Posts Tagged ‘seaside towns of the uk’

2018 did not get off to as good a start as 2017…..it was wet and cold and frankly, just miserable, ergo I didn’t get to start my #walk1000miles challenge till 3rd January. Thankfully the day dawned bright and I woke early. I had been longing to get out for a nice long walk but didn’t fancy walking in cold rain. 😉 It’s one thing walking in rain on a hot day, but cold? No thanks.

I didn’t manage a very long walk after all due to the fact that not only was I due to be leaving for Wales just after lunch time, but I moved house (within a house) and was in the process of sorting through my possessions…..I’m currently downsizing and oh my gosh have I accumulated a LOT of stuff since arriving in the UK in 2001. Truly??? Insane. Although to be fair to myself it is mostly travel mementos, travel diaries, a LOT of postcards (whyyy???), plenty of mugs from places I visited over the years, some clothes and a lot of books. It’s been quite difficult really deciding what to keep and what to throw away.

So putting the sorting and packing aside I set off just after 7.30am for a brisk walk and to watch the sun rise. It’s been ages since I got to watch the sunrise and I was longing to enjoy that feeling of joy as it rises above the horizon….a new day and I was still alive….what a privilege. Viking Bay looked absolutely gorgeous, the tide far out, the beach virtually deserted and the sky a palette of pastels.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Isle of Thanet

With a brisk wind at my back I strode purposefully along the promenade to Louisa Bay and down the slipway to the beach. The tide was out and made walking along the crispy sands an absolute must. Cold, crispy, fresh sea air blew vigorously around me whipping my hair into my face and bringing tears to my eyes with the chill of it.

The beach looked like an alien landscape; deep swirled holes potted the beach, carved out by the crazy seas after yesterday’s storm.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Louisa Bay; an alien landscape

I watched as I walked; the sky lightened and turned a soft pastel pink, that delicious colour you get during early winter mornings. Slowly the colours changed as the sun rose higher and then to my delight it started to peep above the horizon….up and up it rose, slowly brightening the sky till the disc of gold was full in the sky…..time to go home.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Sunrise 03.01.2018

I had by then walked a fair distance and out along a spit of stones and rocks right out beyond the shore line. I had noticed the tide slowly creeping closer and as soon as it touched my toes I turned to return to the shore….I did not fancy being cut off by the tide closing in behind me.

Going back was a little quicker as the wind had picked up and was pushing hard at my back. Now I could truly not see much with my hair slapping against my cheeks, flying about above my head like a dervish. The wind skimmed vigorously along the beach whipping the sand into a frenzy and blinding the unwary as it flew into the air. White horses crested the waves that were now rising higher and higher with the wind pushing from behind.

Dogs and owners scurried along, dogs chasing leaves and debris, owners chasing their recalcitrant pets.

Looking back, the sun shone like a golden disc above the choppy seas, a shiny gold path reflecting on the wet beach.

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

a golden path

I walked across the sands at Viking Bay towards the little boats sheltered in the harbour. As I neared the curve in the beach a sudden gust of wind lifted me off my feet and sent me flying across the sands…..Mary Poppins where are you now?

walk 1000 miles, winter walks, sunrise, broadstairs, capturing britain

Broadstairs harbour, Viking Bay, Isle of Thanet

I do so love the winter months despite the wet, cold, grey days; but it’s those clear days I look forward to most – days when the sky is painted soft pastel greys, pinks and lilac as the sun rises on a new day.

I managed to get in just 4 kms/2.5 miles although not anywhere near what I would like to do each day, I only need to walk 2.74 each day to reach 1000 by 31.12.2018……997.5 to go!!


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One of the advantages of living in Broadstairs is the accessibility to the sea. We also live within walking distance to Ramsgate.

IMAG4176 - walk to ramsgate

the Broadstairs clock tower on the way to Ramsgate

My daughter and I often walk along the beach at low tide to Ramsgate Harbour, sometimes it takes a lot longer than others, depending on the day and the weather. If it’s a good day it takes at least an hour…it’s such a photogenic walk that we can’t help but stop to take photos.

Yesterday we woke to a day of blue skies and sunshine, albeit very windy so decided to make the most of us both being home on the same day and no rain, and walk to Ramsgate, where we planned to have toasted cheese and tomato sandwiches at one of her favourite cafes.

