Kent Beaches and Countryside
Kent Beaches and Countryside
Kent is a popular location for a British seaside holiday as the weather tends to be drier and sunnier than the rest of the UK. Beaches in Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs hold Blue Flag status and cover more than 26 miles of the English south coast. There are many hidden coves which were used by smugglers in days gone by, and various guided walks are available to help you get the most out of your days of coastal exploration.
Water sports such as water skiing, kayaking and kite surfing are popular around the coast in Kent as the water is generally calm and the weather is reasonably stable in summer. In total there are 15 beaches in Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs alone, and the area holds seven Quality Coast awards. The beaches in the Thanet area are generally very well kept, free from litter and offer clean and convenient facilities for sunbathing and family days out. Dogs are banned from some beaches during the summer in order to keep the beaches clean, and owners are required to clean up after their dogs at all other times.
The seaside can be enjoyed at any time of year thanks to the many promenades and local attractions, but the best time to visit Kent is July and August when temperatures peak at around 25 degrees Celsius. Most towns in the area offer plentiful ice-cream stalls for summer refreshment, and there are plenty of bandstands and other sources of outdoor entertainment, such as mini golf courses, walks and boat trips. Disabled access is not available everywhere in the seaside areas, but six beaches are completely wheelchair accessible, including Margate Main Sands, Viking Bay and Ramsgate Main Sands.
The countryside around east Kent is varied, with exposed swathes of land sitting near to areas rich with wildlife and punctuated with local history and monuments. The cliffs around Broadstairs offer fabulous sea views, and if you are keen on walking, you can explore local park land and seafronts as you travel on foot to neighbouring towns. The local beaches are peppered with coves and natural features which make any long walk a pleasure. Incorporate a visit to the man-made Gazen Salts nature reserve in Sandwich to enjoy the local wildlife and a one and a half mile walk around the reserve. Boat trips also take visitors out to see to visit marine life, including seals.
Of course, the most famous sight near Dover is the iconic white cliffs. Visitors can take in five miles of spectacular cliffside walks at the cliff tops. There is also a visitors centre nearby, and holidaymakers can also explore tunnels inside the cliffs themselves which makes the attraction ideal for changeable weather.
Kent is famous for bluebell woods; the area has more unspoilt, ancient forest than anywhere else in the country. The flowering of the bluebells causes secluded woodland areas and glades to completely transform their appearance from brown to a vibrant blue in the spring. The flowering of bluebells is a tourist attraction in its own right and brings visitors to the area annually in May or June. The actual flowering time is dependent on the previous winter’s weather.
The Kent Downs span the countryside from the white cliffs of Dover north to London, offering many unspoilt views and fantastic opportunities for walking, cycling and horse riding. The Kent Downs were designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1968 and are a valuable home for wild animals and rare orchids. Near Whitstable, Blean Woods is a large managed area of ancient woodland, full of wildlife and rare wild flowers.