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Clocks go back on Sunday, 30th October 2022 at 02:00 BST

GMT resumes on Sunday, 30th October at 02:00 BST when the clocks will go back an hour to become 01:00 GMT again. An easy way to remember how clocks change is the phrase: 'Clocks spring forward in spring and fall back in the fall'.


Best Kent seaside towns ranked by Which? with Deal top and Herne Bay bottom

Lydia Chantler-Hicks, KentOnline, 30 April 2022

A ranking of Kent's best seaside towns has proved controversial in all corners of the county. Deal has come out on top in an annual survey by consumer magazine Which?, based on the experiences of thousands of holidaymakers. But the study - which has seen Herne Bay named Kent's "worst" seaside spot, and left out notable destinations such as the Isle of Sheppey - has sparked outrage from some quarters, leaving locals and KentOnline journalists to share their own arguments in defence of their beloved towns …

Herne Bay

Residents and business owners have described Herne Bay's ranking as a "travesty". Despite not scoring below three stars in any category and boasting the county's second cheapest average hotel prices, it came bottom of the list in Kent and sixth-lowest out of 87 in the UK with Skegness in Lincolnshire propping up the table.

Joe Walker, the editor of KentOnline's sister paper, the Herne Bay Gazette, has lived in the town for 20 years said:

"I'm not sure those who took part in the study have ever been to Herne Bay, if I'm honest. There's no way there are 81 seaside towns people would rather visit than ours, and the huge crowds that flock to the Bay every summer are testament to that. The beaches are packed whenever the sun comes out, the pier has been brought back to life in recent years and there's no end of decent places to grab a bite to eat both on the seafront and in the town. Herne Bay was given three stars for its beaches and seafront/pier - the same score for those categories as neighbouring Whitstable. Comparing the two towns is like comparing apples and oranges - they both offer completely different things. But for me Herne Bay has the better seafront - it's more of a traditional seaside town. You can buy an ice cream from Scoops, go crab-catching on the pier, spend countless hours - and pennies - at Cain's Amusements, and even enjoy 18 holes at Herne Bay Mini Golf. The town is definitely enjoying somewhat of a renaissance, and it's only going to get better. Within the next few years we'll see more restaurants opening, derelict buildings brought back to life, and even a large hotel built on the seafront, which is long overdue."

Leading the plans for the hotel is restaurateur Mehmet Dari, who owns the popular A La Turka restaurant on the seafront and The Grapevine in the High Street. He is also in the process of opening a seafood and steakhouse at the foot of the pier, transforming an old fish restaurant. Criticising Herne Bay's low ranking, Mr Dari said:

"I don't believe this. They probably haven't discovered Herne Bay properly. Herne Bay's a beautiful place - we've got lovely sunsets here all the time. We are improving the town. Yes, a couple of shops are closed, but these shops all have plans for them. A La Turka is also heavily investing. I've been here 20 years and I'm putting back into Herne Bay. Sometimes I post pictures and videos and people are like 'wow! where is this ?"

Also surprised by the town's low score is Hassan Hassan, who runs four businesses on the seafront - two Makcari's ice cream parlours, Captain Jack's cocktail bar and Vibe lounge and entertainment space.

"To me it comes as a bit of a shock," said Mr Hassan, who has been a businessman in the town for two decades. I don't believe it deserves to be ranked last. When you compare to other local seaside towns, Herne Bay's got lots of eating venues to choose from now, along the seafront and in town. Herne Bay has a hell of a lot to offer. You've got historic places, you've got the pier and what they've done with it over the past few years, making it a real attraction. You've got the central bandstand, which Makcari's operates from. We've spent a hell of a lot of money post-Covid making the outside courtyard area nice and welcoming, with new tables and chairs and umbrellas, we put on entertainment when the the weather's nice. There's the promenade, the gardens, there is a lot to be done on Herne Bay seafront. We have a couple of derelict buildings but they've got planning permission. Every other unit is taken and operating, and the town is thriving when the sun's out."

Deal

Deal was the only location in Kent to score five-out-of-five for its seafront/pier, while also scooping an impressive four-out-of-five for its food and drink, shopping, peace and quiet, and value for money. With a 'destination score' of 74%, it came in 27th place nationally, beating popular destinations such as St Ives and Eastbourne, and coming first in Kent. Pleased by the news is East Kent Mercury reporter Sam Lennon, who said:

"From the time I arrived in Deal, I was charmed by this pleasant little town. I'm not surprised it has come out top in Kent - it has so much going for it and more and more people are realising it's a great place to live, work and visit. Among its greatest assets are its splendid promenade and long pier, where you can take bracing walks in the sea breeze. The beach and promenade are stunning and very flat, so easy for pushchairs, wheelchairs or dog walkers. And there are so many benches in memory of people from the town, which are nice to read and see. When you walk through the town you notice how many independent shops it has and this surely contributes to its unique character. The Astor Community Theatre in Stanhope Road is a great live entertainment venue, with a variety of music and comedy shows, as well as film screenings. I watched and reviewed Martha Reeves and the Vandellas when they played there in 2017 and I was able to enjoy a performance by Who Are You, a tribute act for one of my favourite bands, The Who. Last year I was pleasantly surprised when director Danny Boyle used the town as one of the locations for his series about Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones. Two of my favourite comic actors lived in this town - Carry On films star Charles Hawtrey and Sir Norman Wisdom, who was in a children's home in the town, with the local Wetherspoons pub named after him. For exercise, Deal has places such as the Tides Leisure Centre and Betteshanger Country Park, which is ideal for walking and cycling."

Also welcoming the news is Peter Davies, secretary of Deal and Walmer Chamber of Trade, which comprises 150 businesspeople including hoteliers and restaurateurs.

"I'm not surprised" he said. "I've loved the town since I moved here over 20 years ago. I'm more than pleased that the town has received this vote, and I fully understand why. The standards of the accommodation and restaurants is second-to-none. You could not go to a better place for that variance."

But Mr Davies says he hopes to see more residents shopping in the town and supporting its businesses, which employ more than 3,000 local people.

"Lots of people have lovely things to say about the town, which is great," he said. "But some businesses are really, really hard up for money - experiencing inflationary issues with regards fuel, and their costs are going up. Rather than going out of town, you'll be surprised what you can get in town instead."

Joshua Schofield, the general manager at Deal Pier Kitchen, is also not surprised to see the town ranked so highly.

