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Like other Victorian seaside towns such as Margate and Ramsgate, Broadstairs was once the playground of vacationing Londoners, and grand 19th-century houses line the waterfront. In the off-season Broadstairs is peaceful, but day-trippers pack the town in July and August.
Park your car in one of the town lots, and strike out for the crescent beach or wander down the residential Victorian streets. Make your way down to the amusement pier and try your hand in one of the game arcades. You can grab fish-and-chips to go and dine on the beach.
Charles Dickens spent many summers in Broadstairs between 1837 and 1851 and wrote glowingly of its bracing freshness.
Take a drive through the Kent and Sussex countryside and you’ll soon notice a distinctive feature of the landscape: oast houses, tall brick buildings with conical roofs, looking somewhat like witch’s hats with a weathervane on top. These were built for drying hops, with a kiln at ground level heating the floors above. Dating as far back as the mid-18th century, most have now been converted into private houses.
Broadstairs at a Glance
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