Broadstairs Travel Guide

  • Musicians, Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs, UK.
    Musicians, Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs,...
    by planxty
  • Viking Bay, Broadstairs, UK.
    Viking Bay, Broadstairs, UK.
    by planxty
  • Brown Jug pub, Broadstairs, Kent, UK.
    Brown Jug pub, Broadstairs, Kent, UK.
    by planxty

Broadstairs Things to Do

  • Relax By The Seaside Edge

    If there's one thing we don't do enough in life then it's to take time and stop and see what beauty surrounds us. Broadstairs harbour gives you the ideal opportunity to do such a thing.

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  • Bleak House

    Bleak House, formerly known as Fort House, is a large house on the cliff overlooking the North Foreland and Viking Bay. It was built around 1801 and then substantially extended, doubling in size, in 1901.I think that you can now stay as a paying guest ... maybe for a saucy weekend by the seaside.

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  • I can't believe it took so long.

    I have mentioned elsewhere on my Broadstairs page that I have been visiting this wonderful town for almost twenty years, generally to play at the excellent Broadstairs Folk Week and I must have walked past the slightly odd looking Crampton Tower literally hundreds of times. I was even aware that it housed a small local Museum but it was only on my...

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  • Don't take your granny!

    OK, I have to declare an interest here. Over the many years I've played the Broadstairs Folk Week I have had some absolutely cracking gigs in here. This year (2006) on the first Saturday night, they had to shut the doors because the place was so full. Now I don't say this to be boastful (there were many better musicians than me playing in town that...

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  • Got to have ice cream.

    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.Dating back to 1932, in these same premises, it was the first ever ice cream parlour to serve over 20 flavours, and Heaven knows how many...

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  • Another good pub.

    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...

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Broadstairs Restaurants

  • Sumptuous Ice Cream Sundaes

    A visit to Morelli's is always on our itineray when visiting Broadstairs. The ice cream sundaes are beautiful. They are always made fresh, always made with love and always tast delicious. We always will call it the Brazilian, but nowadays it's official name is the Broadstairs special.

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  • What a name, what a place.

    When I recently returned to Broadstairs to play at the always wonderful Broadstairs Folk Week I was wandering down the High Street when my eye was taken by a rather unusual sign on a commercial premises. A place I had remembered from the year before as an eating house called Reubens seemed to have undergone a bit of a makeover. No surprise there...

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  • The genuine article.

    In a market sector where places come and go very rapidly, and in a seasonal seaside town, the fact that this place has been going for 15 years should tell you all you really need to know.When I play the Broadstairs Folk Week which I do every year, I try to treat myself to a meal in here, although "treat" is probably not a good expression as the...

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  • Should have stayed as a fish restaurant.

    I remember this place as a very successful and good fish restaurant until relatively recently. How I wish it had stayed that way. It is now marketing itself as a "contemporary" Asian restaurant, complete with the almost obligatory minimalist wooden decor.In fairness to them, the service was pretty good considering that it was a busy evening. It is...

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  • Nice views, great food.

    Update September 2012.I promised a further update when I next visited Broadstairs I would inform the reader what was happening with the Charles Dickens. It has been bought back by the Thorley Taverns group (a very big player in East Kent) and been completely refurbished to a high standard. I did not have the opportunity to eat there on my last...

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  • Very good kebab.

    When you consider an English seaside town you would normally think of fish and chips, and Broadstairs is very well served for that as evidenced on my other tips. However, every community in England of any size at all will have a kebab shop, generally run by Turks, Greeks or Cypriots (often now second or third generation) and Broadstairs is no...

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Broadstairs Nightlife

  • A good live music spot.

    There are a number of places offering live music in Broadstairs and indeed the music scene in Thanet is very lively. I have a number of very good musician friends based in the area and I play there regularly myself and we have all, at one time or another, played in the Wrotham Arms pub. It was, in fact, the very first gig I ever played in...

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  • Lots of live music.

    For a relatively small place, there is plenty of nightlife round Broadstairs, probably to some extent a reflection of it's status as a holiday destination albeit that that is dying out somewhat. One place that has consistently supported live music over many years is the rather good Bradstow Mill pub at the top end of High Street, which is much more...

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  • Not that sleepy!!

    There is PLENTY to do in Broadstairs in the evenings. There are loads of restaurants that certainly don't close at 8pm, offering a wide range of food. Many of the pubs have DJs playing music, and are really busy at weekends. Broadstairs offers a venue for every taste. It's easy to find a quite place to drink too. If you are after nightclubs, get on...

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Broadstairs Transportation

  • Let the train take the strain.

    Update August 2013When travelling to Broadstairs I like to travel by train.The opening of the High Speed Train (HST) to Broadstairs has now considerably shortened the travelling time to about one hour 20 minutes from over two hours previously, although it is more expensive than the slower options (£38:10 as of August 2013). The departure station...

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  • You'd be loopy not to.

    OK, so I "borrowed" the title for the tip from the company's own advertising but it really is appropriate for the shuttle bus service that operates around Thanet. It operates between Margate, Ramsgate Westwood Cross shopping centre and Broadstairs and with a weekday requency of about 10 minutes or less it is very reliable. It is not expensive and I...

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  • Thanet Loop buses

    Catch the Thanet Loop bus from Queens Road, The High Street or The Broadway. One direction will take you to Margate, the other to Ramsgate for little more than £1. The trip takes about 15 minutes either way, and the buses go every 15 minutes during the day, every half hour in the evenings. Last bus to Margate (for the clubs) leaves Queens Rd at...