"I moved here in 2018 and I've worked in Deal for the last few years, and we've certainly noticed how busy and popular the town has become," he said. "I've seen it transform into an exceptionally busy tourist destination in such a short time. It's a wonderful town that really attracts visitors from across the UK and Europe, while still appealing to and catering for all the locals who make the town what it is. I think what makes it most attractive is how Deal caters for everybody, even more so throughout the summer period with various fairs and events. There are also loads of pubs and plenty of places to walk to."

Broadstairs

Broadstairs ranked the second-best seaside town in Kent, just behind Deal, with its beaches, restaurants, scenery and seafront/pier awarded an impressive four stars out of a possible five. The town scored highly for its sandy bays - unsurprising given five of them hold the prestigious international Blue Flag and another five the coveted Seaside Award. The seafront and pier, which now boasts the new Jetty restaurant, also fared well, as well as its charming scenery.Foodie folk would likely agree with the high rating for food and drink, too, with its large selection of restaurants putting the town on the map as quite the gastronomic destination.

There's Michelin-starred Stark and sister restaurant Dos. There's also The Table, Kebbels and Please Sir! - Kent's best-rated restaurant on Tripadvisor - bringing in hungry visitors. Other categories, however, failed to hit the top spot in the survey, with shopping and tourist attractions gaining just two stars.

Thanet Extra reporter Marijke Hall, who lives in Broadstairs, said:

"This is a fair scoring of the town, although shopping perhaps should have been given a couple more stars. While there may not be big retail names, the high street has great independent shops, boutiques and galleries. There's a lovely community feel here. The beaches are stunning and there's no shortage of places to eat and drink. You're spoiled for choice."

Folkestone

At just £63 per night, Folkestone has the lowest average hotel cost of any destination in the Which? survey. The figure is nearly half that of Kent's priciest stay, Whitstable - news that is sure to make it an attractive choice for those on a budget, as the cost of living crisis continues. Folkestone and Hythe Express reporter Rhys Griffiths has lived in the town most of his life, and credits its "remarkable" transformation in recent years with its ranking as Kent's third-best seaside town.

"Growing up in Folkestone in the 80s and 90s, the town still had the feel of a traditional bucket-and-spade seaside resort," he recalls. "The seafront was still the place for candy floss, kiss-me-quick hats and a spin on the waltzers, but there was no mistaking that the glory days were behind us. Then the ferry port closed, the Rotunda amusement park was demolished and the harbour and beachfront fell into the doldrums. Fast-forward two decades and the transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. Arts-led regeneration of the Creative Quarter, a thriving food scene and the redevelopment of the harbour itself have all combined to put Folkestone back on the tourist map, in a very 21st century fashion. While families still flock to frolic on the beach at Sunny Sands when the weather is warm, there is now much more to enjoy all year round. Living in the town, I am not surprised to see Folkestone rated so highly by Which? in its survey of seaside destinations. Hometown bias aside, I would encourage anyone who has never visited - or last came many years ago - to visit and see what all the fuss is about. You won't regret it."

Whitstable

The Which? rankings saw Whitstable secure a middling fourth place. Probably unsurprisingly to many, the town's hotel prices came in as the highest in Kent, at an average of £123 a night. But it scored a strong four stars for its food and drink. Famed for its oysters and with its own working harbour, the town boasts a number of high-end eateries specialising in seafood, such as The Whitstable Oyster Company restaurant and photogenic Wheelers Oyster Bar. With a host of other reputable spots including Samphire, Harbour Street Tapas and the Michelin-starred Sportsman around the corner in Seasalter, it also has a wide array of cafes, tearooms and several excellent fish and chip shops, leaving peckish visitors spoilt for choice. The town also scored four stars for its shopping and, with pretty Harbour Street and the town's high street offering a range of independent, artsy boutiques, it is evident why. When it came to value for money, however, the town scored just two stars, while also scoring two for its tourist attractions.

Steve Jones has lived in the town for 14 years and has run Whitstable Produce Store in Harbour Street for almost nine of those. Responding to the town's ranking, he said:

"Obviously as a local businessman I'm very pleased that the food and drink has been rated so highly. It's always nice to see other places in Kent doing well also. They all have very different things, for different people. Obviously certain places like Broadstairs have beautiful sandy beaches, whereas we have beautiful cobbled beaches. I think it's just great that people are coming down again to the Kent coast, and long may it continue."

Margate

Despite the hype surrounding it, Margate came second-to-last in Kent, beating only Herne Bay. Looking at the ratings, one might be mistaken for thinking they are reading about somewhere other than Margate, which is often described as "vibrant", "artsy" and "up-and-coming", if a little rough-around-the-edges. The seafront and pier scored just two stars, despite the buzzy harbour arm boasting bars, a gallery and the much-celebrated Sargasso restaurant. Food and drink overall was awarded just three stars, even with the town's array of bars and restaurants such as New Street Bistro, Bottega Caruso and the Sun Deck, with its selection of street food traders, including Pork & Co and Po' Boy.

Remarkably, despite hotspots such as Dreamland, Turner Contemporary and Margate Caves bringing in visitors, the town was awarded just two stars for its tourist attractions. Beaches got three stars, which some might argue is a little unfair seeing as Margate boasts a coveted Blue Flag for its beautiful main sands.

Ramsgate

Ramsgate fared a little better than Margate, but still came in at only sixth in Kent. Results for the town were middling, with the beaches handed three stars, despite a celebrated Seaside Award for Ramsgate Main Sands.

While Ramsgate has a thriving seafront, with bars and restaurants around the Royal Harbour and beautiful walks along the cliff top, the seafront and pier scored an average three stars. And although there are plenty of places to eat - La Magnolia, Marc Pierre's Kitchen and the Royal Harbour Brasserie to name a few - food and drink scored a middling three stars, too. Tourist attractions received just two. There's the popular Ramsgate Tunnels but admittedly not loads of attractions in the town. Then again, you've got the beach, walks, harbour and buzzy Addington Street, with its range of trendy independent shops, to keep you busy.

Isle of Sheppey

Among notable absences in Which's seaside survey are Dover and Sheppey.

John Nurden, reporter for KentOnline's sister paper the Sheerness Times Guardian, has expressed his outrage at the exclusion of the latter - which he describes as "Kent's own self-styled treasure island.

"Every time there is a survey like this, Sheppey ends up the forgotten island,""said fuming John, who has lived on the Isle since he was a boy.

