As we are only a stone's throw away across the Thames Estuary it doesn't take long to get over to the Garden of England. However the street market in Deal is so popular we couldn't find any B&B in Deal itself, so it gave us the opportunity to explore a bit more of Kent, eventually finding a place down in Dover.
Within a couple of hours of leaving ArtPix Towers we had already reached Folkstone and decided to pop in to the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne. Just as we entered the brand new visitor centre a Spitfire flew over, what a perfect moment!
I first went there about 20 years ago and it still has the power to move you, especially as this is the 75th Anniversary of the battle. A simple memorial of a seated pilot looking out to sea, which is sited on an original World War II anti-aircraft battery.
We moved along the coast a bit after that, to St Margaret's at Cliffe. A steep path takes you down to the sea into St Margaret's Bay and you are dwarfed by the huge white cliffs. There are amazing houses, especially the Art Deco ones right on the sea, museums, gardens and tea rooms there. A very pleasant place to pass the time. We climbed the steep roads and paths again to reach the top of the cliffs and walk along the fabulous coastline. First reaching the South Noreland Lighthouse, then recently renovated World War II tunnels, and finally the port of Dover. A constant flow of ferries going in and out. Fortunately the day was perfectly sunny, so you could see the coast of France clearly in the distant as the ferries trundled across the Channel.
After our night in Dover, under the shadow of the famous castle, we rose super early to get to the small town of Deal for the Braderie. By our standards being there by 8-30am was a minor miracle, and it was certainly worth the effort. It was already packed and people were wandering home with all sorts of weird and wonderful things they'd found!
Again we were so lucky with the weather, as this is a full-on street market, any rain would've been a disaster! There were brilliant stalls all along the High Street, and we had great fun rummaging. Also, looking up at the gorgeous buildings everywhere was a treat as well. After a long time vintiquing we headed to the seafront, which is just how a seafront should be. Old buildings, lovely pier, fishing boats hauled up onto the beach help create a lovely relaxed and dignified air to the place.
We walked along the flat, shingled beaches as far as Walmer Castle, where you can see the cliffs start to rise again to start their world famous display at Dover.
After leaving Deal, we drove along to the north Kent coast to see the stunning Reculver Towers. An abandoned church built on the site of a Roman fort, for generations a handy navigation marker to boats sailing in to the Thames Estuary.
As the sun set over the huge towers we finally made our way home.
We thoroughly enjoyed our mini sojourn to Kent and will be back soon!
|The simple but stunning Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne.|
|Close-up of the lone pilot sculpture.|
|He has a perfect view of the Channel. In the background you can see original features of the anti-aircraft battery that was housed there.|
|Classic white cliffs scene down at St Margaret's Bay.|
|And the stunning Art Deco houses right on the beach.|
|Perfectly pristine South Noreland Lighthouse.|
|You can sit and watch the ferries all day, with the backdrop of the French coastline in the distance.|
|The port of Dover where all the action takes place. A fascinating spot to watch the world go by.|
|Walking along the top of the famous White Cliffs, you sometimes get a little glimpse of them!|
|Someone had been waiting a long time for this year's Deal Braderie!!|
|Already packed and it's only 8-30am on a Sunday morning!!|
|So many amazing vintage treats were there.|
|And not forgetting to check out the gorgeous Georgian buildings along the route as well.|
|Wow, the perfect retro ceramic set!|
|The unusual Time Ball Tower Museum on Deal seafront.|
|A sadly empty old Art Deco cinema.|
|The simple but effective 1950s pier at Deal.|
|Classic English seaside architecture add to its charm.|
|And interesting independent shops.|
|Fabulous 50s Space Age seafront shelter!|
|Colourful fishing boats remind you this is also a working seaside town.|
|Henry VIII's Deal Castle, with its very low and menacing appearance.|
|Perfect Autumn sunshine along the beach, with the ferries cruising along to Dover in the distance.|
|Looking back towards Deal, with Walmer Castle just behind us.|
|Stunning Reculver Towers along the coast, almost falling into the sea.|
|Perfect end to a glorious weekend...|