Unpretentious and unspoilt, Broadstairs unpacks a suitcase full of quiet charm.
The town was a holiday home for Charles Dickens and continues to court its guests with a delightful mix of beautiful bays, maritime history and tiny, character-packed streets.
Book shops, restaurants, craft shops and souvenir shops vie for attention and a mix of cottages and Victorian homes add to Broadstairs’ intrinsic old-world feel.
The town is captivating enough, but the full glory of Broadstairs is not revealed until Harbour Street has finished inching its way towards the sea.
Here, at the end of its journey, it throws open its doors to the glorious Viking Bay – a wide sweep of golden sand basking against a backdrop of cliffs and picturesque Victorian and Edwardian architecture.
The weather-boarded 17th-century boathouse and historic customs house nudge the bay and jostle for position with seafood restaurants, quaint cottages and jaunty beach huts, while high on the clifftop, Bleak House stands as a silent, splendid sentinel over the bay. It was here that Dickens got the inspiration for the adventure of David Copperfield.
The author is remembered, too, in the Dickens House Museum on the seafront and in the annual Dickens Festival in June.