"I really can't understand why. With three award-winning beaches at Sheerness, Minster and Leysdown it really should be a contender, if not a winner. Whatever you want, Sheppey can deliver. There are kiss-me-quick hats, arcades and sandy beaches at Leysdown; fossils, sandbanks and cliffs to explore at Minster and Eastchurch; and a mile-long promenade, indoor swimming pool and quirky shops at Sheerness."

The Island is steeped in heritage, being the birthplace of British aviation, and a favourite haunt for historical figures such as Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys and Lord Nelson."

Artist JMW Turner loved its natural lighting and painted the Fighting Temeraire off the coast of Queenborough. There is a clutch of fascinating museums including the Blue Town Heritage Centre within the renovated Criterion Music Hall, the Eastchurch Aviation Museum and the Minster Abbey Gatehouse. For those who love wildlife there is the award-winning Elmley Nature Reserve.

"And now there are even some decent restaurants. There is a reason why the Island is still popular with visitors and holidaymakers," added John, "To ignore Sheppey is criminal."

The survey by Which? asked more than 4,300 visitors to rate coastal resorts they have visited across a range of categories including quality of beaches, seafront, tourist attractions, food and drink, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money. In first place was Bamburgh - a tiny village in Northumberland with a population of just over 400 - with a sweeping sandy beach overlooked by a cliff-top castle described as "spectacular" and "imposing" by respondents.


Deal ranked 4th best place to live in Kent by Muddy Stilettos

Muddy Stilettos, 14 March 2022

The county has something for everyone - but where are the best places ?

There are many reasons why Kent is one of the most attractive counties to move to. From its close proximity to London to the rolling hills of the countryside, there's so much to love about living in Kent. But with many different parts of the county offering their own unique things, it can be hard to know exactly where you want to live. Muddy Stilettos has compiled a list of the eight best places to live in Kent which should come in handy if you find yourself having to make that very decision.

8. Plaxtol

Average house price: £808,650. One of the few villages that is not a 'through village' Plaxtol is extremely peaceful with a definite centre. Drive down a long, meandering lane, following a never ending, beautiful brick wall on your right and rolling fields on your left and you will know you are home. It's location, location, location for Plaxtol, situated roughly 5 miles from both Sevenoaks and Tonbridge, with bus links to both towns and on to Tunbridge Wells. Picture perfect, nestled in glorious Kent countryside, surrounded by lovely walks, Kentish pub hospitality, top schools and away from the madding crowds. A true village community where everyone knows everyone and looks out for each other. What's not to love?

7. Faversham

Average house price (according to Rightmove): £319,301. This pretty market town is one to watch as an investment due to its growing reputation as a foodie destination, stunning scenery all around (from coastal rambles to countryside walks) and decent train links to London (should you ever want to leave)! The oldest market town in the county used to be one of Kent's best-kept secrets - until now! Faversham is bursting with history, full of independent shops and boasts a growing reputation as a foodie destination. Plus an idyllic spot for coastal and rural walks. A town of two parts with the historical main centre leading down towards the Creek which is now home to Standard Quay with an eclectic bunch of shops selling a wide range of stuff, from antiques, local meat and fish as well as a shop purely dedicated to spices!

6. Broadstairs

Average house price: £405,131. Situated between Margate and Ramsgate, Broadstairs should not only be considered as a seaside resort but also as a bonafide place to dig down your roots and live. With a burgeoning foodie scene, vast array of active outdoor pursuits on offer plus that fresh sea air, there is a lot to like about Broadstairs! Broadstairs first became a fashionable place to visit in the Victorian era as one of Kent's finest seaside towns but its had something of a renaissance in the past decade. Now known for its vibrant festivals throughout the year and its up-and-coming foodie credentials, Broadstairs is in vogue. It also has good schools within easy reach and a friendly creative community.

5. Sissinghurst

Average house price: £454,192. If you're seeking village life, with a strong community spirit, then here's a corker for you. Sissinghurst is a bustling little idyll with top destinations on your doorstep and a hotspot for schools. It's a popular village smack bang in the middle of the beautiful High Weald area of Kent, lying roughly halfway between Maidstone and Hastings just off the A229 and about midway between Tunbridge Wells and Ashford on the other axis. Here, you’re also in the catchment for one of the area's most popular schools.

4. Deal

Average house price: £334,896. Deal has a beautiful beach, great restaurants and a buzzing community. Definitely one that's on the up-and-up. While recent years have brought artists, gentrifiers and Londoners aplenty there's still a salty-old-seadog ruggedness about the place. Think trendy coffee shops alongside higgledy-piggledy seafront houses. Located on the south Kent coast between Ramsgate and Dover, Deal is a worthy contender for being one of the coolest beach towns in the county.

3. Canterbury

Average house price: £340,247. The city of Canterbury is one of the most popular places for Londoners to head when moving out to Kent and it's no wonder - perfect for culture vultures plus shopper and foodie paradise all rolled into one. This cultural cathedral city ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to setting up home. You are never more than five minutes' walk away from a green park within the city centre and an easy drive to the coast in most directions. There are tons of quirky local businesses which give the city its unique spirit and eats from fresh seafood to Michelin-starred restaurants to choose from.

2. Tunbridge Wells

Average house price: £546,769. It might not be as trendy as some of its east Kent cousins, but long-popular Royal Tunbridge Wells is a sure bet for families seeking homes with bigger gardens, plenty of great outdoors and the added attraction of exceptional schooling for free in the area's many prestigious grammar schools. Forget those letter-writing retired colonels: this spa town is all about attracting well-to-do families seeking a best-of-both-worlds commuter lifestyle. With yoga studios and art galleries galore but being only moments from the Garden of England's apple-orchards, this town has it all.

1. Sevenoaks

Average house price: £702,735. Craving the rolling hills of rural west Kent but still want an easy commute into London and a busy social scene ? Sevenoaks could be just the ticket although, be warned, it'll cost! With this commuter favourite being only half an hour from London, surrounded by stunning countryside, good schools galore and a strong community spirit you can be well-connected here in every sense. Visit gorgeous Knole Park with its wild deer herd which is right in the town itself or you've got brilliant days out with the family like Hever Castle, Penshurst Place and Riverhill Himalayan Gardens right on the doorstep.


Deal ranked 25th in Garrington's 'Best Places to Live in 2022'

Matt Drake, Garrington, 14th April 2022

Welcome to Garrington's Best Places to Live in 2022 research report. After another exceptional year for the property market, activity remains brisk, with buyers searching for the perfect location that offers everything they are looking for in a new home.

