A visit to Deal in Kent, England

In Counties, Days Out, Kent, Mini Breaks, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

A quaint seaside town yet to be discovered 

Why Deal I hear you say? Well, I’m going to let you into a little secret, Deal is a true gem for so many reasons. 

Lady Irene and a little one, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Lady Irene and a little one on the beach

Pastel coloured cottages, working fishing boats, quirky little shops and steeped in history back to the Romans.

Not only is it ideal for a day trip, but you could also turn it into a mini-break and discover more of the region.

Quick Links

Ahh the sea air

It had been years since we’d visited Deal, and you would have thought that as it’s in our home county of Kent, we would have headed there more frequently. But, as it’s so often the case, we travel further afield and are guilty of bypassing those things on our doorstep.

Beach Street, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Beach Street

Well, this was being rectified, and as soon as Gary and I jumped out of the car, I felt the sea-breeze blow across my face, the sun was shining and I thought this is why I love the English seaside.

The Shoreline, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The Shoreline along Deal

Our favourite travel reads

The History Bit

Along this little stretch of the English coastline is said to be where Julius Caesar first stepped foot on British turf. I’m leaving that open to discussion, however, what is known, about this three-mile area of shoreline, are the three defence castles that King Henry VIII had built during the 16th-century.

Entrance across the moat, Walmer, Kent, England, UK

Entrance across the moat, Walmer Castle

Walmer Castle in the south is the plusher of the three and has some incredible gardens.

Deal Castle around 1 ½ mile north is a lot more functional than Walmer and then 1 ½ mile further north is (or was) Sandown Castle. The remains that are now visible a have been turned into a lovely seated garden, maintained by the local residents.

Access to Warmer & Deal Castles are free to English Heritage Members

Sandown Castle Community Garden, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Sandown Castle Community Garden

Coastal Walk

As I said, we arrived at Deal by car, and if you park slightly on the outskirts of town along the coastline, then there are no parking charges and you can enjoy the walk into town.

A working beach, Deal, Kent, England, UK

A working beach

We started at the southern end of Deal, by Walmer lifeboat station. The RNLI run a fantastic charity that has been saving lives around the British shores since 1824. More often than not, the stations are staffed throughout the day, and you can peek in and check to see if you can take a look around. If you’d enjoy a deeper journey through the RNLI’s history, head to the Historic Dockyard Chatham (also in Kent).

Walmer Lifeboat Station, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Walmer Lifeboat Station, Deal

When I say the beach!!!!

Now I’d just like to say, don’t think that when you arrive at Deal, there are going to be endless golden sandy beaches, it pebbles all the way here. But that’s what add to its charm, this is a working beach as well as a place to have fun skimming stones across the waves.

Morning Haze on the beach, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Morning Haze on the beach

You can wander amongst fishing boats that have just been hauled ashore with the “catch of the day”. And I’d lay money on the fact you’ll be grabbing some fish and chips by the end of the day. 

Remembrance

Take a moment to head to the bandstand, this was erected in memory of the Deal barracks bombing. On 22 September 1989, the IRA exploded a bomb at the Royal Marines School of Music. The building collapsed, killing 11 marines and wounding another 21. This was an extremely emotional time for Deal and the whole country alike.

The Bandstand, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The Bandstand

An interesting read

If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".

You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.


Halt who goes there?

As you head towards Deal town, you’ll pass the historic castle. Which is quite low-key in castle terms; however, it was built as an artillery fort and had sixty-six firing positions, to fend off the oncoming seafaring enemy.

Deal Castle from the costal path Deal, Kent, England, UK

Deal Castle from the costal path

Greenwich Mean Time

A little further along on your left you’ll notice the ‘Timeball Tower’.

At precisely 1pm every day the time ball drops, this would have been a signal to the ships out at sea and enabling them to set their timepieces accurately.

This time ball received an electric signal directly from the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.

The Time Ball Tower, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The Time Ball Tower

Strolling the pier

Promenading past quaint B&B’s, seaside pubs and beautifully kept houses, we arrive at the pier. I must admit it’s not the most eye-catching pier; however, it is Deal’s 3rd iteration as the two previous have succumbed to gales and the Second World War. 

Channel View Guest House, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Channel View Guest House

The Ship Inn, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The Ship Inn

The present one which was opened in 1957, has since undergone extensive repairs. At the entrance is a half-moon seating area, where you can sit and watch the seaside world go by.

Entrance to the Pier, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Entrance to the Pier

Just because the pier hasn’t got the lure of the “end-of-pier” arcades, it doesn’t detract from the pleasure you get strolling out above the waves and amongst the locals trying to catch their evening meal. The view back across the bay is one to savour.

