Beach breaks in Kent

From serene lesser-known bays to grand Victorian promenades, the Kentish coastline is dazzlingly diverse in natural scenery, meteorological conditions and seaside attractions. Kent is a favourite summer destination, and many beaches here have received the prestigious Blue Flag award for their excellent facilities and high water quality. Whether you’re looking for thrilling water sports or some peace and quiet, there’s a beach in Kent for you.

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Botany Bay (Broadstairs)

The northernmost of seven bays in the charming Kent resort of Broadstairs, it was named after local smugglers in Australia who were caught on the beach and deported to Botany Bay. With clean sands and a Blue Flag award for water quality, it’s no wonder this sandy beach is so well-loved. It is truly picturesque with chalk cliffs, golden sands, and rock pools. And if you don’t want to simply soak up the views, Botany Bay is an ideal spot for kayaking, canoeing, swimming, sunbathing, fossil hunting, bodyboarding and kite-flying. Nearby coastal walks offer exquisite views of Botany Bay from the Viking Coastal Trail and Kent Coastline Walk.

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Margate Beach

Margate offers an exciting blend of the traditional and the new. The pleasure park at Dreamland has been lovingly transformed and once again offers the thrills and excitement of a traditional British seaside amusement park. English painter JMW Turner came to Margate for inspiration and you too can be inspired by the exhibitions at the Turner Contemporary Gallery, which was built on the site of the location he used to visit when in town.

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Ramsgate Main Sands

Ramsgate’s sandy bay is a charming beach surrounded by high chalk cliffs and has all the traditional seaside trappings you would hope to find in a coastal town. With children’s amusements, arcades and restaurants offering al fresco dining, the beach area offers something for everyone and has a continental feel. The beautiful Ramsgate Main Sands is a long and wide beach with a safe shoreline that is perfect for sunbathing, sand castling, splashing around, and strolling. Just a short distance from the beach, you’ll spot the lively Royal Harbour (Britain’s one and only), and a jaunt around the Marina will treat you to stunning sights of elegant boats. And if you fancy getting some exercise, there are three Active Ramsgate walks to choose from. There’s the scenic 5-mile cliff-topping walk to Broadstairs, the peaceful 6.1-mile stroll to the Pegwell Bay and Sandwich National Nature Reserve or an architectural trail on the 3.4 mile Ramsgate Town Rounders walk.

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Viking Bay (Broadstairs)

The beach at Viking Bay has all the features you would expect from a classic seaside resort, but this superb horseshoe-shaped bay is the main attraction in Broadstairs. This was even the holiday destination of choice for Charles Dickens, who wrote an affectionate piece on the town, Our English Watering Place. And overlooking the harbour is Bleak House, where he wrote David Copperfield. A previous winner of Blue Flag awards, Viking Bay has excellent facilities, and a lifeguard service ensures safe bathing in the summer. As well as all the beachside shops and cafes you would need, Broadstairs town is right behind you. There is even a cliffside elevator at the southern end of the beach if you don’t fancy the climb up to town! An ideal beach for the family with a tidal pool, children’s rides and surf school.

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