The Kent coast offers a vast choice of outstanding beaches, 11 of them have even been given the prestigious Blue Flag award. And they all have something a little unique to offer.
Beautiful Whitstable is well known for its oysters, Botany Bay is excellent for fossils and Margate Main Sands is the definition of a nostalgic trip to the seaside. When the sun is out, it can be hard to choose where to go.
But this year a forgotten gem appears to have re-surfaced. In its Blue Flag 2022 announcement, Keep Britain Tidy awarded Dymchurch beach a Seaside Award for the first time.
The three-mile sandy beach on the Romney Marsh has historically been a favourite seaside holiday destination, but it dropped out of fashion along with all of Britain’s other seaside resorts. In recent years Kent’s beaches have been making headlines again, praised for their creative art revivals.
Margate and Folkestone are frequently deemed “cool”, appear in trendy destination lists and are applauded for driving the resurgence of the traditional seaside holiday. But no one ever mentions Dymchurch.
The village hasn’t had a flurry of artists move to the area, nor has it received a band new a multi-million pound skatepark or art gallery like other seasides. Instead its low-profile reputation as a great day out has ensured it remains one of Kent’s best kept secrets.
Keep Britain Tidy says the Seaside Awards are presented to the best beaches in England to “celebrate the quality and diversity of our coastline”. Beaches are assessed on their safety and services, such as first aid and lifeguards where necessary.
The judges also take into account environmental management, such as litter and waste and environmental information, including displaying details about local eco systems. They also consider the water quality – Seaside Award winners must meet the ‘sufficient’ standard as set out in the EU bathing water directive.
The new gong has given Dymchurch the seal of approval – but what is it really like? Short answer, it is an absolute must-visit and not just for the beach.
First off, parking is easy and fuss-free, with plenty of choice. There is also a wide promenade which stretches for miles and is ideal for a walking or cycling.
The sand and shingle beach itself is around three miles long and is a popular place for families. But even on its busiest days, the vast sandscape never feels too packed.
It is home to a charming amusement park where you can ride on a 90’s-style ghost train or while away the hours on the penny slot machines. It is a great family day out for all ages, with soft play, lots of outdoor rides, arcades and a café.
The high street is lined with gift shops, ice cream parlours and cafes so choosing where to go for lunch can be tricky. There are loads of great pubs in the area but we have to mention the The Ship Inn, in the High Street, which serves particularly tasty food and is a favourite with TripAdvisor reviewers.
If you’re looking for a lighter treat, Bucket and Spade coffee shop, in the high street, serves some of the best cream teas in the county. They go especially well with their mouth-watering homemade lemon drizzle cake.
The village is home to Martello Tower number 24, which is one of the 74 towers built along the south coast between 1805 and 1812 to resist the threatened French invasion. One of only three actually open to the public, the Dymchurch tower was restored with replica gunpowder barrels and a cannon on the platform, making it the tower closest to its original design.
Even the journey to Dymchurch can be a fun experience if you choose to hop on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway. The iconic trainline passes through the village and is one of Kent’s top tourist attractions for good reason.
Dymchurch’s vintage charm has kept it Kent’s best secret for long enough – it is about time it got the recognition it deserves.
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Article Source: Kent Live