Botany Bay is a beautiful Blue Flag award beach with chalk cliffs and chalk stacks across from The Fayreness Hotel.
It is the northernmost of seven bays in Broadstairs and on The Viking Coastal Trail.
I don't know if readers will have seen the absolutely classic comedy sketch by the British comedy duo, theTwo Ronnies (Barker and Corbett). It has been voted best sketch in the history of British comedy. If you haven't seen it, I have posted a link here.
There is a bit of Broadstairs folklore associated with it. The shop pictured is the simply wonderful Harringtons which is worth a visit in itself, it is an abolute cornucopia. It is situated at 1 York Street. I visited recently to buy a French bean cutter (long story, don't ask) and was amazed at what was available, I kid you not, they have everything from a single screw to sets of saucepans to builders supplies and just about everything else. Anyway, I know that some years ago, Ronnie Corbett had a holiday home just across the road (behind the Charles Dickens pub if you are interested) and was in the place. He was so enthralled that Ronnie Barker subsequently wrote the iconic skit based on this place. So there you have it. Fork handles.
Take a look at the photograph of a typical red British postbox. Nothing odd in that, you see them everywhere and they are as associated with Britain as Bobbies, red buses and black cabs. However, take a closer look at this one. The second photo should help. If you look at any of these postnoxes you will see a cipher on them, currently EIIR denoting Elizabeth II Regina (Queen Elizaberh II, the current monarch), which indicates who the monarch was when it was erected. This bos is unusual in that the cipher is EVIIIE indicating Edward the 8th, the King who abdicated in 1936 having only reigned for less that a year. During this period, only 161 were erected, some of which are now gone, and this is one of the survivors.
It stands at the junction of Callis Court Road and Stanley Road just beside the excellent Lanthorne pub.
If you are into postboxes (you might be), the attached website may be of interest to you.
Take a trip out to kinsgate
Yes it is where a gate similar to york gate in Broadstairs was, to stop pirates ! although of course they dug caves past it.
Anyway, the gate is now in the gronds of an old peoples home, you can just about view it from one road.(sorry the road name and home name eludes me at present !)
Anyway, here you will find a pub, called the captain digby.
Follow the cycle path behind it towards Margate. Shortly along it you will find a flint fort, build around the time of HenryVIII.
Used in ther second world war as a gun emplacement. Thought to be the grave of vortigen listed in ther saxon chronicles (ad 800 ish?)
apparently in recent history a large stone from the grave was removed for storage, but nobody seems to remeber where it was taken and stored !
well its free to look here anyway.
carry on round a bit and make for the beach, you will find many caves, some natural, others man made for smuggling.
If you walk along kinsgate bay (below the captain digby) and look carefully at the cliff top, you will see part of a fossil sticking out, about 1/3 is visible, but it should be about 1m across !
I discovered this monument some time ago, and it always struck a chord with me (no pun intended). It commemorates a street entertainer called Uncle Mack who died in 1948. He really must have been very well-loved by the local people for them to erect this monument.
In some small way, I'd like to think that the music we bring to the town during Broadstairs Folk Week albeit for only seven days a year, is carrying on Uncle Mack's legacy.
The monument is in the gardens on the promenade near the bandstand.
This wonderful view is what greets travellers arriving at Dover by boat.The first view of England.
Broadstairs is perched at one end of the cliffs and Ramsgate,further along.Both have amazing beaches.
Dover itself is further up the coast.
Ramsgate is a lovely walk from Broadstairs,along the cliff top.The model village has been there since the 1940s and was a wonderful place for kids to visit.Unfortunately I've just discovered that it has closed!There was so much vandalism they had to shut!However some of the model buildings have been transferred to Bekonscot Model Village in Berkshire.Well worth a visit-for grown-ups and kids alike!There's a magic about walking amongst tiny buildings and feeling like a giant!
Ramsgate is still worth a visit.Good for fish and chips and mugs of tea:-)
Tucked away at the top end of the High Street is a great little place which should delight every man (or woman) who ever dreamed of being a train driver.
It is a museum about one Thomas Crampton, a local man who became famous in the 19th century for his work on railways. Additionally, he was responsible for other engineering works. The Crampton tower in the picture, was built by him as a water reservoir for the town. He also laid the first submarine telegraph cable from Dover to Calais.
The Museum itself is full of model railways and Crampton memorabilia.
It is open Easter to October from 1400 - 1700 every day. It also opens mornings during Folk Week. Admission £2 adults.
Stone Bay, next bay along from Viking Bay, Broadstairs.Can be reached by walking behind the Jetty and along the beach.A quieter bay than the main Viking Bay, but with no facilities except a tea caravan,selling frinks and ice creams, etc.Good though to get away from the crowds.
The flight of steps up the cliff side, consisting of 78 steps, was the origin of the title of the famous thriller by John Buchan-'The 39 Steps'.He got his inspiration from the flight of steps leading to the top of the cliff, but changed the number to 39, as it sounded better than 78!
A lovely walk is to take the cliff path to Ramsgate about 2 miles down the coast.You get a wonderful view of this seaside town and beach as you approach, high up on the cliffs.
Ramsgate has long sandy beaches and a harbour packed with boats of all shapes and sizes.The cafe at the end of the harbour wall gives the feeling of being aboard a liner, as all you can see is sea around you.
It's an enlivened place now the cross channel ferries once again ply their passengers to France.
It's well stocked with shops and has a pedestrianised precinct.There are also many pubs, cafes and restaurants, catering for every taste.Loads of fish and chips!
There's an amazing Model Village at the far end of the town.Walk around it and feel like Gulliver in Lilliput!
The North Foreland Lighthouse is on the trail.
This was the last Trinity Lighthouse to be automated in 1998 when it was converted to automatic operation.