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Broadstairs Shopping

  • Do you have a sweet tooth?

    I have written elsewhere on this page, and some time ago, about an excellent old-fashioned sweet shop in Broadstairs. Well, it appears that the cravings of the good people of Broadstairs knows no bounds. I recently revisited the town to play at the wonderful Broadstairs Folk Week I was wandering down High Street and came upon this place, another...

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  • A nostalgic trip.

    This shop is so much in character with Broadstairs, you'd almost think it was a pastiche. It is a brilliant sweet shop of the sort prevalent when I was a boy. Large jars of every kind of sweet imaginable jostle on the shelves with all sorts of licourice, lollipops and just about every other thing guaranteed to rot your teeth! It's absolutely...

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  • The best in town.

    The principal reason I go to Broadstairs is to play gigs, specifically the Broadstairs Folk Week and the number of times Terry (the owner) has helped me out of a hole is unbelievable. They are really helpful, and have an excellent range of stock.Well worth a visit if you need anything musical.Update August 2013.Wow, it is amazing how quickly your...

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Broadstairs Warnings and Dangers

  • Free Car Wash

    Be careful where you park your car on the harbour as you may get a free car wash ... salt water though

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  • Once a year inconvenience.

    I have noted on many of my other tips on this page that my main reason for visiting Broadstairs is for the excellent annual Broadstairs Folk Week, although over the years I have made many friends there and regularly visit at other times. This warning is in relation to the week the festival is on. Exact dates vary but it is the second week in August...

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  • Plastic only.

    This tip does not concern a danger, in fact it refers to something that prevents danger but it is a warning to beer purists who may visit the town, especially in summer. During the excellent Broadstairs Folk Week, which I play every year, most pubs in the town will only serve pints and halves in plastic glasses. I am not sure if this is a police /...

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Broadstairs What to Pack

  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo

    by Jenniflower Updated Jun 17, 2007

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luggage and bags: Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling.

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Whether snowy/wet/sunny/warm or cold weather, layer your clothing.

    Wear thermal underwear (these are easily bought at the local clothing shops), with warm leggings and a top under a toasty jacket for the cold. I have my trusty grey duffle coat, plus a white snow jacket for this type of weather, and they are a godsend!

    Weather here wasn't as bad that I needed my duffle coat, but is was rather chilly!!!

    Always remember to bring a cap/hat that covers your head and neck for when it gets hot, as well as sunglasses.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Sunscreen (Factor 35 is the minimum factor I use, no matter what the weather is), headache tablets and usual little things like some plasters for blisters, cotton wool, germolene etc.

    Photo Equipment: Your camera, with charger, and a EUROPEAN plug extension if travelling from overseas.

    Miscellaneous: Have a map of the area handy, plus a local bird, flower and tree book. For this you also need a pair of good quality binoculars

    Related to:
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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Broadstairs Off The Beaten Path

  • Chalk stacks at Botany Bay

    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.

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  • The Viking Coastal Trail

    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.

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  • Four candles?

    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...

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Broadstairs Sports & Outdoors

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    by planxty Updated Jun 8, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I associate Broadstairs with many things, although sport is generally not one of them. They do have a decent rugby side in Thanet Wanderers but one sport you can watch or participate in is without overly exerting yourself. that of petanque / boules which seems to be very popular in Kent. I suppose it is the proximity to France where I believe the game originated. If you are not aware of it, I have posted the rules in the attached website. It is not dissimilar to lawn bowls in that the object is to get your boule nearest to a pre-positioned smaller ball called a jack, but in this case the boules are thrown into the air rather than rolled along the ground.

    It is a very social game, often associated with pubs, and this is the setting I found it in at the absolutely excellent Brown Jug pub just outside Broadstairs. This is an absolute cracker of a place, totally traditional, which is why I went to visit it. What I didn't expect was the sizeable petanque pitch (if that is the correct word). Being the weekend, there was a game going on, and I was immediately offered a game, an offer I declined remembering my pathetic attempts at it in Southeast Asia although I spent a very pleasant afternoon watching and being guided through the finer points by a delightful local man.

    If you want to watch the better players, the pub team plays in the East Kent League on a Tuesday evening in the summer (check if they are home or away first) although friendly games go on at the weekends and occasional evenings dependant on who is there.

    Equipment: If you don't have your own boules, someone will lend you a set or there is a pub set you can borrow.

    Brown Jug pub, Broadstairs, Kent, UK. Petanque Game, Brown Jug pub, Broadstairs, UK
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beer Tasting

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Broadstairs Favorites

  • Bradstow?

    In the olden days, Broadstairs was called Bradstow. It was originally a fishing village of note and has a close association with St Peters, a picturesque village further inland. It's current name comes from the 'broad stairs' that are seemingly carved out of the chalk cliff there. A lovely town, with character and charm!

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  • The beach

    Sand is brown but at least it IS sand, not pebbles. As a South African, this makes a lot of difference!Weather was cold and drizzly, but the mood was good!We went on a miserable day and so there werent any bathers about, but I would imagine that this beach would be choc-a-bloc in good weather!The people were friendly and welcoming :)

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  • Walking Broadstairs

    How do you get to know a place? Walk it. I look forward to walking it again, and more thoroughly! Broadstairs is a little like Fish Hoek, my home town in South Africa. Although vastly different in many ways, they both are not heavily commercialised, and hold some tradition... are maybe a little backwards in going forwards perhaps?? ;) I love...

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