The Seven Bays of Broadstairs

Last Saturday we picked up a rental car and drove to London. It was actually cheaper than going by train, which is pretty ridiculous! Anyway, we spent the weekend with Paul’s parents, and on Sunday we all went on a trip to Broadstairs. This is a small town between Margate and Ramsgate on the east coast of Kent, surrounded by seven bays with white (chalk) cliffs. We started walking from Botany Bay, the most northerly one.

This part of the coast has a smuggling history, and apparently Botany Bay is named after the smugglers who were sent to Botany Bay in Australia… (to prison, not on holiday ;) ). I was really impressed by the chalk cliffs!

The cliffs are eroding fast, and you can find many caves. I took the photo on the left (below) from inside one of them. In the other, Paul and his dad are standing near the entrance of this cave.

A bit further on there was a (steep) path coming down between the cliffs. Paul called it the stairway to heaven because of the sunlight streaming through it (or because he found a toilet at the top??).

At the far end of Botany Bay, there is a cliff with a arch in it, large enough to walk through. On the other side is Kingsgate Bay.

The photos below are taken from Kingsgate Bay, looking back at the cliff with the gate in it. The cliffs in this bay have many caves, some very high up in the cliff. I found out later that they are connected by tunnels and were used for the smuggling activities. Some of the tunnels are still accessible, perhaps it’s best I didn’t know about this at the time ;)

On the other side of Kingsgate Bay is Kingsgate Castle, built in the 1760s but now converted into apartments… what a place to live! We continued our walk through Joss Bay and Stone Bay. At Stone Bay, we took the steps up and continued on top of the cliffs. The photo on the right shows the view from up there.

Broadstairs is a very pleasant town, with nice buildings on the promenade. It was a sunny day and temperatures even reached up to 18 degrees, warm enough for an ice cream :) The bay in the photo below is Viking Bay. The man-made sand bank apparently protects the coast against winter storm damage, we saw a similar one in Botany Bay.

The photo on the left (below) shows the nice seaside promenade, with a lift (!!) going down to the beach and three stories of beach huts! On the right is the beginning of Louisa Bay, with a big newish apartment building. They have some courage building it right at the cliff’s edge, you can see they need concrete to reinforce the cliff. By now it was high tide and you couldn’t really walk on the beach anymore.

What a wonderful day! I really enjoyed it, such a beautiful place. I’ve always been fascinated by the famous white cliffs. Last year we went to Brighton to see them, but there is no real beach there and you walk on a concrete path underneath the cliffs. This was so much nicer!

3 Responses to “The Seven Bays of Broadstairs”

  1. Ben says:

    It's funny, I've lived in south-east England most of my life and am quite unfamiliar with its real beauty. Broadstairs looks like a lovely place to visit. I'll have to check it out for myself one day. :-)

  2. Anonymous says:

    het is toch altijd tijd voor ijs voor paul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!groetjes

  3. Hanneke says:

    @Ben, you should :) I don't think many people know about this place, which is strange!

    @ikweetwelwiejebent, voor hem wel ja, voor mij niet! mmmmm, tiramisu ijs :)