The Sandy Kent Coast
Thanet is surrounded by lots of sandy, family friendly and award winning beaches, which is perfect for a free or cheap day out for the family. For a full list of the beaches please go to www.visitthanet.co.uk.
Chalets are also available to book from the beginning of May until mid-September each year. To book one just contact Thanet Leisureforce on 01843 296111. The chalets have a gas ring and two deck chairs, and plenty of space to store everything that you might need on the beach. It’s great to go down to the beach early for breakfast – a bacon sandwich anywhere else will never taste as good, whatever the weather! Or you could catch some fish and cook them right there on the beach. You can take a picnic and treats and chill while the children have fun in the fresh air making new friends and learning to swim. The kids will love it and the bank manager should certainly approve. And all of the beaches have lovely soft sand – perfect for sandcastles and building strongholds to stop the waves coming up the beach!
The Visit Thanet website is very useful with lots of information on which beaches are most suitable for wheelchair users or those who have limited mobility.
For fresh-air activity, you can cycle along the family-friendly Viking Coastal Trail, and the Thanet Coast Project organises seashore safaris and Rock Doc Walks, revealing the natural wonders of our coast.
The Turner Contemporary gallery in Margate is also free, where changing exhibitions span art from 1750 to the present day. At the front reception for just £1 you can purchase an activity pack for children which also contains binoculars, and should certainly keep them occupied for a while! There are also events on at the weekend – some for the whole family, where only the adult pays £2 to participate, and others for children, where only children over 3 years of age pay £2 to participate. You can also view exciting displays by artists and makers in the galleries of Margate Harbour Arm and Old Town.
Every year in June the streets of Broadstairs come alive with its famous Dickens Week, where colourful characters dress up in costumes of the time to entertain you.
In August, Broadstairs hosts Folk Week with amusements, stalls, street entertainers and music which brings the whole town to life.
Then in October the Food Festival comes to Broadstairs with tempting delights – well worth wearing stretchable trousers for!
Crampton Tower Museum – This museum is set in the old town waterworks celebrating Thomas Crampton, the famous Victorian engineer. It features railways, transport and local history. Exhibits include working models, an interactive display for children and a miniature railway.
Deal Maritime and Local History Museum – This museum has displays of real model boats, figureheads, lifeboats, lifesaving, the boatmen and Deal Pilots, the Cinque Ports, three Castles, Royal Marines, local life and social history objects.
Dickens House Museum – This was once the home of Mary Pearson Strong, upon whom Charles Dickens based the character Betsey Trotwood in ‘David Copperfield.’ The museum contains memorabilia, prints, costume and Victoriana. There are guided tours available.
RAF Manston History Museum – At the museum there are aircraft and exhibits illustrating the history of the airfield at Manston from 1916 to the present day. This museum and the one next to it showing how life would have been in the war as well as hosting lots of historic aircraft, are within walking distance from Manston Court (about 1/2 mile).
RAF Spitfire and Hurrican Memorial Trust – This museum is dedicated to the Battle of Britain. There are WWII Battle of Britain Fighter Planes – Spitfire and Hurrican and artefacts from that time.
Local horse riding
The historic cities of Dover, Canterbury and Folkestone are only a 20-40 minute drive away, where you can sight-see or shop till your heart is content!
For a more complete list of things to do and see locally, or to find out about special events, the following websites both have lots of useful information – www.visitkent.co.uk or www.visitthanet.co.uk. Another website also worth a look is : On there you will find more information on places of interest that are within driving distance, or a relaxing train journey for a great day out, and perfect when you have just had too much of the sun and the beach!
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