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I know I keep going on about it, but I make no apologies. Heading towards it's 50th year, the festival just seems to get bigger and better every year.
I know many of you will probably think, "I don't like folk music, I'm not going to that", but I can assure you, there is really something for everyone. There are torchlight processions, fireworks, circus displays, morris dancers (see the pictures), various world musicians, blues gigs etc. etc. etc. There probably isn't an area of artistic endeavour that isn't represented somewhere during the week.
I have had many friends who are not at all into folk music who, once persuaded, return every year purely for the atmosphere, or craic as the Irish would say.
Just a word of warning, there is not a bed to be had in the town that week. You really need to book about ten months in advance to have any chance.
If you come in 2011, look me up - I'm already booked!
Updated May 11, 2011
Phone: +00 44 (0)1843 604080
If you get thirsty on your meanderings around Broadstairs (I know I do), you could do worse than drop in here for a pint. It's a relatively unspoilt old-fashioned pub and very pleasant. It is also the sort of unofficial HQ for the musicians and dancers in Folk Week. Many's a good session I've had in here.
Look out for the picture on the wall of the last four landlords all having a drink together. Between them they span some unbelievable period of time.
What used to be the low bar is now a tapas restaurant (see seperate tip) although you can eat your tapas in the main bar if you prefer.
Written Aug 18, 2005
Address: 1-5 Harbour Street, Broadstairs, CT10 1ET
Phone: 01843 861400
A stroll along the jetty is a must.There's a cafe at the end which serves cockles and mussels and other seafood.
Seats along the jetty enable you to sit and gaze at the sea or watch the activity of the fishermen and their boats, which moor beneath it.
The sea can get quite rough and the waves soak the cars parked up there, to the delight of onlookers,(who parked elsewhere!).
Updated Aug 12, 2005
This magnificent house, where Charles Dickens lived when he wrote 'Little Dorrit' can be visited all year round.
The underground cellars have been converted into a 'Smugglers' Museum', telling the history of smuggling on the Kent coast.Some scary sights down there!
Written Oct 15, 2004
go to the beach. Unodubtedly, a lot of the popularity of the town was built upon the beaches, which are still popular with day trippers and longer term visitors. Actually, the whole coast here is full of bays, which were home to smugglers for many centuries.
Broadstairs is actually built around seven bays, of which the most central and famous is Viking Bay, apparently so named because the Vikings landed there in 1949! Actually, a replica longboat, rowed across the North Sea, landed there, but it makes for a romantic name, I think.
The beach, in summer, has traditional kids entertainment like Punch and Judy, and also trampolines, a bouncy castle and other attractions. As popular beaches go, it's very clean.
If you don't fancy walking down to the harbour and along, there is a lift from the Promenade.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
I first discovered this place when I played a gig there many years ago, and have since returned many times. It is a simple, no-nonsense locals pub, which is far enough off the beaten track to avoid most of the summer tourist rush. Having said that, it's only about five minutes walk from the main street. If you want a decent pint in pleasant surroundings, this could well be the place for you.
If you are wondering about the slightly unusual name, Wrotham is a village in Kent and there are at least three different pronounciations of it!
I should also mention that the Wrotham is an abolute hub of musical activity in the town, not just during Folk Week when it is permanently full of bands, song and music sessions and general merriment, but all throughout the year. Started by the previous manager Jenny and continued by the present incumbent Jackie (both delightful ladies) there are regular live bands encompassing a range of musical styles so there is something for everybody. Full details of the music are available at
I know local musicians are very appreciative of such a supportive place to play and a few local acts have had their first break here.
Updated Aug 30, 2012
Address: 9 Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs, CT10 1QQ
Phone: 00 44 (0)1843 861788
OK, so you've been to the beach, had something to eat, and possibly a few drinks in one of the many fine hostelries in town. So what now? You want to have a sit down somewhere quiet and perhaps read a book or just have a quiet doze in tranquil surroundings. Well, this might just be the place for you.
Originally the grounds of the still extant 1785 Pierremont Hall, which now serves as the local Town Hall and Folk Week office, it is a pleasant garden, well laid out and maintained. It is a perfect place to sit in the Kent sunshine and relax.
A word of warning, though. I wouldn't recommend you go near this place in the evenings, especially in the summer, when the local yobs seem to make it their personal domain, getting drunk / stoned and generally causing trouble.
Written Sep 20, 2006
Address: Adjacent to Pierremont Hall Broadstairs
Broadstairs is set in one of seven adjoining bays, and between them there is something to suit just about everyone. Going towards Margate from Broadstairs, you come to Joss Bay. This is a very popular family / surfing beach, which is patrolled in the summer season by lifeguards. It is an extremely clean beach and has won several local awards. there is a pay and display carpark there, but I like to walk along the coast from Broadstairs - it'll only take you about half an hour at a gentle pace.
If you feel like learning something new, surfing lessons are available in the summer season - see the website for further details. I don't surf myself, but friends who do tell me this is a good place for it. Surfboards and bodyboards are available for hire, or if you're feeling less adventurous you can also hire deckchairs, windbreaks and so on.
It is quite easy to find, being in the shadow of the famous North Foreland lighthouse which was the last manned lighthouse in the UK prior to automation.
Updated Oct 5, 2006
In the same way that no trip to the English seaside is complete without fish and chips, so ice-cream is also a necessity. There are a couple of good ice cream parlours in Broadstairs but this is my favourite.
Good selection of flavours and styles - all guaranteed to pile on the pounds!
Written Aug 18, 2005
Address: 12a-14 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, CT10 1QS
Phone: 01843 860050
Bleak House inspired Charles Dicken's novel of the same name. He lived here for some time, and wrote the majority of 'David Copperfield' here. The house stand imposingly on the cliff over looking Viking Bay (the main beach in Broadstairs). It has had a number of owners recently and is currently undergoing restoration. I have added a link to the new website which hopefully will be up to date with opening times etc.
Written May 16, 2007