Over the last year, Garrington has helped many clients with their property searches. More space, somewhere comfortable to work and a better standard of life continue to be cited as top requirements on many buyers' wish lists. With millions of people keen to continue working remotely at least some of the time, many are reassessing what they want from their home - and this shift is transforming Britain's property market for good.

n a year in which the COVID-19 pandemic was a trigger for around 630,000 home moves, the race for space, reassessment of 'home' and rising recognition of 'green' credentials among home movers has led to a significant shift in our top 20 Places to Live Index. Just seven of our top 20 locations of 2021 remain there this year. 2022 has seen the Garrington Index update with additional criteria added to our quality-of-life category, and, reflecting the changing demands of buyers, sustainability criteria have been included.

Top 10 locations ranked Best Places to Live in 2022

Half of our top 10 locations rank in the top 5% of all locations for 'going green'. With a move to hybrid working the new reality for many, access to fast broadband remains a prerequisite for inclusion.

Retaining its number 1 position in 2022, is Bath. Considered our top 'next generation' location of 2021, interest in the city has certainly not waned. Bath was named in Time magazine as one of the world's top 100 greatest places to visit, one of only two locations in the UK to feature; and is ranked in the Top 10 UK cities by Conde Nest Traveller to visit. As the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the UK, and in 2021 joining a prestigious grouping of 11 towns across Europe to be awarded a Great Spa Towns of Europe categorisation by UNESCO, it is perhaps no surprise it has retained its top spot for architectural heritage. Half of our top 10 destinations for 2022 are located in the South West. Over the course of 2021 the region has seen a huge surge in buyer demand, an acute shortage of stock meaning property is flying off the shelves.

Explore this year's full results. Once again Garrington is providing access to its full research findings and allowing you to compare the scores of different locations across England and Wales.

Best places to live in 2022 by price bracket

As in 2021, using average prices per square foot achieved for property sales in each area over the past year, we have calculated the average price of a family home of around 1,500 sq ft. Then, segmenting the market to prime (£650,000+), mid £350,000 - £650,000 and those hidden gems in areas where an average family home costs less than £350,000 provides a useful ranking for buyers looking at different budget levels.

The best places to live for prime buyers

For prime purchases, the stunning coastal resort of Fowey, Cornwall, is in second spot, the South West and South East making a clean sweep of the Prime hotspots of 2022. Lewes retains third position in this category, with Winchester, Henley-on-Thames and Sevenoaks also retaining top 10 positions. The market towns of Arundel, Farnham and West Malling, along with the famous pebble beaches of the culturally vibrant Brighton and Hove, make up the top 10.

Best places to live £350,000 to £650,000

All top 10 locations for those looking for the best place to live within a budget between £350,000 and £650,000 are ranked within the top 1.2% of all locations. In a similar vein to last year, small market towns dominate the listings. Just three locations are home to more than 20,000 households. Only Lyme Regis and Wilton featured in the 2020 top 10, Salisbury and Hadleigh in no small part making the top ten in 2021 due to their 'green' credentials.


Deal: What's it really like to live in the Kent town named the best in the country

Matt Drake, KentLive, 13th April 2022

It seems like every time there is any kind of poll on the UK's best towns, Deal is high on the list. And it's no different in 2022.

In a recent poll by The Times, Deal is described as having a "can-do attitude" in which "this ancient port turns homegrown hops into beer and hoppy days". But some locals have expressed concerns in the past about Deal getting media attention in case more people move to the area and drive up prices.

Some locals refer to 'DFLs' (down from Londoners) in a disparaging way. But we sought to find out what the response is to the latest poll.

READ MORE: We compared the two Kent towns named the best places to live

"I've lived here all my life for 75 years", said Linda Dixon. "The way this area has changed over the years is amazing. Yes I would say that the house prices have risen a ridiculous amount but this is just a really great area. People complain about DFLs but even in the '60s when people came down to work in the mines people still complained. I mean why wouldn't you move here? There are great pubs and restaurants, the Astor Theatre is now being used more than ever and it is just beautiful."

Her son, David, quipped: "When I was growing up around here it was God's waiting room. I visit here from London so I am basically a DFL now. But I would definitely move back. If I had the money now I'd buy a house and use it as a holiday home, which I know some people around here wouldn't like. I really love going for runs in the morning along the beachfront. Maybe when I retire I'll come back."

Nick Stephens said: "I've lived here since 2013. DFLs contribute a lot to the area. All of these independent shops are supported by Londoners coming here and spending money."

Cliff Bean said: "Take a look at Dover. That's a place that could do with an injection of money. It lacks DFLs and you can tell. It's just run down. I live between Dover and London so I guess you could call me a UFD (up from Dover). In the 1950s this place was a dump and there was nothing here. DFLs made this place. The only thing Deal is missing is a sandy beach. If it had that then it would be even more popular."

Debra Bean said: "I read an article about people in this area not liking DFLs and I thought that was really sad. But I tell you what, the people in this area are really nice. Very friendly crowd."

Tracey Purchase, 51, from St Margaret's said: "It's just a great place to visit and to live. I mean, it's great. Lovely ice cream here too."

"We came here the other week for a gig at the Astor," said Trevor Moss. "We actually live in Folkestone which is obviously a seaside town. We come here for a change of scenery. I'm not really surprised it's voted as one of the best places to live in the UK."

Wendy Moss added: "I'm from Canada originally. Lived in Kent for a lot of my time here. It's just a nice place."

One man called Thomas, 91, said: "I moved here from Croydon. It's just a fantastic area."


The Sunday Times 'best places to live … Deal'

When Samuel Pepys, the diarist, visited this Cinque Port - where the North Sea meets the Channel - in 1660 he declared it "pitiful"; today it is a perfect place to make a home. Where else do residents grow hops in 265 gardens and allotments which are then turned into beer by the local Time & Tide brewery ?

Health goes with happiness here, along with bucket-loads of history. Once England's busiest port,there are three Tudor castles, a former Royal Marine barracks, and there's a fine view of the multi-coloured Georgian seafront from the brutalist pier.

"It's all about people coming together to do good things, and have a good time in the process" says Stephen Wakeford, a co-ordinator for 'Deal with it' which oversees beach cleans and community gardens. "People are good at getting things done."

