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"Our English Watering Place"
Charles Dickens

Nestled between Ramsgate and Margate, Broadstairs is the most charming of the seaside resorts on the Isle of Thanet. Although it enjoyed the same influx of tourism which hit the isle amidst the introduction of the steamship in 1814, Broadstairs has retained a certain authenticity. It lacks the proliferation of cheap, commercial hotels which you'll find elsewhere. Indeed, it is easy to see why Dickens was charmed by the place. The little seaside town perches on the hillside with a long, steep road passing through and old stone arch which leads to Viking Bay. Originally called Main Sands, the bay was renamed in 1949 when the Danes re-nacted Hengist's passage to the Isle of Thanet in 449AD. This is just one of the beautiful, seven little bays which line the coast between here and Margate. If you prefer to get away from it all, you can choose between Stone Bay, Louisa Bay, Dumpton Gap, Joss Bay, Kingsgate Bay and Botany Bay.

Proud of its association with Dickens, you'll find Dickensian attractions littered around town. It seems as though the town has more or less named just about everything after him. There's the Old Curiosity Shop, Barnaby Rudge Pub, Dickens' Walk, Dickens' Pantry and two museums dedicated to this literary hero. Dickens was a frequent visitor here between 1837 and 1859 and wrote the end of David Copperfield in Bleak House which looks onto Viking Bay from the hillside.

A yearly summer festival is held in the third week of June for Britain's favourite long-winded writer. The festival was born to commemorate the centenary of Dickens first known visit. In 1937, Gladys Waterer, staged a production of David Copperfield while residents dressed in Victorian costume to promote the event. The festival has been a success ever since despite a pause for two years during WWII. You'll be able to see a Dickens production, flower sellers and a myriad of participants all dressed in Victorian costume including some very modest beach attire.

  1. Attractions
  2. Accommodation
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  5. Transport

Broadstairs : Sightseeing and Attractions

Broadstairs Folk Festival
Held annually in the middle of August, the festival is held in various venues throughout the town. You can take part in a dance workshop, listen to all kinds of music, poetry and storytelling or browse through some of the various, hand crafts for sale.

Bleak House
This house whose name was inspired by Dickens novel is reputed to be the place where he finished writing David Copperfield. Previously a museum but is now closed to the public.
Address: Fort Road, Broadstairs,
Postcode: CT10 1EY Street Map
Contact: PH 01843 862 224

Dickens House Museum
The museum is housed in a reconverted Tudor cottage which was adapted in the Georgian era. Exhibits include memorabilia associated with Dickens such as a collection of illustrations by Phiz or H.K. Browne, a mahogany sideboard and a writing box. Pride of place goes to a collection of letters written by Dickens to friends which proclaim his love of the town which he called, 'one of the freest and freshest little places in the world'. Entering the parlour is to enter David Copperfield's world itself. The room bears a remarkable resemblance to Phiz's illustration of the room where young Copperfield was subjected to Miss Betsey's gruesome concoctions from the press which stands in the corner
Admission: £2.00 Adults £1.00 Children
Address: 2 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, Kent
Postcode: CT10 1QS Street Map
Contact: PH +44 (0) 1843 861232

Crampton Tower Museum
The museum is named after Thomas Russell Crampton (1816-1888) who is best known for his invention of the Crampton locomotive. A local engineer and inventor, Crampton was the first to build a reliable telegraph cable system under the English channel and was also responsible for the building of the first water system in town. The museum is housed in an old tower where you can see the pumping-engine shed and other remains of his water system. Exhibits include the Broadstairs Stage Coach, patents, working drawings, the Engine House and other forms of transport.
Admission: £2.00 Adults £1.00 Children
Address: Crampton Tower Museum, Broadstairs, Kent
Postcode: CT10 2AB Street Map
Contact: PH 01843 871133

Info CentreBroadstairs Tourist Information Centre
Good for maps, accommodation and tours. You can also pick up a copy of the self-guided tour of neighbouring St. Peter's.
Address: 2 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, Kent
Postcode: CT10 1QS Street Map
Contact: PH 0870 264 6111

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