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Want to take off? At an hour and 24 hour train from London, Broadstairs is one of the UK’s seaside resorts, known as the “jewel of the crown of Thanet”. This charming Kent town transposes you into Charles Dickens’ England…
A Little history
Dickens himself was bewitched by the Star of the Sea, the other name for Broadstairs, where he stayed several times. The current name of the city comes from an ancient staircase of the chalk cliff that led from the sands to the sanctuary of St. Mary, at the top of the cliff, dating from the 11th century. The city is protected in the setting of its beach, Viking Bay, and bundled into its chalk cliffs.
The city of fish and chips
In addition to the many cozy pubs that swarm the main street, if there is one thing to remember about the city, it is its profusion of fried fish. There are of course the traditional cardboard trays overflowing with generous fries drowned in vinegar. But there is also a sign that denotes, the Flotsam and Jetsam, which offers a refined version of this traditional dish, to taste the feet in the sand.
Walks on the cliffs
You have to spend your time after this of calories. It’s a good thing, about a 45-minute walk along the cliffs by the beach, you’ll find one of the prettiest bays in England. Botany Bay has a little Air of Etret, with its cliff eaten by the waters. You can enjoy a cold beer from the top of Captain Digby’s terrace, the pub overlooking the coast with panoramic views of the bay. The eyes arise on one side, on the contrast of green algae clinging to the rocks of pristine chalk. And on the other side, on this imposing and crenellated castle that clings to the cliff and seems to defy the elements. This is Kingsgate Castle, built in 1760, which now houses private dwellings. You can walk all the way along the coast to Margate. This pleasant seaside town is known for its arty side. There are many hipsters who enjoy the art galleries and the famous Turner Contemporary Museum. On the other side of the coast is Ramsgate, the less chic cousin of the area. Moreover, for the tight purses, know that the pub located in the magnificent pavilion of the port, is none other than a Wetherspoon, this very cheap advertising chain.
Stay as a writer or sailor
If it’s perfectly possible to get to Broadstairs for a day to enjoy the fresh air or the sun in warmer weather, you can also decide to pack your bags for a night or a few days. Why not follow in the footsteps of Charles Dickens, who resided at Bleak House, the imposing mansion overlooking the city? It should be noted, however, that there was no novel of the same name, Bleak House, but David Copperfield, inspired by the sea air. Speaking of the sea, you can also opt for a home… feet in the water. And yes, Eagle House is rooted directly on the sand. It can also be accessed from the coastal promenade or directly from the beach through a private gate. An eagle is affixed to the top of the building. Indeed, this is where the flag eagle held by napoleonic troops, captured, was delivered with the news of Wellington’s victory over Napoleon (or defeat from a purely chauvinistic point of view). You wake up to the sound of the waves breaking on the bay and hungry gulls waiting impatiently for a wake-up call to devour the abandoned take-aways.
And as Bleak House reminds me of Bleach House, we listen to the nagging Myth and his beautiful images of Paris, Texas.
Music: Bleach House, Myth
The practical details:
- Broadstairs is only an hour and a half by train from London’s St Pancras!
- Eagle House – here
- Bleak House – here
- For the best Fish and Chips addresses, follow this Instagram account
- Turner Contemporary is free
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