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The Real Deal: Don’t miss this coastal gem

Posted by Katy Peck on 14 May 2019
Related property: Sibton Park
The Real Deal: Don’t miss this coastal gem

45 minutes from Sibton Park, you’ll find one of Kent’s prettiest seaside towns. Deal has a reputation along this stretch of coastline for being a truly unique and special place, with an unspoilt seafront, plenty of history and lots to see and do, from art galleries to award-winning restaurants.

The first thing you might notice during a visit to Deal is their iconic pier. Take a stroll to the end and look back at the town, taking in a view that has barely changed over the last century. There’s a friendly promenade and a collection of colourful houses, clustered around the pleasant shingle beach. Hotels, restaurants and tea rooms are all within throwing distance, so you can sit and appreciate the ocean views while enjoying some of the area’s fresh seafood.

Once you move in from the beach, you’ll wind your way through centuries-old streets, all hinting at the rich maritime history of the town. Quaint fishermen’s cottages and elegant Georgian houses are scattered throughout Deal, many with nautical names and characterful brass door knockers!

Art is another huge part of Deal’s culture. With the beautiful coastline, chalk cliffs and stunning countryside, it’s easy to see how artists have been inspired by this fantastic part of the country. There are plenty of independent galleries throughout the town, hosting regular exhibitions and events. One of the most popular is Linden Hall Studio, which showcases a beautiful collection of contemporary art across two floors.

For a deeper dive into the town’s history, make sure to pay a visit to the two local museums. Firstly, the Timeball Tower Museum. The tower was established in 1855 as a Greenwich Mean Time signal, providing time signals for nearby shipping in the English Channel. Like the time ball in Greenwich, the ball was programmed to fall at 1pm precisely and until 1927 was triggered by an electric signal directly from the Royal Observatory.

Today the tower operates as a museum, including video, static and interactive displays. The exhibits explore a history spanning over 300 years and cover the building’s involvement in signalling, preventing smuggling and navigation. The museum is set across three floors, although unfortunately there are no ramps or lifts. Ticket prices and opening times are available on their website.

Second, the Deal Maritime and Local History Museum can be found behind the Town Hall, just off the High Street. It’s housed in one of the last industrial buildings left in Deal, harking back to a time when commercial and domestic buildings developed and ran alongside one another. Today the museum houses some fascinating reminders of Deal’s maritime history, including a model boat room, a ‘Royal Marines in Deal’ exhibition and a Dunkirk exhibition. There are also several historical boats on display, including ‘The Saxon King', built in 1891, and the ‘Tender Too’, one of the shops that helped evacuate the beaches of Dunkirk in WWII. The opening times and ticket prices for the museum can be found on their website.

Just a 10-minute walk from the museum, you’ll find Deal Castle. Built on the orders of King Henry VIII, it is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles remaining in England and is open to the public throughout the year. By exploring the castle, from the depths of the storerooms to the captain’s residence on the first floor, you’ll find yourself immersed in the building’s rich and dynamic history, as well as the people who have lived and worked here over the last 400 years. There’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained during your visit, including a new historic graffiti lounge and exciting tunnels beneath the bastions, both of which are sure to delight younger guests.

The cyclists amongst you might want to follow the coastal cycle path from Deal Castle to Walmer Castle & Gardens – the ride takes around 10 minutes, or 25 minutes by foot. Both castles were part of a chain of coastal defences created by Henry VIII, although Walmer Castle has also been home to the Duke of Wellington and HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Within Walmer Castle, a collection of exhibits provides an insight into the fascinating history of the castle, including the story of Wellington’s life and death and even the original pair of Wellington boots! Outside, the castle’s gardens are just as impressive, with over 8 acres of breathtaking displays and grounds. From carefully tended gardens to lush woodland, there’s something for everyone here, including a play trail and a charming new café where you can enjoy a delicious afternoon tea.

If that doesn’t sate your appetite, then there’s plenty of places to find some delicious food and drink throughout Deal. The Frog and Scot Bistro has been included in both the 2019 Michelin Guide and the Good Food Guide 2019. There’s a fantastic café culture built around the idea of fresh, local food throughout the town.

Of course, this doesn’t touch on all the things you can do during a fun day in Deal. Try out some water sports, or spend a happy few hours fishing, paddling and swimming on the fantastic beach. Explore the promenade with a much-deserved ice cream, fly a kite or take a gentle stroll across Walmer Green – you might even catch a band playing at Deal Memorial Bandstand! All of this and more awaits you in this charming coastal town.

Once you’re done exploring, there’s nothing like returning to Sibton Park, with its 41 comfortable holiday properties and acres of beautiful parkland. Their beautiful gardens are the perfect place to recover after discovering everything the local area has to offer. There’s even a pool and sauna to help you relax those tired muscles!

Find out more about how you can stay at Sibton Park, or any of our other holiday properties.  You can also request a brochure for even more information.

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Katy Peck

Katy Peck

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