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By the Seaside

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 26 March 2009 | Views [696] | Comments [5]

I wanted to visit the seaside and at the recommendation of a friend, I decided to take a short trip to the quaint little seaside town of Broadstairs, on the Isle of Thanet in East Kent.

Not knowing much about the town I was intending to visit, I looked it up on the internet and soon discovered it was where Charles Dickens spent much of his adult life. I felt excited to be visiting such a historically significant town - especially since Dickens is one of my favorite authors.

Getting the train turned out to be quite a nightmare and I no longer think well of British Rail. I ended up having to change trains because the website didn't clearly state that although you can pick up your ticket from Euston Station, that doesn't mean you can get the train from there.

Eventually however, I boarded the train at Victoria and began my journey through the beautiful Kent country side. I was very lucky with the weather because although it had been raining earlier in the day it had since cleared up and the sky was awash with a lovely mixture of grey fluffy clouds and golden afternoon sunshine.

The train to Broadstairs took about two hours and when I arrived I went straight to my guesthouse - The Copperfields Vegetarian Guesthouse. Somewhat of an odd name really isn't it? Copperfields is owned by local couple Sue and Roger who run it based on eco-friendly and vegetarian ideals. They do not serve meat for breakfast and use as many recyclable/biodegradable products as is possible.

As soon as I stepped through the door I was impressed. Sue is a lovely woman with a broad smile and an inviting manner. She greeted me and took me straight up to my room.The room was filled with personal touches like books, quirky ornaments and unique furniture. It was such a unique and homely place to be. (Certainly no faceless Holiday Inn!)

After I checked in I went straight to the cliffs and walked all around them, the beach and the town. The main beach was mostly sand and seaweed accentuated by large patches of white rocks (due to high calcium carbonate content). I walked for hours and as the sun went down the sky went from blue to orange. I felt an     incredible wave of happiness as I looked out at the ocean. I felt a strong feeling of insignificance and yet joy. Happy to be alive and out in the beautiful world.

I walked around Viking Bay, up the side of the white cliffs and along the path back towards Bleak House - former home of Charles Dickens and the inspiration for one of his most famous novels (bet you can't guess which one.) It used to be a museum dedicated to Dickens and his work but sadly the house is now privately owned. You can walk around it through and I imagine the owners must tire of tourists taking photos - as I did.

When I was back in the center of town I came across TWO other houses that were adorned with signs claiming to have once been the home of Charles Dickens. He must have owned quite a few of the houses in town, or else he moved a lot. It was very interesting seeing all of the lovely 17-19 century houses. There is indeed a lot of history in Broadstairs.

Tomorrow I will visit the Dickens museum (now relocated to the highstreet overlooking the sea) and doing some more walking around town. :) A lot of people say that England doesn't have nice beaches - but I think that is VERY wrong after the amazing day I had.

Sure the beaches here are different to those we have in Australia; and Broadstairs is no "resort town" - but there is a raw, ruggaged breath-taking beauty about the rocks and the wind-swept cliffs that I love.



Dear Mazystar

Please let me know what you think of Dickens House Museum, your reception, price etc.I'm doing some development work for the Council that own it!


  Nick Booker Mar 27, 2009 3:44 AM


Your writing is developing nicely. Your epistles are a pleasure to read and we want more of them. Keep up the good work.


  Baba Mar 28, 2009 11:40 AM


We are most impressed by your blog Marianne and all the family in Devon look forward to your visit to this part of the country.

  Gran and Grandad Hender Mar 29, 2009 8:05 AM


Well you've certainly done a wonderful "promotion" of Broadstairs, including the aptly titled Copperfields Vegetarian Guesthouse...and this charming B&B actually serves edible food for breakfast too!

Also, we're looking forward to reading about Dickens House Museum, and whether it lived up to your great expectations... -:)

Much love ...

  antique Rose Mar 29, 2009 2:08 PM


Sadly I didn't get to the Dickens museum because being off season, it was shut. :(

Thanks for the kind words as well everyone. :) :)

  mazystar Mar 30, 2009 6:04 AM

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