Broadstairs, Kent - part 1
Photographs of an attractive seaside resort
(Photos ©urban75, 29/30th November 2009)
A coastal town on the Isle of Thanet in East Kent, Broadstairs is a small town (population around 22,000), situated between Margate and Ramsgate.
Deriving its name from the Anglo-Saxon word Bradstow (meaning 'broad-stairs', which referred to the steps up to a 12th century shrine), the town primarily existed as a fishing port with a reputation for smuggling.
Visiting the area in 1723, Daniel Defoe wrote:
'Bradstow is a small fishing hamlet of some 300 souls, of which 27 follow the occupation of fishing, the rest would seem to have no visible means of support! I am told that the area is a hot bed of smuggling. When I asked if this was so, the locals did give me the notion that if I persisted in this line of enquiry some serious injury might befall my person.'
The town first became popular with tourists with the development of steamboats in the 1820s, offering speedy access to London.
The arrival of the railways in 1863 assured Broadstairs popularity as a resort, and Charles Dickens was a famous visitor between 1837 and 1859. He wrote David Copperfield while staying at Bleak House.
The first of many dreadful Dickens-related puns you'll see around the town.
Walking towards the beach from the railway station, which is conveniently very close to the centre of town.
Our B&B was just off Ramsgate Road.
The Continental Corner Deli and cafe.
The Charles Dickens pub on the seafront.
The weather was fantastic - but it was a different story the next day!
Johnston's local fish, game and poultry purveyors had a natty frontage but the shop appeared closed down.
Grabbing a bite to eat in the Continental Corner. I grabbed a rather pleasant spinach and feta pasty.
Broadstairs has some stunning Regency and early Victorian architecture.
Sea-facing frontage of the Chares Dickens boozer.
Looking over the beach. Situated on the outcrop in the distance is Bleak House (formerly Fort House, which provided the inspiration for Dickens' famous book).
A few hardy souls were walking across the beach in the later November chill.
Broadstairs pier. Well, it's more of a pier-ette really. It used to be longer.
Dickens Walk, leasing to the beach.
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