The view down the Pier, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The view down the pier

Something to make your travels easier?

Where have you been?

Have you visited any of England’s old seaside towns, drop a comment below to tell us where you enjoyed visiting?

Old Town

After our promenade, we head a couple of streets back to discover what Deal’s traditional old town has to offer.

The Town Hall, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The Town Hall

Wandering through most High Streets today you’ll get the modern touch creeping in, and Deal is no exception; however, here it feels like Deal is also making an effort to keep with its old-style storefront facades.

High Street Shop, Deal, Kent, England, UK

High Street Shop

The No Name shop and Allsorts, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The No Name shop and Allsorts

Colourful boutiques, art galleries, antique shops mixed with bric-a-brac, traditional old fishmongers and butchers and of course plenty of cafes and tea shops.

The High Street, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The High Street

Historic lanes

The area of Deal old town that I loved exploring was amongst the tiny lanes and courtyards. Old fisherman’s cottages painted in pastel colours, you can tell that the locals here are proud of where they live. 

Colourful Griffin Street, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Colourful Griffin Street

Farrier Street, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Farrier Street to the sea

Wandering along Middle Street is a must, there is so much architectural history and so many beautifully kept buildings of times gone by. Though I think in the days of smuggling a few old yarns could have been told amongst these streets.

Historic Middle Street, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Historic Middle Street

Well read

Although Deal has a strong nautical presence, it is also a town with plenty of literary history and been associated with Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.

Slightly more recently, it was the setting for Ian Fleming’s original 1955 James Bond novel “Moonraker”, don't get confused by the movie - the original is nearly all set in the region with Hugo Drax's fictitious mansion nearby.

What a “Carry On”

Deal has been the home of a few familiar faces, anyone that remembers the “Carry On” films will most certainly recall Charles Hawtrey. He lived in Deal for the last 20 years of his life and was a colourful character regularly seen about town.

Charles Hawtrey’s house, Deal, Kent, England, UK

Charles Hawtrey’s house

Spoilt for choice

What Deal certainly doesn’t lack are its choices in eateries.

I felt it catered for all pockets, you could sit in a stylish restaurant or café, or you could choose to grab yourself some freshly caught fish and eat it on the seafront. 

Dunkerleys, Deal, Kent, England, UK

How about fish 'n' Chips?

Although, if the local ales were tempting you head to one of the many traditional old pubs.

The Kings Head, Deal, Kent, England, UK

The Kings Head

I won’t leave it so long, next time

My lasting memories of Deal will always be how it’s kept its old traditional charm but, not looking dated. Yes, it has the old familiar amusement arcades and kiss-me-quick gift shops, but it also has plenty of proud locals happy to share their piece of old seaside England. 

Ohh and I can’t forget the squawking seagulls hovering above waiting to fleece you of your fish and chips.

How to get there?

You can catch a train from London St. Pancras International direct to Deal Station, which takes around 1 hour 25 minutes.

Or alternatively you can do it all on a road trip, the car hire comparison website Carrentals.co.uk covers all budgets and allows you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Something for the Traveller

Inspired to visit Deal, Kent?

Why not stay overnight and stroll along the seaside in the evening sunshine?

Booking.com
Image

(Why not Pin It for Later?)

* This post may contain links to affiliated sites where we earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.



“hilarystyle"
About the Author

Janis

Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

Trips100 - Travel Blogs
Trips100

If you enjoyed this post

Why not subscribe to our Monthly Newsletter?

Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.

Comments

  1. I’ve never visited this part of Kent, I’m hoping to explore all around Deal and the surrouding seaside towns next year so it’s great to read your post. I love the look of the traditional shop fronts and the pretty lanes. British seaside towns take some beating! #FarawayFiles

    1. Yes they do take some beating, there are some lovely coastal towns around Kent, Hythe is really lovely too. I recommend visiting Walmer Castle.

  2. What a lovely post about a delightful place. We didn’t linger nearly long enough in Deal when we visited one very blustery winter afternoon. Your gorgeous photos have really inspired me to go back. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. Yes I really enjoyed visiting Deal, stills feel like a piece of old England. These seaside towns are great to visit slightly our of season on a bright day, you can’t beat it.

  3. What a lovely and very quaint little town, and all those castles too! I’ve never been to the English Seaside, so I must remedy that. #farawayfiles

    1. Oh you must Hilary, there’s so many to choose from, small to large, quiet to garish, they’re all around the UK.

  4. What a perfect quaint little seaside town! Love your photos of both the sea and Old Town – looks utterly charming. And nice to know there are so many good food options! #farawayfiles

    1. Thanks very much we really enjoyed visiting Deal, it is certainly becoming more popular in a good way I think. Quite a bit of restoration work is taking place on the older homes.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.