Deal's gleaners are reviving the old tradition of gathering unharvested crops from the fields. All 340 kilos of spuds and 50 of broccoli were donated to local food charities. Sustainability is to the fore. Cars are few and far betwee, plastic-free refills of almost everything are available at the village indoor market, and the 'Black Pig' butcher won a BBC Food and Farming award.

The best thing about the High Street, though, is that everybody uses it: both the high-falutin types who come from London (St Pancras in 1 hour 25 minutes) to browse the vintage furniture and sip negronis at the 'Rose Hotel', and the old Deal-ites who mutter about their town's new popularity as they pick up provisions from the fishmonger, bakery and greengrocers.

Even the weather is good - it's one of the 20 sunniest places in the UK.

Join the Deal Dining Club (membership £15 a year) and bring your own wine or community-grown beer.

You'll love it here if … hoppy days are happy days.

Best address - the Middle Street conservation area - house price: £363,000.


The pretty town 90 minutes from London that is constantly voted one of the best places to go to the seaside

MyLondon, Rory Bennett, 14th March 2022

It's the time of year when the UK begins to see the sun peeking out from behind the clouds and taking a trip to the seaside seems like an actual possibility after a long winter's hibernation. Although it might not be recommended to take a dip in the frigid ocean just yet, Spring offers a chance to enjoy sunny coastal towns without the masses of people clogging up the beaches and town centres.

There is a seaside town in particular that offers Londoners an easy and convenient Spring getaway. It was voted the best beach in the UK in 2020 and is only a 90-minute train journey away from the capital.

Deal in Kent is one of those quintessential quaint British seaside spots with great beaches, cute houses, delicious ice cream, sumptuous fish and chips and plenty of pubs. The town’s promenade is packed with boozers and sweet seafront shops which offer visitors to sit overlooking the English Channel.

The traditional town has remained unchanged for 100 years and the best place to see it in all its glory is from Deal Pier. The untarnished seafront means that visitors looking for something authentic can feel right at home.

There is also Deal Castle built by King Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal defences and is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. History lovers might also be excited to learn more about the town’s old role as a smuggler haunt or visit the Timeball Tower and discover the vital role it once played in helping ships safely navigate along Deal's coastline.

You can also enjoy Deals town centre which has a lovely mixture of different architecture, from pastel-coloured Georgian townhouses to small fisherman’s cottages. If you aren’t in the mood for a swim, then enjoying the town's range of independent shops might be for you with plenty of antique vendors to pique any collector's curiosity.

There are also plenty of galleries, exhibitions and museums to explore just in case you get unlucky and the weather turns during your stay. After you are done exploring you can head back down to the seafront for a scenic bite to eat. You could have fish and chips at Sea View, pub grub at the Smugglers Bar and Restaurant or afternoon tea at Little Harriettes of Deal Tea Rooms.

It would make a great day out or you can stay at one of the many bed and breakfasts in the area.


Clocks go forward on Sunday, 27th March 2022

This year the clocks go forward by an hour on Sunday, 27th March, marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). BST will begin at 01:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), meaning that people in the UK will have one hour less sleep as 1am becomes 2am. The reasoning behind switching to BST is to have more daylight in the evenings. GMT resumes in autumn, on Sunday, 30th October. At 02:00 BST, the clocks will go back an hour to become 01:00 GMT again. This is so there is more daylight hours during the winter months. An easy way to remember how clocks change is the phrase: 'Clocks spring forward in spring and fall back in the fall'.


Deal: The once 'small and rundown' east Kent town now named the best in the county

KentLive, 15 January 2022

It's a favourite with the people at Muddy Stillettos - what do people think?

Deal has a beautiful beach, great restaurants and a buzzing community.

Deal has been dubbed one of the best places to live in the country.

With its beautiful beach, great restaurants and a buzzing community, the kind people at Muddy Stillettos have included it in its list of Top 200 Places to Live series. The guide points to its "colourful buildings, seafront promenade, lots of indie shops, antique stores and handsome Georgian properties in the sought after conservation area. It also points to the walking trail from Deal to Walmer, Deal and Walmer Castle, and the galleries, exhibitions, restaurants and cafes which make up its lovely coast

Not that you'd ever want to leave, but Deal railway station can take you into London, in less than an hour and a half.

One woman who wished to remain anonymous said: "I'm not surprised that Deal is high up on the list"

"I always come for the beach," said Sammy Marsden, 27, from Dover, "it has much better restaurants than Dover. Also the fireworks are amazing on the beach. I'm not surprised it has been ranked so highly."

Tracey Smith, 54, is from Ashford but grew up in Deal. She said she was "surprised" to hear the news.

"It has so much going for it; it was just a small rundown town and no one came here except in the summer for the beach. But I do come back quite often."

Gordon Johnston says the town has been taken over by Londoners. One woman who wished to remain anonymous said: "I'm not surprised that Deal is high up on the list. It's not rundown like Dover, it has so much going for it. I'm glad Travelodge might open because it will bring more footfall to the town."

But not everyone was happy about the news and some were cynical about the town. Gordon Johnston, 69, said: "It's a great town, except from the DFLers (down from Londoners). Deal is always voted the best town in the county, but it just attracts people from London to move in and make it too expensive for the locals".

"I have neighbours who have bought a house with the intention to rent it out, which just means the young people around here won't be able to buy anything. You can always tell who the DFLs are because of the way they dress. But Deal has become more and more yuppie for years."


Deal's Linden Hall Studio's winter group show includes works by Nick and Sir Terry Frost RA

Angela Cole, Kent Online, 23 December 2021

A small art gallery in Kent's latest show features works by some of the biggest names in contemporary art, as well as Hot Fuzz actor Nick Frost. The Linden Hall Studio in Deal was inundated with hundreds of submissions from artists of all abilities from all over the world for its Winter Group Show.

Linden Hall Studio, a self-funded family business in St George's Road, hosts its winter group show featuring 300 works by 200 artists until Saturday, 29th January 2022.

The show includes a piece by famous British abstract artist Sir Terry Frost RA, who died in 2003, and actor Nick Frost's first ever artwork to be publicly exhibited. Work is also on show by Mali Morris RA, contemporary artist who co-ordinated the summer show at the Royal Academy of Art earlier this year. Gallery director Myles Corley said:

"We are extremely proud to have been able to pull together the largest independent group show in a private gallery. This exhibition features some of the biggest names in contemporary art … as well as celebrities such as Nick Frost."". Alongside this we are showing emerging talent from our Open Submission competition. Hundreds and Hundreds of works from all over the world were submitted to us, and we have selected as many as we can to hang in this really special show, giving artists of all ages and styles, the opportunity to show next to the most famous painters and sculptors in Britain."

