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Review: Isle of Thanet


Isle of Thanet, United Kingdom

Returning to a childhood favourite!

  • By SilverTraveller Rowsie

    123 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • May 2013
  • Adult family

91 people found this review helpful

When I was a child my family spent about 6 years living in Broadstairs, Kent and I have very fond memories of the time we spent there. So it was with a little trepidation that I returned to the Isle of Thanet, worried that the olde worlde atmosphere that I remembered would now be lost in an avalanche of "Kiss Me Quick" hats and loud arcade games. However, I was pleasantly surprised! Broadstairs is like a town where time stood still. It still has the same unspoilt bay and the same jetty where I saw children jumping into the sea with as much glee as I had some 50 odd years ago! Overlooking the bay is Bleak House with it's famous Dickens connection and this is well worth a visit if not just to view where he sat to write in the bay window looking down onto the bay. There is also a Dickens museum and on June 15th Broadstairs will host a Dickens Week. People wander around in old fashioned costumes and you can see old fashioned cricket matches taking place. As the weather wasn't great during my stay, sunbathing on the beach wasn't an option so I went for some long walks along the cliff tops. The walk to Ramsgate takes approximately 40 minutes and once there I enjoyed a much earned drink in one of the little cafes that now dot the harbour. Meeting up with friends we found an excellent restaurant for dinner, Age and Son, where the cuisine would equal any top London restaurant. It wasn't a cheap meal but it is well worth a visit as a special treat.

Another day I walked along the cliff tops the other way and into Margate. It took about one and a half hours and en route a lunch stop at the Fayreness Hotel was very pleasant. Now Margate has always been, in my mind, the place where Londoners would come for a daytrip to Dreamland. Unfortunately, Dreamland is no longer open but there are attractions worth seeing. The new Turner Contemporary Gallery is well worth a visit, especially round about sunset time as this area is where Turner painted a lot of his famous canvases and as you watch the sun go down you can see why this was a favourite spot of his.

Back in Broadstairs, a walk through Pierrmont Park revealed Queen Victoria's house (she was a regular visitor to Broadstairs I was told). It is now Council Offices but the outside is well maintained and quite humble for such a member of the Royalty. Of course, things have changed a little in Thanet. There is quite a large shopping centre just outside Broadstairs called Westwood Cross and also a casino and cinema complex. However I still prefer the tiny Palace Theatre which is still open in Broadstairs and which I remember visiting as a child.

Yes, the Isle of Thanet is well worth a visit. Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs all have their own individual attractions and there are buses to go to such places as Canterbury and Herne Bay. There is plenty to do and it is a very welcome respite from living in a city.

Indeed, I am planning to go back again in August when they host Folk Week. I was told that there is music everywhere that week with morris dancers in the street and entertainment for children as well. See you there!


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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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