Deal is steeped in history having not one but three Tudor castles built by Henry VIII, namely Deal, Walmer and Sandown. The first two you can visit and Sandown (only a few stones remain) is on the cycle path that follows the coast. Deal has a town motto of “Adjuvate Advenas” which for those not familiar with Latin is translated into “Befriend a Stranger” – perfect for those wanting to be made welcome on a self-catering holiday to Deal or short break! For the historians, Deal is mentioned in the Doomsday book, but evidence suggests its history goes back much further. Julius Caesar is said to have landed on the Deal-Walmer coast in 55 and 54 BC. Deal is one of the Cinque Ports and has been important in the defenses of south east England throughout history. With a coastline that was permanently exposed to potential attack it was no wonder that Deal played such an important role.
There is something for everyone in Deal, fantastic independent shops, markets, delicatessens, pubs, restaurants and cafes and a great beach! The actual town centre is pedestrianised which makes it an ideal place to wander and explore. Deal has a long 1950s Pier which was named Pier of the year in 2008, and the beach is perfect for soaking up the coastal scenery. Deal is a genuine Georgian town with winding streets and lovely promenade.
Other things to do in Deal include the Time Ball Tower Museum, which is a Semaphore Tower and was used to pass messages along the East Coast to warn of smugglers. This museum contains many curious items and is well worth a visit. The Deal Maritime and Local History Museum is also very interesting as it tells the full historical story of this seaside town. The Deal Memorial Bandstand is a remembrance of the bombing of Deals Royal Marine School. The bandstand is still in use and there are free concerts from May to September on Sunday afternoons.
There are several markets to enjoy in Deal. There is a weekly Saturday market and small market outside the Town Hall on Wednesday and Fridays. Monthly there is a Farmers’ Market with local producers and seasonal food.
For garden enthusiasts, there are lovely gardens at Walmer Castle with eight acres to explore. During the school holidays, Walmer Castle runs themed events for all the family and from June 2015, visitors can experience the ‘reimagined Walmer Castle’ created to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
For golfers, try your skills on a links course and Deal has plenty to offer; Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Links, Royal St George’s in Sandwich, and Royal Cinque Ports in Deal are all within an easy reach.
For sailing enthusiasts, the nearby Downs Sailing Club holds events suitable for novices and experienced sailors, throughout the season.
For swimmers who don’t like the seawater, a visit with the family to Tides Leisure Centre, a minute’s drive away, is a must, including numerous flumes, slides and Jacuzzi’s.
Fishing need not just be nipping down to the beach front for the catch of the day off the local fisherman, why not bring your rod and bait and cast off from the pier or beach yourself?
In 2014, Deal won the Telegraph ‘High Street of the Year’ award and also features in the Times 30 Best Places By the Sea.