in summer to see the sights with your feet up!
Possessing the largest saltwater pool in the country, Walpole Bay is one for those who dream of a simpler life. Slide into the clear, still waters and gaze out to sea, with the knowledge that however rough it is out there, you’ll be safe as houses in the tidal pool. The long sandy beach is also great fun – crazy golf, jet skis for hire and beach huts for hire. Backed by tall white cliffs, there’s a long flat promenade, perfect for long brisk walks or for retiring to when the tide comes in.
Bring 4 guests to stay at Bay View Annexe in Margate, directly opposite the beach
BOTANY BAY, BROADSTAIRS
This quintessentially British bay is one of the best places around to hunt for fossils and explore critter-filled rock pools when the tide is out. Dominated by huge white chalk cliffs and stacks jutting out into the sea, the beach has enough sand when the tide is in for a bit of competitive sandcastle building and sunbathing.
The water quality is excellent, and the beach has a coveted blue flag, great for those who like to get in a bit of swimming, surfing or kayaking when on holiday. A quiet and secluded beach, it does get busy during the summer months as it’s one of the area’s most popular days out. Bring the dogs too but bear in mind that visitors with four legs have to wait until 6 pm to have a splash about.
Bring 5 guests and 1 dog to stay at Seapoint in Broadstairs, just a few minutes from the sands
ST MARYS BAY, BROADSTAIRS
Located between Viking Bay and Stone Bay, this sandy beach, also known as East Cliff, is a hidden gem. It has abundant rock pools set amongst huge flat rocks, ideal for low tide rock pooling – a parent’s dream for children who get bored easily. There’s a great natural shelter from the cliffs at the back of the beach and a no-frills promenade with colourful beach huts that can be hired.
The promenade links Broadstairs’ main beaches together so if you’ve had enough of one view, pack up your parasol and move on. Like many beaches in the area, salty seadogs are allowed after 6 pm, the ideal time for demolishing a few sandcastles before the tide takes them away.
Bring 6 guests and 1 dog to stay at the delightful Raglan Place Cottage in Broadstairs
PEGWELL BAY, RAMSGATE
The harbourside part of this beach at Ramsgate is brilliant for children. There are masses of things to explore and excellent water quality – beach babies can windsurf, sail and jet-ski while little ones splash about at the seashore.
An extra treat is Pegwell Bay Country Park, which lies at the opposite end of the beach. The park is an important marshland nature reserve, home to migrating waders and wildfowl specific to the area. In the evening, head into Ramsgate where there are lots of bars, restaurants and bistros to take the fun up a notch.
RAMSGATE MAIN SANDS, RAMSGATE
A popular sandy beach dominated by white chalk cliffs, this beach is a great option for families. Rides for children are a favourite and as it’s next to the Royal Harbour and Marina, you won’t be short of ice cream and places to sample the local fish and chips.
The beach offers clean and safe bathing water so is brilliant for both swimmers and paddlers. There’s good fishing here as well as jet skiing, sailing and windsurfing. If you fancy a coastal walk, take the 5-mile clifftop path to Broadstairs which will astound you with its breathtaking scenery.
DOVER HARBOUR BEACH, DOVER
Excellent for those who don’t mind being in the thick of it, this shingle beach is sheltered by the town’s harbour and has excellent water quality. The harbour is towered over by the majestic Dover Castle and shadowed by the famous white cliffs. You can also visit the fascinating Secret Wartime Tunnels deep in the rock to learn all about Operation Dynamo and the Dunkirk evacuation.
There’s a water sports centre on the beach where you can hire equipment and lots of cafes and shops to buy beachy things and souvenirs. If you head to the north-east end of the beach you may see a channel swimmer or two as this area, known locally as Swimmer’s Beach, is a training spot for those hoping to swim the channel. Alternatively, head up to the cliffs and watch the ferries gliding slowly to and from Calais.
Bring 4 guests to stay at Blackbird Cottage – Ottinge if you fancy a country escape
SUNNY SANDS BEACH, FOLKESTONE
Located close to the centre of Folkestone and next to the harbour, this busy sandy beach with excellent water quality has lots of little cubby holes under the promenade, perfect for taking shade from the sun. Low green hills rise above the beach, the views from which are spectacular – just the spot to watch surfers catching the waves with a fabulous picnic.
There are lots of cafes and shops in the area, perfect if you’ve forgotten your bucket and spade and want to enter the annual sandcastle building competition! It’s one of the closest sandy beaches to London so bear in mind that it can get very busy at weekends, especially during the summer.
Bring guests and dogs to stay at Wren Cottage – Ottinge if you prefer a thatched retreat
GREATSTONE BEACH, ROMNEY MARSH
A great expanse of sand stretching for over 2 miles, Greatstone is the perfect beach for water sports. If you are into kitesurfing and land yachting, or even just watching them, this is the place for you. The soft sand and safe water make it a brilliant area for children and the Greatstone Dunes, which run along the whole length of the beach, are a Site of Specific Scientific Interest. It is also home to many little interesting critters and grasses.
Keep an eye out for the Romney to Dymchurch steam railway powering its way along the beach, known as ‘Kent’s Mainline in Miniature’. The locomotives are just one-third of the size of a normal steam train. Good for water sports? Yes, it’s brilliant! Windsurfing, kitesurfing, kiteboarding, sailing and land yachting make this one of the best.
Bring 2 guests and 1 dog to stay at Little Hamilton which has a sparkling hot tub
Dungeness is like marmite, you either love it or hate it! Situated on a vast expanse of shingle and stretching for miles along the Kent coastline, its bleak landscape rubs along well with its unconventional and arty vibe. With Derek Jarman’s house, Prospect Cottage, a popular feature and a selection of little wooden fishing huts turned into quirky second homes dotted about, it’s a great place to get away from the crowds.
The famed nuclear power station is at the bottom of the expanse. Offering fascinating tours as well as a cafe and two pubs, it makes a brilliant day out. Technically a desert, Dungeness is a unique habitat and is home to over 600 species of plant and many insects. An excellent place to spot migratory birds in the spring and autumn, it has been designated a National Nature Reserve and includes the neighbouring 1000-hectare RSPB reserve.
Bring 4 guests and 1 dog to stay at the converted railway carriage of Stonihoe in Dungeness
With all of these gorgeous beaches and coastal resorts to visit along the Kent coastline, you’ll need somewhere to store your beach gear and kick back of an evening. Have a browse through Bramley & Teal’s self-catering accommodation in Kent and start your summer adventure.