Visit Broadstairs and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Broadstairs, Kent. A popular seaside resort in the north east corner of the county, inescapably linked with Charles Dickens. The town lies between Margate and Ramsgate; a somewhat quieter place, with less of a funfair atmosphere than its neighbours, it nevertheless possesses all that makes a modern resort. There are a number of bays and inlets with sandy beaches, giving first-class, safe swimming. There is also good angling from boat, beach or the little harbour and pier, which date from the time of Henry VIII.
But it is Dickens who provides the major attraction. His name appears everywhere, as do those of his novels, and the characters and places in them. Bleak House, where he summered for many years during the 1850s and 1860s, stands on a rise above the harbour; he called it his “airy nest”, and here he wrote his most famous work, David Copperfield, and did much other writing and planning. In his day it was called Fort House, having originally been the residence of the captains of one of the two small forts guarding the harbour. It was dubbed Bleak House following the publication of the novel of that name, but was not officially so called until the beginning of this century. The house is now a private residence and is in two distinct parts: the original house in which Dickens lived and which is kept as it was in his day, as a museum to his memory, and a new wing added in 1901, where the owners live.
In the house, a crenellated structure of austere appearance, there are a number of Dickens's own pieces of furniture, including a chair in his study (a room with a good view over the sea and from which the French coast is visible on a clear day), some original editions of his works, letters, drawings and photographs. Some other items are contemporary, and include a bed in which he slept at the Bull Inn in Rochester. The garden is also maintained much as it was in Dickens's time.
Dickens also stayed in a number of other places in Broadstairs before he occupied Bleak House. Among them was the Albion Hotel in Albion Street.
Across the bay from the harbour is Dickens House. A private residence, it is identified with Betsy Trotwood's house in David Copperfield.
Only a couple of hundred yards away from Bleak House, at the harbour end of Albion Street, is the Parish Room of Holy Trinity Church, formerly Old St Mary's, built in 1601. It stands on the site of a shrine to Our Lady of Bradstow, to which passing ships dipped their topsails. Of other old buildings there is St Peter's Church in St Peter's, which dates, in part, from the 11th century.
Nearby cities: Canterbury
Nearby towns: Birchington, Deal, Margate, Minster, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Whitstable
Nearby villages: Chillenden, Cliftonville, Deal, East Stourmouth, Eastry, Elmstone, Garlinge, Goodnestone, Kingsgate, Knowlton, Manston, Sarre, Sholden, St. Nicholas at Wade, St. Peters, Staple, West Stourmouth, Westgate on Sea, Wingham
Have you decided to visit Broadstairs or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Broadstairs bed and breakfast (a Broadstairs B&B or Broadstairs b and b)
- a Broadstairs guesthouse
- a Broadstairs hotel (or motel)
- a Broadstairs self-catering establishment, or
- other Broadstairs accommodation