The tide was high so unfortunately we could only walk part of the way along the beach walk…which is a shame really as that’s part of the fun. There have been many storms  alongside a raging sea, waves crashing against the side of the esplanade which was just thrilling.IMAG2153 - walk to ramsgate  Finally at Dumpton Gap we climbed to the cliff-top and made the rest of our walk with a somewhat different view of the seas; a churned up brown expanse of raging waves.IMAG4912 - walk to ramsgate

Further along and just past the King George VI Memorial Park we walked back down the steps to the Marina Esplanade and so the harbour. It’s such a beautiful little harbour with plenty of quirky and lovely boats and lots of quirky little shops and restaurants along the esplanade.2015.11.08 (37) - walk to ramsgate

Just before you reach the funfair and harbour you pass the entrance to the WW2 tunnels. I’ve yet to explore them fully but I have been into the museum which is just within the entrance.  Besides the charming harbour, the WW2 tunnelsIMAG4936 - walk to ramsgate and the quirky architecture, Ramsgate has many links to the royal family and Charles Dickens. Princess Victoria convalesced at Albion House in Ramsgate for 6 months while recovering from a serious bout of typhoid.2015.11.08 (22) - walk to ramsgate2015.11.08 (23) - walk to ramsgate Besides that Ramsgate Harbour has the unique distinction of being the only harbour in the United Kingdom awarded the right to call itself a Royal Harbour; bestowed by King George IV as a thank you for the hospitality shown by the people of Ramsgate when he used the harbour to depart and return with the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1821.IMAG4837 - walk to ramsgate

Ramsgate was a chief embarkation point both during the Napoleonic Wars and for the Dunkirk evacuation ‘Operation Dynamo’ in 1940, due to its proximity to mainland Europe. I was lucky enough to attend the Operation Dynamo 75th anniversary event of Little Ships that sailed across the English Channel to Dunkirk for the weekend.

We so enjoyed our sandwiches(although they’re not as good as mine 😉 ) at Rileys, a café my daughter frequents rather frequently…they do serve the most delicious hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows. Afterwards we went for a bit of shopping and then caught the bus back to Broadstairs. I do so enjoy these excursions with my daughter. I spend so much time away from home, and of course I’ll be moving on soon as will she, her further south, me west (at least I think Rochester is west), so these times are really precious.

2015.11.08 (42) - walk to ramsgate

Royal Ramsgate Harbour – magical at night

I recorded a bit of our walk to give you a glimpse of Ramsgate. Excuse the wind….it’s been seriously windy the last few days as you’re probably aware and currently we are experiencing the fury of storm Imogen.

Here is the video.

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So yesterday I spoke briefly about home, and of course that would currently be Broadstairs, a stunning seaside town in Kent and certainly one of the prettiest places I have ever lived.wpid-photogrid_1422971491956_1.jpg We moved here in October 2014 and although I wasn’t at first really that keen to move so far from London, as soon as I visited for the first time I just fell in love with this little town.IMAG2644 Going back to the 1500’s there is loads of history linked to Broadstairs – namely Charles Dickens who lived in Broadstairs a number of times and stayed at the Royal Albion Hotel, where my daughter and I frequently have tea and pastries when I come home after my last job,IMAG2027 as well as which, what is now known as Bleak House,IMAG5691 and the Duke of Wellington who apparently had barracks in the town for his soldiers during the war against Napoleon in Belgium. A few months ago in June of 2015 Broadstairs played a leading role in the Waterloo 200 commemorations. After the battle at Waterloo, once Napoleon’s standard had been captured, some of his troops sailed across the channel with the standard intent on reaching London. They were tossed about by tide and winds and landed on the beach in Viking Bay in Broadstairs.  There was a reenactment in Broadstairs with the New Waterloo Despatch delivered by boat, reported to the Constable on duty and thence to London by coach…..very exciting it was.

Charles Dickens played a very big part in the history of Broadstairs and each year there is a Dickens week when the locals get togged out in Victorian gear and meander about town, if you didn’t know better, you’d think you had fallen down the rabbit hole. There’s a fair and walks and talks galore – good fun and last year I participated, albeit briefly by dressing up in a Victorian swimsuit (I didn’t go into the sea), and somehow I acquired a baby much to the amusement of my daughter. I had to give both the outfit and the baby back after play!! 😉 I would have been happy to keep both 🙂

So continuing on my mission to ‘vlog’ today’s video is a combination video of places in Broadstairs linked to Dickens or named for one of his books. There are loads of places, roads and lanes all named for either places or characters from his books, but in order to keep the video short I have only touched on a few. Below is The Old Curiosity Shop where we often go for tea and cake…the carrot cake is delicious. There’s an old well in the shop that contains two skeletons at the bottom……visitors who didn’t pay their bill perhaps?2015.05.26 (16)

I had to make a combined video from yesterday and today’s since I ran out of space on my tablet as I reached Bleak House.

So here it is; video blog #2 Home; Broadstairs

…rule #1 when recording….make sure you have enough space in the memory! Hah!

05.02.2016 – #3 finishing what I started

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