On the doorstep and within walking distance
Middle street and the Conservation Area – is at the heart of this, a mix of pastel toned Georgian terraced townhouses and small shops crossed by a multitude of narrow streets running up to the seafront. Simple wander the lanes taking in the history of this town.
The north end of Deal high street – is where you will find a plethora of small, independent shops including antiques and collectables, vintage furniture, contemporary home furnishings, specialist book shops, fishmongers, organic food shop, coffee shops, deli, bakers and Borough Wine. Visit the weekly Saturday Market at the Union Road Car Park between 8.30 to 3 pm.
Beaches – Deal’s pebble shoreline stretches east towards Sandwich Bay and west towards Walmer and Kingsdown The beach is great for beachcombing with its washed up seaweed, mermaid purses and cuttlefish bones. Picturesque fishing boats rest at the top of the shingle.
Castles – within a 1 mile stretch you will find two castles built by King Henry VIII. Deal Castle is great fun as you can explore the whole defence from the ramparts to the narrow passageways of the basement. Walmer Castle residence of the Duke of Wellington in contrast, is more stately home with its dressed rooms and exhibits including the chair that Wellington died in. Beautiful gardens and woodland walks make for a perfect spot for a picnic.
Concerts – Enjoy Deal Memorial Bandstand Trust concerts on Sunday afternoons at 2.30pm on Walmer Green between May and September.
Deal Pier – walk or scoot along the seafront to Deal Pier with its architectural award winning restaurant perfect for breakfast or a milkshake. For anglers, the Pier is a popular spot for fishing throughout the year.
Maritime – From the middle of the seventeenth century until after the Napoleonic Wars Deal was one of the most important naval centres in England. Deal Maritime & Local History Museum offers a fascinating insight into Deal’s maritime past. Deal Timeball Tower is a quirky museum dedicated to signalling and timekeeping; climb all the way to the top for great views across the town and sea.
Slightly further afield
Beaches – Walmer Beach and Kingsdown Beach are both accessible by foot, bike or scooter from Deal along a pedestrian cycle path. The flatness of the cycle path makes a fun ride for the younger ones past beach huts and lobster traps. The beach becomes more wild and beautiful the further you head towards Kingsdown.
Country Parks – At the base of the White Cliffs of Dover is Samphire Hoe a nature reserve with network of footpaths taking you past a variety of plants, birds and wildlife. Series of events during the summer including rockpooling and pirate/smuggler spooky walk for the younger ones. Fowlmead Country Park is geared towards cyclists as well as walkers and a great place for families to cycle and have fun in the large, wooden adventure playground.
Dover Castle – Dover Castle will not disappoint with it’s Great Tower, exciting exhibitions, secret wartime tunnels and recreated Dunkirk evacuation experience. Host of family oriented activities during the holiday periods including ‘Clash of the Knights’.
Gardens – close to the Quay in Sandwich you will find the Secret Gardens three and a half acres of walled ornamental gardens set round a manor house includes a lake and vegetable, tropical and woodland gardens ; in St Margarets Pines Garden is a 6 acre organically managed garden with a sensory garden and sustainability trail for children and kitchen garden with over 40 different species of fruit and vegetables.
Lighthouse – South Foreland is a must see, a beautiful Victorian lighthouse that can only be reached on foot along stunning coastal cliff paths. There is a Sunday bus service that runs until 1 September. Take a discovery tour of the lighthouse or simply enjoy the tearooms, fly a borrowed kite for free or go hunting for treasure on the pirate trail solving the clues to crack the treasure chest code.
Medieval town – of Sandwich with its half-timbered houses is delightful to walk around. Seeped in history there are many places of interest including the Guildhall, the Barbican and Old Town Jail.
White Cliffs Dover – walk the White Cliffs of Dover enjoying the beautiful Kent countryside to one side with views across the English Channel to France on the other. Reward yourself with a beetroot brownie or a cream tea at the White Cliffs coffee shop.
Antiques & collectibles – rummage in the local antique shops for curiosities and vintage finds. At the north of Deal High Street you will find a collection of shops including Vintage, La Petite Brocante, xxxxxxx, second hand bookshop and Inside Out close to Deal Castle. The Astor also hosts an antiques market on selected Sundays.
Birdwatching – Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory Trust has a programme of weekly events including walks, talks and workshops. Bockhill is an area of National Trust farmland between St Margarets and Kingsdown is known for its rarities and migrating birds.
Bockhill is an area of National Trust farmland to the north of St. Margaret’s village, and the cliff top stretching from The Leas to Kingsdown beach.
Cinema – the Empire Cinema in Sandwich is a one of its kind, an art deco cinema that first opened its doors in 1937.
Coastal foraging – forage and feast on the edible delights of the shoreline including oysters, shellfish and seaweed. Deal has it’s very own coastal foraging expert Wildflower Kitchen with sessions for families too.
Cycling – Fowlmead Country Park has a 2 mile tarmac road cycling track, woodland paths and mountain biking trails suitable for all ages; bike hire is available. A nice, short ride for little legs is the shared pedestrian/cycle path next to the shingle beach at Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown. For more challenging routes try the National Cycle Routes from Deal to Sandwich, from Dover to Deal. the Miners’ Cycle Trail which takes in the lower slopes of the North Downs or the Skylark Trail a country road to Dover.
Fishing – Cottington Lakes offers a variety of angling from its eight lakes – mixed coarse, specimen carp and pike, for sea fishing Deal Pier is a popular spot for anglers or try beach fishing at Walmer & Deal.
Golf – for a game of golf by the sea then the closest course is the Royal Cinque Ports at Deal, Royal St George’s at Sandwich hosted the Open Championship in 2011 and there is also a clifftop course at Kingsdown.
Seal spotting – travel the River Stour on the Sandwich River Bus spotting wildlife and seals. Trips run weekends and through the school holidays. For a more adrenalin filled adventure take the Dover Explorer a RIB speed boat from Dover Harbour on a sea safari.
Swimming – Tides in Deal has a fun leisure pool with wave machine and there is also a outdoor paddling pool on Walmer Green with bouncy castle and crazy golf.
Theatre – this beautiful Edwardian Astor Theatre in Deal offers a packed programme of music, theatre, literary, films, comedy and exhibitions.
Walking – the list is endless…the long distance Saxon Shore Way passes through Deal with stunning clifftop walks between Kingsdown and St Margarets Bay, explore the Golf Coast from Deal to Sandwich or venture inland for a countryside ramble. Deal Walking Festival takes place in August with a variety of walks including a treasure trail for families, heritage walks and a blue plaque trail.
Watersports – rent an Ocean Kayak (one seaters to a family of four one) or rent a sailing dinghy or even try a sailing taster session at Dover Sea Sports.
Deal annual street fair/braderie Sunday 15 September 2013
Deal Walking Festival Thursday 22 to Wednesday 28 August 2013 http://dealwalkingfestival.org.uk/
Deal Festival 28 June to 7 July 2013 http://dealfestival.co.uk/
South East Open Studios and Art Trail 29/30 June, 6 & 7 July, 13 & 14 July 2013 http://searts.wordpress.com/2013/06/29/seas-open-studios-begins-today/
Deal Carnival and Regatta Week – late July/early August. Held for over 180 years.
Deal Christmas Carnival