Broadstairs AKA ‘Jewel in Thanet’s Crown’ has the Latin motto ‘Stella Maris’ meaning ‘star of the sea’. The name derives from a former flight of chalk cliff steps that led from the beach to the 11th-century shrine of St Mary on the clifftop.
By 1824 steamboats were coming on the transport scene and the transfer time from London was reduced from 72 hours to 8! The town lies above the harbour with white chalk cliffs on either side and has seven beautiful golden bay sands – Louisa / Viking / Stone / Joss / Kingsgate / Botany & Dumpton Gap. Catch up on my previous post about the replica longboat landing in the bay in 1949.
Notable Broadstairs incumbents:
* Bleak House, originally called Fort House was where Charles Dickens spent many a summer holiday in the 1850s & 60s. It was here penned ‘David Copperfield’. If Dickens is your thing, pop by The Dickens House Museum. It is housed in the cottage that was Dickens’ inspiration for Betsey Trotwood’s home in the novel.
* John Buchan allegedly based the title of his ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’ novel after beach steps at a house called St Cuby, North Foreland, in the town where he recuperated from illness in 1915.
* Ted Heath, former British prime minister, was born and schooled here.
One of the Kent highlights for me was the 31 miles / 51.4 km circular ‘Viking Trail’. You can walk or cycle on flat, traffic-free promenades, sea walls and quiet country lanes. The views are spectacular which much to see and do. Use this link to find out more about the route and places of interest.
Broadstairs is a wonderful town to visit. And a seaside must is fish & chips (stop by the Seafarer) and ice cream (at Morelli’s parlour) – all low calorie of course!
Check out my Kent VLOG below to see my iPhone photographs from the area.