Myles said of Nick Frost, who lives in London:

"Sir Terry's art on show is Carlyon Sunshine, which was painted in the last year of his life, while Nick Frost's is an acrylic on canvas." He is a great champion for the arts and wanted an opportunity show work within his first ever exhibition."

Despite being a small gallery on the Kent coast, the studio is widely regarded in art circles. He added:

"Over the years our reputation has grown as a centre for excellence in visual art on the Kent coast. We work with the estate of Sir Terry Frost and others throughout the year."

To find out more about the exhibition click here.


Deal: The sleepy Kent town that has attracted some of the most famous people who ever lived

Deal is small and sleepy yet some of the most famous people who ever lived have made the town their home. Deal may well be one of our smaller towns - and some may describe it as sleepy. But it is anything but small time with a host of celebrities and famous people living there.

Admiral Horatio Nelson

He is widely regarded as Britain's greatest military hero after destroying French and Spanish fleets at the Battle of Trafalgar and scuppering Napoleon's ability to launch an invasion. He visited Deal when his fleet was anchored in the Downs just off the coast. His aide-de-camp Captain Edward Parker was wounded in a Raid on Boulogne in 1801 so the Admiral arranged lodgings for him in Deal. Nelson Street is named after the Admiral as were the two Lord Nelson Pubs in Deal and Walmer.

The Duke of Wellington

Another hero from the Napoleonic Wars after his decisive victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Other than his longstanding military career, he also served as Prime Minister twice. He lived in Walmer Castle in his role as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports until his death at the age of 83 in 1852. The Duke also lived in Wellesley House in Walmer before the Peninsula War of 1807.

JMW Turner

While it is well known the famous, if not the most famous British painter, lived in Margate it is a little-known fact that he also lived in Deal. He was eccentric but also private and reclusive so when Margate became too popular he moved to Deal where he bought a two-storey property in Beach Street with view of the English Channel and Goodwin Sands. While in Deal he painted four works: Sailing Boat Off Deal, Deal, Off Deal and Deal in a Storm. The latter is owned by Deal Town Council.

Winston Churchill

The legendary statesman, war hero, Prime Minister and wartime leader, he was appointed Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle in 1941. An amateur artist, he painted The Beach at Walmer in 1938. The work was auctioned at Christies in 2011 for £313,250. Churchill was given the freedom of Deal and Dover in 1951 and visited Deal to inspect the Royal Marines.

Charles Hawtrey

Best known and loved for his roles in the Carry On franchise. He was a regular feature on some of the most famous films including Carry On Camping, Carry On Screaming and Carry On Cleo. However, as well-loved and liked as he was on-screen he was somewhat hard to get on with in real life. In fact, when he died there were only nine mourners at his funeral, including no friends or family. There is a plaque dedicated to where he used to live on Farrier Street. But he was not well-liked in the town, spending most of his time outrageously drunk, insulting locals and calling them peasants. He was also a hoarder with fellow Carry On star Kenneth Williams describing a visit to his co-star's house. All through it were old bedsteads which Hawtrey claimed he would earn a lot of money from them. Kenneth Williams said he was envious of Hawtrey's acceptance of his sexuality. Although, Hawtrey was extremely promiscuous as well as habitually drunk which did not garner him a lot of sympathy during his life. He died at the age of 73 in 1988, following a collapse in the doorway of the Royal Hotel in Deal, shattering his pelvis. After being rushed to hospital in Dover, he was told to be suffering from peripheral vascular disease from a lifetime of smoking. He was told he needed to have his legs amputated, which he refused. It is said that on his deathbed he threw a vase at a nurse who asked for an autograph.

Sir Norman Joseph Wisdom

The Wetherspoon pub is named after this resident who gained celebrity status for a series of comedy films between 1953 and 1966. He was hugely respected, with Charlie Chaplin describing Sir Norman as his 'favourite clown'. His fame was worldwide including places as far as South Africa, Iran and Eastern Bloc countries. During the Albanian communist dictatorship of Enver Hoxha, his films were the only Western movies allowed to be broadcast - making him a national icon. But he was also a philanthropist, making trips to Chernobyl where a wing was named after him in his honour.

Noel Fielding

Now known as one of the co-hosts of the wildly popular Great British Bake Off, Noel Fielding previously rose to fame for his work on the surrealistic The Mighty Boosh in the 2000s. He began stand-up in the 1990s, even at one point sharing a flat with Lee Mack in Edinburgh with fellow comedians Julian Barratt (co-writer of The Mighty Boosh), Simon Evans, and Lee Mack. Noel has also appeared in Channel 4's The IT Crowd, Nevermind The Buzzcocks, The End of Year Quiz and his own show Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy. If you frequent one of the many galleries or pubs in Deal you will find his artwork. A print of his David Bowie portrait hangs in The Taphouse and many of his works appear in the punk rock gallery Walk, Don't Walk.


Deal Pier repairs reel in local anglers …


Pier path reopens after complaint …

East Kent Mercury, 27th October 2021


Clocks go back on Sunday, 31st October 2021

This Sunday, 31st October at 2am, the UK reverts to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) by going back one hour, to 1am. This marks the official end of British summertime. The clocks always change on the last Sunday in March, and then again on the last Sunday of October. A useful way to remember the hour-change rule is "Spring forward, Fall back".


Deal 6th best place to live in Kent

Muddy Stilettos, 11th October 2021

WHY?

Located on the south Kent coast between Ramsgate and Dover, Deal is a worthy contender for being one of the coolest beach towns in the county. Think colourful buildings, seafront promenade, lots of indie shops, antique stores and handsome Georgian properties in the sought after conservation area.

EAT

No shortage in fine-food options here. Technically closer to France than London, it should come as no surprise that there is a deli in Deal selling a mouth-watering selection of French cheeses, olives, cold meats, freshly baked breads and quiches – called the No Name Shop.

Looking for the best brunch in town? Don’t miss this fab eaterie at the end of Deal’s iconic pier with beautiful water views, Deal Pier Kitchen.

Alternatively, head to 81 Beach Street, a fine-dining restaurant by the beach who have some of the best local produce and suppliers. Want to push the boat (and waistline) out ? Then book a table at Frog & Scot, a French bistro situated in the heart of Deal. Or we also love Victuals & Co for cool, contemporary dining.

