Culture in and around Deal, Kent

Phoebe Shipton  ·  19th June 2019

The Creative Coast

An exciting Cultural Coastal Summer 2019 beckons for people based in one of Keepers Cottages’ amazing self catering properties in Deal, Kent. Culture in Kent has never been so diverse and plentiful.

The South coast of England has had a cultural makeover in recent years. And the Kent coast has been at the forefront of this. Deal is perfectly positioned for people wanting to sample the cultural gems that have been planted around the south east coastline. 

Fairgrounds, gigs, art galleries by the sea

To the East, and no more than a 45 minute drive from Deal, is Margate. It remains a remarkably popular destination for Londoners looking for a beach when the sun comes out. Its sandy beaches, and Turner sunsets and old school resort feel still bring in the masses. The regeneration of Margate’s famous old theme park, Dreamland, has been a great success. Look out for gigs and Festivals with well known bands.

In the past few years, the old town area has been populated by the creative artisans. Boutique hotels, high quality eating and drinking houses, interesting shops, all under the shadow of Turner Contemporary gallery. It has been a huge success and attracted more than 3 million British and international visitors to Margate since opening in 2011. It has also put over £70 million into the local economy. A human sized statue was erected by Turner Prize winner Antony Gormley in the sea, and they brought Tracey Emin’s famous My Bed to Margate. The next year promises ‘a thrilling schedule of exhibitions featuring contemporary and historical artwork, including new commissions, major retrospectives and Turner Prize 2019’.

Sandy beaches, surf and history

West of Margate is Broadstairs, which has some beautiful beaches and bays, including Joss Bay, renowned as one of the UK’s best surfing beaches! Who’d have thought it. This is a fabulous day excursion for families looking for sandy and dog-friendly beaches, dog walks, and amazing ice-cream parlours. For those wanting a bit of history, this is Charles Dickens territory, and a host of other artists, musicians, playwrights and authors hail from this part of Thanet. 

Ramsgate Harbour is buzzing at weekends, with a great range of eateries and boat trips to see the seals. Another beautiful old town, with historic walks, great places to walk the dogs and entertain the children. There are tours and river cruises, caves and mines, tunnels or indoor soft play areas. The Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve offers the opportunity for a simple landscape of breathtaking beauty at low tide, with kids and dogs and kites and kitesurfers. 

Ancient town, and championship links golf courses

Sandwich, no more than 10 minute drive from Deal is a historic Cinque Port with a RiverBus, Seal excursions, magical gardens at the Salutation, a 1912 country house open to the public, long walks and bike rides through Sandwich Bay, with its wonderful bird observatory, and world famous golf courses, Royal St George’s and Princes

James Bond by the sea

To the East of Deal, there is St Margaret’s Bay, home town of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series of novels, Indeed there are James Bond’s Kent walks available in Sandwich. St Margaret’s has spectacular cliff walks, hidden caves, and one or two wonderful dining experiences to discover. And 007 is the bus that still runs from Dover to London!

Cliff Walks, day breaks in France

The world famous White Cliffs of Dover speak for themselves, and anyone staying in one of Keepers’ holiday cottages is no more than a 20 minute drive from the Ferry terminal if you fancy a day trip to France’s north coast. You can get to Le Touquet (Paris by the beach) in 3.5 hours door to door and bring back wine and melons from the wonderful French markets.

Coastal regeneration through the arts

And a 30 minute drive to the East is Folkestone, which has undergone perhaps the most interesting redevelopment of all the coastal towns, The Harbour Arm is an wonderful array of restaurants, music, art, and a big screen showing films and live sports events throughout the summer. A beautiful old harbour is surrounded by a range of boutique shops and creative people doing amazing work – highlight of which is the UK’s largest collection of outside artworks. You really have to see it to appreciate it – and its flagship restaurant Rocksalt is worth the trip alone. 

And then, of course, there is Deal’s very own Music and Arts Festival, the focus of our next blog post.

Rent a holiday cottage with Keepers Cottages and you’re never more than 45 minutes from extraordinarily diverse, rich and eye opening culture.

About Phoebe Shipton

Having studied Marketing at University of Manchester, Phoebe joined the family business in 2020 as Head of Marketing and Operations. Phoebe is focused on making Keepers Cottages stand out, as well as ensuring the bookings flood in!

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