5 Best Free Things to Do in Broadstairs

Located in Kent, on the very south-eastern tip of England, the picturesque town of Broadstairs is a perfect spot for a getaway to the coast.

As well as offering one of the best coastal breaks in the UK for couples due to how serene it is out of season, it’s an excellent location for anyone looking for a trip out to the seaside, including families and groups of friends.

Whether you’re having a weekend away here or just taking a day trip out to the coast, there are many fantastic free things to do in Broadstairs for those sticking to a budget.

The beach at Broadstairs, Kent, on a sunny day
The beach at Broadstairs

1. Have a day at the beach

Broadstairs has one of the best beaches in Kent, with the golden sand of Viking Bay being located just down the steps from the main promenade.

The beach is in a well-sheltered cove that protects it from the strongest winds, so it’s the perfect spot to relax for hours on end. Plus, there are toilets and a cafe nearby, so you don’t need to go far to find facilities.

In the summer (or other parts of the year if you’re brave enough!) you can take a dip in the sea. Plus, there’s also a seawater tidal swimming pool you can try out instead.

A view south across Viking Bay and the beach in Broadstairs
A view south across the beach

2. Discover Dickens’ Broadstairs

Charles Dickens, the renowned English writer, had a strong connection to Broadstairs. He regularly visited for holidays, during which he wrote essays and many of his early novels, including David Copperfield. 

The best place to learn about his history with this seaside town is at the Dickens House Museum, although there is an entrance fee.

Instead, for a free thing to do in Broadstairs, you can follow a Turner and Dickens walk. This route takes you around the town and surrounding areas, highlighting significant locations associated with Dickens and the artist JMW Turner.

3. Wander around the harbour

Spending some time at Broadstairs Harbour, a picturesque spot where fishing boats and yachts dock, costs nothing but is a lovely and peaceful experience.

Enjoy the serene atmosphere, watch the boats, and take in the stunning coastal scenery.

Heading to the harbour at sunset is also one of the best things to do in Kent for couples, as the horizon becomes painted pink and orange and provides a perfectly romantic backdrop.

4. Enjoy the town centre

Like any good seaside town, Broadstairs is full of quaint streets, independent shops, and charming architecture to explore.

Take a leisurely stroll, browse the shops, and soak up the unique coastal atmosphere.

You can also discover some of the lovely green spaces in the town, such as Pierremont Park and Victoria Gardens, which provides stunning views over the beach and sea.

5. Attend festivals and events

Broadstairs hosts various festivals and events throughout the year, many of which are free to attend.

The Broadstairs Folk Week in August and the Broadstairs Dickens Festival in June are particularly popular. The former offers a fun week of music, song and dance, as well as a range of free family events.

You can also drive over to Ramsgate or Margate nearby to check out other events and what’s on in Thanet.

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