SHOP

Do not miss the Hoxton Store to browse a wide range of fabulous home wear items, including Moorish rugs and brightly-coloured velvet cushions, plus they are also specialists in Vintage style lighting and components so you can create your own unique lighting arrangements.

There's also Dunlin & Diver a gallery and shop, selling contemporary, art, crafts and homewares from local to up-and-coming and well-known artists and designers.

Mileage, a vintage emporium, is also a must-do for browsing as it contains a treasure-trove of items that you really didn't think you needed until you clocked eyes on it in this dusty showroom full of electric pieces. Or for bespoke jewellery designers, Rees and Rees are a father and daughter collaboration with over 25 years' experience.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

In true Kent-coast, hipster-style Deal has a lively art scene with galleries and exhibitions, modern restaurants and café culture.

Don't Walk Walk is an independent art-run gallery boasting a 'punk rock' ethic and strong desire to offer something a little different. Or there's Taylor Jones & Son run by a husband and wife team who have put together a cutting-edge space where you can browse recognized artists such as Ned Kelly and Richard Friend as well as snap up prints, artefacts and curiosities for yourself.

Don't miss contemporary art gallery Linden Hall Studio which features a dedicated rolling exhibition space, they're also featuring someone cool and exciting. Plus there's Will & Yates bringing together art and interiors with pieces for the home and garden, textiles, ceramics and even skincare. Oooh we like!

There's also two castles to explore! Deal Castle which is one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England, and a must see on your visit to the quirky seaside town of Deal! And Walmer Castle once a Tudor artillery fortress that became a stately-home. Explore over eight acres of award-winning gardens, see the kitchen garden bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables, play in the Natural Play Area and stroll through the wildflower meadows and woodlands.

There's a particularly lovely trail from Deal to Walmer, six miles of a gentle coastal walk suitable for all ages and abilities, taking in beaches and castles along the way.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

Average house price: £334,896 good estate agents include Mr & Mrs Clarke and Miles & Barr.

SCHOOLS

For independents, you've got the wonderful Wellesley House along the coast in Broadstairs or Dover College that goes right the way through from 3-18 years.

There's also Northbourne Park School, a day and boarding prep school for nursery to 13 year-olds, just outside Deal.

And for secondary there's Sir Roger Manwood's Grammar School, up the road in Sandwich, it's a co-ed grammar which is both a day school and one of the few state boarding schools in England.

There are also excellent boys and girls individual grammar schools in Dover.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Location for TV show 'Liar' and while the storyline was pretty dark, there's no denying the rugged beauty of the landscape. Locals and visitors alike both love Deal Pier Kitchen, the seafront eatery with a view - they do great Supper Clubs too.

COMMUTE

Fast trains from Deal can take you into London, St Pancras International, on the high-speed rail in less than an hour and a half, slower trains can take more like 2 hours.


Deal among top 10 destinations to buy seaside holiday homes

Sam Williams, Kent Online 17 September 2021

Deal and Whitstable have made it onto the list of top 10 UK destinations to buy a seaside holiday home. The list compared 64 coastal resorts and ranked them based on average house price, health index and crime rate to see where the best place to buy a holiday home would be.

The survey also took into account happiness score and most popular searched for locations. The locations were then put in order based on a total score made up of their results for every metric. After adding up all the results, Parkdean Resorts, which commissioned the survey, ranked Whitstable and Deal in the top 10, coming in at seventh and 10th places respectively. Broadstairs in Thanet was ranked the 20th best seaside town for a holiday home.

The data shows that an average price for a house in Deal is £296,830.28 and the happiness score, according to the Office for National Statistics is, 7.59 out of 10. The average house price in Whitstable is the same as Deal, as is the happiness score, but the quality of health care comes out at 79.2% compared to 77.4%.

A spokesman for Parkdean said:

"Buying a holiday home is becoming an increasingly popular choice for those looking to enjoy what UK staycations have to offer, and with 2020 teaching us that we have much on offer right on our doorstep, seaside hotspots are looking like the preferred choice."

Swansea in Wales claimed the top spot on the list, followed by Plymouth in Devon, Lytham St Annes in Lancashire, Scarborough in North Yorkshire, and Robin Hood's Bay, also in North Yorkshire. Brighton was ranked in sixth place.

Earlier this year, Sandgate, between Folkestone and Hythe, was revealed as the number one trending seaside destination on Airbnb.


Deal Pier lower deck reopens to anglers

Sam Lennon, 27th August 2021

Deal Pier reopens to anglers after £63,000 in repairs, Dover District Council announces. Dover District Council, which owns the pier, has completed more than £63,000 worth of work to the lower deck following tidal surges and storm damage last year.

Comprehensive works have been undertaken to make the lower deck more resilient to damage from the English Channel during violent weather. The pier's concrete structure has been strengthened, and sections of damaged timber decking have been replaced with steel mesh through which high tides can flow. Handrails have also been replaced. The works were undertaken by contractors Aesir Construction of Eythorne.

Roger Walton, DDC's strategic director, said:

"Angling remains the nation’s top pastime and Deal Pier is one of the most popular local fishing venues. Since 2018, we've invested more than £1 million in Deal Pier, including the opening of Deal Pier Kitchen."

For more information on fishing from Deal Pier, see the leisure, culture and tourism section of the Dover District Council website.


Brocante returns, Monday 30th August 2021

KentOnline, 3 June 2021


Deal regatta returns

Beth Robson, KentOnline 22 July 2021

Regatta week is back with a bang bringing fireworks, sporting shenanigans and a carnival spectacular to Deal's streets. Emerging from the bleakness of Covid and 16 months of lockdown, the highlight of the town's calendar promises a vibrant yet traditional attraction - just like before.

John Trickey, chairman of Deal Community Carnival Association, said:

"It's been hard to organise this year with the restrictions that were in place but we believe that the events will bring tremendous joy to the town."

Saturday

A packed weekend of fun starts on Saturday with the Teddy Bear's Picnic, hosted by Deal's junior regatta court on Walmer Green between 2.30pm to 5.30pm. Teddies can be entered into the Deal Teddy court and selections will be at 3.30pm.

The Party on the Green is straight after and includes an 80s and 90s party from 7 - 9.30pm. Fireworks will be at 9.30pm. This is a free event featuring Invicta Sounds Mobile Disco.

Sunday

Energetic sporting activities begin with the Dinosaur 10k at 9.30am at Deal Castle for a 10am start. For entry forms pick up a copy of the Regatta programme.

