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Broadstairs is a beach resort on the east coast of Kent. It has sandy beaches, clean bathing water and a variety of pubs and restaurants. In 2021 its population was about 25,000.



The village of St Peters was established around 1080 AD, an outpost of the Cinque Ports responsible for maritime defence. Around 1350 a shrine was erected on the clifftop, and acted as a landmark for fishing vessels. The fishing folk cut a flight of broad stairs from the shore to the shrine and so their hamlet was named. It was a poor sort of place, lacking a sheltered harbour and hemmed in by cliffs to impede inland transport. But in the 18th century high taxes made smuggling lucrative, and Broadstairs' out-of-the-way landing beach and cliff-face hidey-holes made it a popular smuggling route.

The town grew from 1824 with the fashion for sea bathing, and a steam ferry service from London. Prosperous visitors included the writer Charles Dickens and the future Queen Victoria; the railway arrived in 1863 and brought hoi polloi. It's been a holiday resort ever since, with St Peters and Broadstairs townships merging in 1895. There's a rash of light industry and retail a few miles inland but the Victorian centre is fairly well preserved.

Tourist information is available from the kiosk below the foot of High St. It's open Apr-Sep: daily 10AM-4PM, but is under notice to quit the site by end of June 2023, and its future base is not known. Tourist info is also available from the Dickens House Museum.

Get in


By train


Trains from London Victoria run every 30-60 min, taking 1 hr 50 min via Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Sittingbourne and Faversham, where the train may divide. You need to be in the portion running along the north coast to Whitstable, Margate and Broadstairs, continuing to Ramsgate. The other portion heads south to Canterbury East and Dover Priory.

Trains from London St Pancras run hourly and take 90 min via Stratford, Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Canterbury West and Ramsgate to Broadstairs, continuing to Margate. Eurostar no longer stops at Ebbsfleet.

An occasional train takes 3 hours from London Charing Cross, meandering via Ashford, Canterbury West and Ramsgate. You'd only take it to reach one of the minor stations: Paddock Wood, Sturry, Dumpton Park, are these lyrics from Flanders and Swann's Slow Train?

1 Broadstairs station is at the top of High Street, half a mile from the sea front. There's a staffed ticket office and machines, coffee kiosk, waiting rooms and toilets. There is step-free access to platform 1 (towards Margate) from the main entrance. For step-free access to platform 2 (towards Ramsgate) use the ramp from Broadway.

By bus


National Express NX022 takes 3 hr 15 min from London Victoria via Canterbury and Margate to Broadstairs, continuing to Ramsgate. It runs four times a day.

Stagecoach Loop Bus runs every 10-20 min between Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.

Buses stop by the railway station, there isn't a bus station.

By car


Broadstairs is 76 mi (122 km) from London and about 1 hour from the M25 via the M2, and 16 miles east of Canterbury.

By boat


Broadstairs is 2 miles from the channel port of Ramsgate with ferries from Ostend in Belgium (for car passengers/coaches only though - no foot passengers).

By plane


The nearest major international airports are London Gatwick (LGW IATA), 84 mi (135 km) and London Heathrow (LHR IATA), 104 mi (167 km). Manston Airport closed in 2015.

Get around


The town is easily navigable on foot.

Taxi operators include Andrew's ( +44 7563 563563), Central ( +44 1843 888888) and A2B Thanet ( +44 1843 263263).


Boathouse at the harbour
  • 1 Viking Bay has 200 yards of golden sandy beach between the cliffs. The shore drops away quite steeply so keep an eye on kids and weak swimmers. No dogs anytime 1 May - 30 Sep.
  • 2 Dickens House Museum, 2 Victoria Parade CT10 1QS, +44 1843 861232. Apr to mid-Jul and Sep to Oct: W-Su 13:00-16:30, mid-Jul to Aug: daily 13:00-16:30. Cottage frequented by Charles Dickens and now a small museum. Its owner Mary Pearson Strong inspired Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield, who was gripped by a mission to thwart the passage of donkeys in front of the cottage. Adult £4, conc £3, child £2.
  • St Mary's Chapel that held the clifftop shrine is nowadays just a flintstone frontage on Albion St (junction with Alexandra Rd), occupied by a unisex hairstylist.
  • Holy Trinity is the Anglican church that now holds the shrine, 100 yards north at the corner of Albion St and Church Rd. Built in 1830, it was castigated by Dickens as "a hideous temple of flint, like a petrified haystack."
  • Crampton Tower Museum, Broadway CT10 2AB (by railway station), +44 1843 601091. Mid-Apr to Oct: F-Su 2-4:30PM. Small local history museum in a water tower disguised as a castle. Adult £3, child £1.50, family £7.50.
  • 3 St Peter's is the village that in 1895 became part of Broadstairs. Ted Heath (1916-2005) was born here; he was prime minister 1970-74 and a keen yachtsman. St Peter's Church (Church of England) is a charming old building with an interesting graveyard.
  • 4 North Foreland is a headland atop the cliffs. The lighthouse was first lit in 1691 and is now automated. Kingsgate Castle to the south in Joss Bay has been a plutocrat's stables and a hotel but is now private apartments.


