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Holiday at home

PUBLISHED: 12:29 21 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 20 February 2013

Botany Bay, Broadstairs

Botany Bay, Broadstairs

With the credit crunch and weak pound making trips abroad more expensive, an increasing number of British holidaymakers are planning their summer breaks at home. Stick a pin anywhere in a map of Kent and you'll be surrounded by places of interest ...


With the credit crunch and weak pound making trips abroad more expensive, an increasing number of British holidaymakers are planning their summer breaks at home. Stick a pin anywhere in a map of Kent and you'll be surrounded by places of interest and visitor attractions, making it a perfect holiday destination. Whether it's a beach, activity or culture break you want, the county has it all and the options are vast. Here are a few suggestions to help you on your way


There are B&Bs, guesthouses, hotels and campsites along the Kent coast to suit all budgets and tastes. So sit back and take in the view or, for the more energetic, choose from a vast range of activities, including sailing, windsurfing and sea air kiting available at many of the beaches.


All the coastal destinations are ideal for a short break, but for those looking for a longer holiday, why not put yourself together a beach safari? Eight of Kent's beaches have been awarded a Blue Flag, which is given to coastal destinations with the highest quality in water, facilities, environmental education, safety and management. Others have been recognised with a Quality Coast Award.


Seven of the Blue Flag beaches are in the Isle of Thanet area, which includes the popular resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Between them, they offer 15 beaches and bays, plus several more within easy each. Base yourself in anywhere between Whitstable and the Thanet towns and from there you can either drive or use the regular public transport links to explore a different beach a day.


Botany Bay, Broadstairs (Blue Flag): This peaceful, beautiful bay is approximately 200 metres long. There is a café and a nearby public house.


Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs: Another quiet bay with some rocks and a promenade. At low tide you can take a walking route from here to Ramsgate.


Joss Bay, Broadstairs (Blue Flag): The Joss Bay Surf School is situated in this bay, where you can also hire surf ski/belly boards.


Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs: This secluded beach is a great place for those who like to get away from it all and have a bit of space to themselves. It boasts some of the best examples of sea caves in the country.


Louisa Bay, Broadstairs: Another great little bay for taking the kids rock pooling.


Margate Main Sands (Quality Coast Award): Margate, with its promenade and boardwalks, is synonymous with the great British seaside holiday.


On the beach you'll find a tidal bathing pool, donkey rides and children's entertainment.


Minnis Bay, Birchington (Blue Flag): A long beach with rocky and shingle areas, promenade and paddling pool. Sailing club and windsurfing area, plus seal watching trips and kite board lessons.


Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate: The unprotected cliffs along this stretch of coast have tremendous geological interest and the bay is used by large numbers of seashore birds. The bay is part of Kent's largest National Nature Reserve.


Ramsgate Main Sands (Blue Flag): This coastal town's main sandy beach stretches to 250 metres and sits alongside the Royal Harbour and Marina.


St Mildred's Bay, Westgate on Sea (Blue Flag): Enjoy a game of tennis or putting at this bay and a promenade before a snack at the nearby pub.


Stone Bay, Broadstairs (Quality Coast Award): Chalk cliffs, rock pools and a promenade are among the features of this hidden gem of a bay.


Viking Bay, Broadstairs (Quality Coast Award): This is the main beach in Broadstairs. There is a cliff top promenade with a lift down to the beach area, a harbour pier and boardwalk plus cafés, children's rides and amusements.


Walpole Bay, Cliftonville (Blue Flag): Walpole Bay includes Palm Bay, Hodges Gap and Foreness Point. Collectively, they create a popular watersports bay approximately 400 metres long with a promenade and tidal swimming pool. There is also jet ski hire, plus putting, tennis and indoor bowls nearby.


West Bay Beach, Westgate-on-Sea (Blue Flag): Children can build castles, and fish in the many rock pools. The café stays open in the evening, so you can watch the sunset over a meal and a drink.


Westbrook Bay, Margate (Quality Coast Award): Beyond the beach and promenade is a designated water ski area. Other nearby attractions include golf, bowls and tennis.


Whitstable beaches: The beach at this beautiful traditional seaside town stretches from the Tankerton Slopes, pasr the harbour, through Cushing's View and then on to the West Beach and Seasalter. The beaches are pebbly rather than sandy, but still provide an excellent place to enjoy the sea and scenery.

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