Things to Do

Broadstairs and the Thanet area are full of things to do.

Beaches

Broadstairs is perhaps best known for its beaches. The most popular is undoubtedly Viking Bay, a horse-shoe shaped bay with a huge expanse of sand stretching from the Victorian bandstand at one end to Bleak House at the other. It features a children’s fun fair, beach shops and cafe, and watersports during the summer.

For somewhere quieter, you could also try Louisa Bay, just round the promenade on the bandstand end of Viking Bay, or Stone Bay, past the harbour at the other end of Viking Bay.

Events

Folk Week is a full week of music and entertainment around Broadstairs. You will find music, dancing and entertainment wherever you walk in the town, as well as gigs in most of the pubs and venues during the day and evening.

The Broadstairs Blues Bash is another annual music festival in Broadstairs, usually taking place during February.

June sees the Broadstairs Dickens Festival, a curious annual event that sees many local inhabitants dressed in Dickensian costumes.

The end of summer is marked by the Food Festival, a three-day event for lovers of food and drink.

History

The Dickens House Museum is a step back in time to the 19th Century, when Charles Dickens was a regular visitor to Broadstairs. The Dickens Museum is located in the house that is said to be the inspiration for Betsy Trotwood’s house in David Copperfield and contains many items that once belonged to Dickens himself.

In nearby Manston, you’ll find the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum home to Spitfire and Hurricane aircraft from the Second World War.

Outdoor activities

As well as its beaches, Broadstairs offers a number of outdoor activities. The Viking Coastal Trail is a 32 mile, family-friendly cycle route encompassing the coastline from Ramsgate, through Broadstairs, to Margate and then inland through many of Thanet’s smaller villages.

If you prefer two legs to two wheels, the Turner and Dickens Walk is a four-mile walk from Margate Harbour Arm, next to Turner Contemporary, and ending at the Dickens House Museum.

For the kids

For the kids (and grown ups), Lillyput Mini Golf is a perennial seaside classic. Nine holes of crazy golf, overlooking Viking Bay, with teas and snacks too.

Just as traditional is the penny arcade on Harbour Street where a pocketful of pennies can last for hours.

You can also try the ice creams from Morellis, open since 1932 and with many original features.

Margate

Just up the road in Margate, you’ll find the iconic Turner Contemporary gallery as well as many smaller galleries, independent shops, restaurants and bars in Margate Old Town. There’s also the unique Shell Grotto, an underground system of tunnels lined with over 4 million seashells.

Ramsgate

Ramsgate is England’s only Royal Harbour. The marina is full of yachts and the harbour features a number of bars and restaurants. In Ramsgate, you’ll also find the Maritime Museum and the Ramsgate Tunnels, 2.5 miles of deep tunnels built to protect Ramsgate’s inhabitants during WW2.