Dickens House Museum
  • Other beaches near Broadstairs are Botany Bay, Joss Bay (for surf), Stone Bay (sandy in spite of the name), Louisa Bay (no dogs May-Sep 10AM-6PM), Kingsgate Bay and Dumpton Gap. At low tide you can walk between several of the beaches, but the high tide comes right up to the cliffs. This exposed, cliff-backed coastline is not suitable for launching anything much bigger than a paddle-board, for marinas and harbours head to Ramsgate or Sandwich.
  • Broadstairs Town Trail is a self-guided walk around town. The trail’s 10 illustrated boards describe the history of some local people and buildings. You can download it or pick up a leaflet from the Tourist Information Centre.
  • Palace Cinema is on Harbour Street, tel +44 1843 865726.
  • Golf: North Foreland GC is two miles north near the lighthouse. The main course is 6436 yards off white tees, par 71, visitor round £80. The Northcliffe course has 18 par-3 holes. See Ramsgate#Do for other nearby courses.
  • Broadstairs Food Festival is held at Easter and in autumn.
  • Broadstairs Dickens Festival is in June. Dickens was a regular visitor 1837-1859 and described the place as "Our English Watering Place". For the centenary of his first stay they staged David Copperfield and decked the townsfolk in Victorian dress. The publicity worked and it became an annual event, in mid-June.
  • Folk Week is in August, venues all over town.
  • The Bandstand hosts a full programme of entertainment during the summer.


  • Convenience stores on High St are Londis (daily 7AM-9PM) and Tesco Express (daily 6AM-11PM).
  • The Bottleneck, 7-9 Charlotte Street CT10 1LR, +44 1843 861095. M-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su 11AM-4PM. Off-licence with a great selection of wines.
  • Suzanne's, 1 Victoria Parade CT10 1QS, +44 1843 862106. Daily 10:30AM-7PM. Gift and beach shop at the foot of High St, selling beachwear, sunglasses, hats, lylos, buckets and spades and the like.
  • Westwood Cross. A big retail park 3 miles west of town (see Travelodge marker). It has the usual "High Street" retailers (an Olde English phrase meaning "relocated away from High St some time during the previous millennium"), Vue cinema and budget eating places.


Crampton Tower Museum
  • Cheap eats: Albion St and Harbour St are wall-to-wall with cheap takeaway or sit in places. The strip extends inland up High St and southwest along York Rd.
  • Morelli's Gelato, 14 Victoria Parade CT10 1QS, +44 1843 862500. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa Su 8AM-6PM. Large popular ice cream parlour.
  • The Jetty is relaxed dining in the bungalow at the pier end, open W-Sa noon-10:30PM, Su noon-7:30PM.
  • Posilippo Pizzeria, 14 Albion St, Broadstairs CT10 1LU (by Dickens House Museum), +44 1843 601133. Daily noon-11PM. Good small trattoria, they also have branches in Canterbury and Faversham.
  • Thai Four Two, 42 York St CT10 1PB (corner with Oscar Rd), +44 1843 862945. W-Sa 6-10PM. Reliable Thai restaurant.
  • 1 The Tartar Frigate, Harbour Street, Broadstairs CT10 1EU, +44 1843 862013. Daily 11AM-11PM. Downstairs is a pub with live music.The upstairs restaurant serves mostly seafood but there's a good vegetarian and vegan menu.
  • Kebbells Seafood Bar, 8 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs CT10 1QS (next to Dickens House Museum), +44 1843 319002. Tu-F noon-3PM, 6-9PM; Sa Su noon-9PM. Great reviews for this smart seafood restaurant, booking recommended.
  • 2 Stark, 15 Oscar Rd, Broadstairs CT10 1QJS. W-Sa 6-11PM. Tiny restaurant serving excellent food, go for the fixed-price tasting menu.


  • Cramptons, 139 High Street, Broadstairs CT10 1NG (by railway station), +44 1843 860428. Daily noon-11PM. Family-friendly pub restaurant. Owned by Thorley Taverns.
  • Chapel Bar & Bookshop, 44 Albion St, Broadstairs CT10 1NE, +44 7837 024259. M-Th 5PM-1AM, F-Su noon-2AM. Amazing place: a large converted chapel that's a maze of old books, combined with a bar and meals with vegan options. Dogs welcome.
  • Thirty-Nine Steps, 11 Charlotte St, Broadstairs CT10 1LR (by Dickens House Museum). Su-Th noon-11PM, F Sa noon-midnight. Cosy brewpub.
  • Harpers Bar, 8 Harbour St, Broadstairs CT10 1ET (north end of bay), +44 1843 602494. Su-Th noon-11:30PM, F Sa noon-12:30AM. Lively bar and restaurant, often has live music so it's not the place for a quiet chat.


The harbour and pier
  • Ramsgate Road is the main strip for B&Bs, southwest corner of town. There's no campsite or hostel nearby.
  • Belvidere Place, 43 Belvedere Rd, Broadstairs CT10 1PF (one block back from Viking Bay), +44 1843 579850. Charming B&B with five rooms in a Georgian townhouse. Note the spelling. B&B double £190.
  • Royal Albion Hotel, 12 Albion St, Broadstairs CT10 1AN (by Dickens House Museum), +44 1843 868071. Mid-range hotel in Georgian villa once inhabited by Charles Dickens, now owned by Shepherd Neame brewery group. Comfy, and great sea views, which you're paying for. It also has a popular restaurant, serving daily noon-9PM. Dog friendly. B&B double £130.
  • 1 Yarrow Hotel, Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs CT10 1PN (within Broadstairs College), +44 1843 460100. Pleasant hotel in an old building but with accessible rooms. Convenient for town. B&B double £130.
  • 2 Travelodge Margate Westwood, Unit 53, Westwood Cross Retail Park, Margate Rd, Broadstairs CT12 5GR (on A256 three miles east of Broadstairs), +44 871 984 6341. Functional business hotel on a bland retail estate in mid-Thanet. B&B double £60.



Broadstairs and its approach roads have 4G from all UK carriers. As of April 2023, 5G has not reached town.

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This city travel guide to Broadstairs is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.