After hearing that Broadstairs has one of the best beaches in England my girlfriend and I decided to check it out. Along with the thousands of other people in Kent, Suz and I ventured to Broadstairs on the first sunniest day of the year. I put the address for the train station car park in the sat nav (because I like to research the parking sitch before hand) and off we went. I found out that it’s £1 for the day to park at the station, which is a ten minute walk to the front, whereas it’s £12 to park next to the beach. Jenna wins the thrifty awards yet again. The journey going there was as busy as expected – so if you’re heading there make sure you travel before 4am to miss the traffic.
It’s clear that Charles Dickens is affiliated with the town as there’s mentions of him all around; from shops and a restaurant called Charles Dickins, to souvenirs and even a festival. In June the week long festival is overflowed with talks, plays and costumed characters celebrating the famous author who chose Broadstairs as his favourite holiday spot. So if you’re a Charles Dickins fan, then I recommend a visit in June.
Another famous holidayer here was a young Queen Victoria. The Queen herself visited Broadstairs and stayed at Pierremont Hall during her summer holibobs. But you won’t find any special souvenir or festival dedicated to her. The only mention of Queen Victoria in fact is on a plaque outside the hotel where she stayed.
The beach was overflowing with people who had brought their kids, dogs, great aunt June and kitchen sinks to the beach. So when Suz and I went to get fish and chips the queues were so long that we settled for a huge burger from a local cafe instead. The sand was a bright orangey brown and was soft and chilly to walk on; like most beaches in England. The usual swings, giraffe bouncy castle and trampolines are available for the kids to entertain themselves while you try your very best to get a tan in the 21°c heat. The shoe-shaped Viking Bay is very popular but if you walk around the coastal wall you will get to a smaller but more secluded bit of beach.
Like all typical British seaside resorts there was a crazy golf; Lillyput mini golf course. As golf courses go this one was pretty shit, there were too many people so we had to queue for every hole and the course was small and a bit shabby looking. On the 12th hole if you get the ball in the middle hole and ring the bell then you get a free game. Suz hit the ball, it went perfectly into the middle hole and we got a free game. But after the epically long and boring game we’d just played we didn’t want to put ourselves through it again – so we gave the free ticket to a smiley tourist in the queue.
Wedged in between Ramsgate and Margate, Broadstairs should be as indecline as these two seaside spots – but in fact it has a lot more charm. Yes, Broadstairs is probably quite depressing in the winter or when the sun isn’t out but that happens with most places by the coast. However, when the sun is out and the tourists are bustling around the place it’s quite a nice day out. I wouldn’t recommend spending more than a weekend here though as there’s really not much else to do other than play crazy golf, sit amongst the crowds on the beach and queue up for £8 fish and chips.
The journey back to Croydon should’ve taken 1 hour and 40 minutes, but it actually took us 2 hours and 45 minutes. With the long journey there and the epic journey back we spent most of the beautifully hot day in the car.