Little ones have the chance to get competitive at the Hopscotch championship at Deal Seafront (Beach Street) at 1pm. There are heats for the under 8s and the under 11s.

The seafront is the focus for the 1km (1,000m) sea swim at 1.30pm at Downs Sailing Club. Swimmers will race to Deal Pier and back. This is followed by the mayhem of the Raft Race at Downs Sailing Club at 1.45pm for a 2.15pm start. It costs £10 per raft. Fancy dress is a must for the raft race.

The annual highlight - the 30 metre timed lorry pull - is at Beach Street. Registration is at 2.30pm before the start at 3.30pm.

Wednesday

The Baby Show makes a welcome return with classes including 'baby most like its mum' and 'glamorous granny'. This is at Betteshanger Sports and Social Club in Cavell Square at 1.45pm.

The tempo increases from 6pm at Beach Street for the 'Party on the Prom' featuring User Friendly and Johnny B. It's a chance for the town to be introduced to the carnival court before the carnival procession the next day.

Thursday

Vintage vehicles will be on display for Carnival Classic Car show on Walmer Green from noon. To book you car in, call 07730759383 or email gljt11@cloud.com.

From 7pm: It's back and entries are already bountiful for Deal Carnival.

Moving off from opposite Downs Sailing Club in The Beach in Walmer at 7pm, there will be new and exciting entrants including Dover Pride as well as traditional carnival courts on floats. This year's court is led by Miss Deal, Phoebe Mills, who was elected in February 2020 and her tenure has been held over until now.

Friday

That's the Caribbean Beach Party at Beach Street from 7pm.

Mr Trickey added:

"We are all excited to get back into the dancing fray and enjoy all that Deal has to offer."

Regatta week is entirely self-funding and benefits from no public funding except grants, sponsorships and donations. More information is available in the event programmes, costing £1 at shops in and around Deal including John Roper's and Nat West Bank.


Renovation of Deal seafront shelter

Sam Lennon, KentOnline, 5 July 2021

A seaside shelter has been renovated and another three in Deal will get similar makeovers this summer. The shelter on Deal Seafront was renovated by Dover District Council's in-house repairs team. It has had a range of general repairs and decorations, including woodwork repairs, repainting, the renovation of the dedication plaque from 1960, and repairs to the windows.

This is part of a series of improvements in the district being delivered from DDC's asset maintenance team.

Councillor Oliver Richardson, cabinet member for corporate property, said:

"We continue to work hard to keep the district looking great for residents and visitors alike. Deal Seafront is a beautiful location, and our teams are doing a marvellous job in renovating the shelters, while preserving the unique character and historic aspects of these popular and important assets."



Carl Ashington, left, from the repairs team is pictured with Councillor Oliver Richardson at the Deal shelter.

For seafront shelter fans see also:


Britain's seaside spots ranked by Which?

30 April 2021, Sean Poulter, The Daily Mail

Forget kiss-me-quick hats, sticks of rock and funfairs - Britain's favourite seaside spots now offer space, peace and pristine beaches. Bamburgh, in Northumberland, with its vast sandy beach and castle view, has been named the country's best-loved coastal destination. It is one of a number of smaller, less crowded holiday resorts that have been listed as the nation's favourites for a staycation visit.

Kent destinations:

  1. Dungeness 76%
  2. Deal 74%
  3. Broadstairs 72%
  4. Whitstable 71%
  5. Herne Bay 66%
  6. Folkestone 64%
  7. Ramsgate 64%
  8. Margate 57%

The survey of members by Which? is bad news for louder and more traditional destinations, particularly Skegness, Weston-super-Mare, Ilfracombe and Margate.

With more people expected to book a holiday at home than ever before as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumer champion sought out views on Britain's coastal towns and villages. The survey of more than 4,000 people ranked nearly 100 towns and villages and put Bamburgh at the top with a customer score of 85%, with five stars for its beaches, tourist attractions and scenery. And it received an additional five stars for value for money, with prices for accommodation being half those of some popular spots in Cornwall. Visitors were particularly fond of the castle, and despite the small size of Bamburgh village, the vastness of its beach meant it received four stars for peace and quiet, allowing visitors to easily distance themselves and avoid busy crowds. Other responses suggest word has spread about Bamburgh's appeal, with some encouraging visitors to reserve tables in the restaurants in advance as places are often booked up, and arrive at the castle early to secure a parking space.

Visitors rated nearly 60 British seaside destinations at 70% or above, while 30 were awarded four or five stars for peace and quiet.

Tynemouth, in Tyne and Wear, took joint second place alongside Dartmouth in Devon. Both received a visitor score of 84%, and five stars for their seafronts, while Tynemouth was given five stars for its beach and seafront, and four stars for scenery. Visitors to Tynemouth praised the selection and quality of restaurants and food options on offer, as well as the market at the Metro station at weekends. While those who had been to Dartmouth recommended taking a boat trip along the River Dart or the steam train from Paignton to get there.

Languishing at the bottom of the table for the second year in a row was Skegness, seen as being stuck in the past. It scored a lowly one star for its tourist attractions and scenery, and its beach was given three. However, visitors noted an improvement as the result of investment and refurbishment in the town centre and higher footfall, with more people holidaying in the UK.

Respondents recognised the family-friendly appeal of Skegness and its amusements. One commenter described it as 'unpretentious and a very pleasant place to visit', and encouraged visitors to 'enjoy the old fashioned 1950s atmosphere of a traditional English seaside town'.

Other destinations at the bottom end of the table included Weston-super-Mare (55%), Ilfracombe (56%) and Margate (57%). The editor of Which? Travel, Rory Boland, said:

"Many of us discovered the joy of a British summer holiday last year and the trend looks set to continue well into this summer. The results of our survey show that bigger is rarely better, with smaller and less crowded resorts taking the top spots over better-known destinations. Given the crowds and prices at some of Britain's most popular seaside destinations, the best news from the survey is just how many highly-rated destinations we have to choose from. Whether you want a village with a beach or a big town with all the fish and chips you can eat, there is a fantastic spot by the sea for you."


Danny Boyle's Sex Pistols biopic 'Pistol' to be filmed in Deal

Alex Jee, Kentonline, 20th April 2021

A star-studded cast is coming to Kent to film scenes for a new TV series directed by Danny Boyle. Filming for 'Pistol', which stars actors from 'Game of Thrones', '1917', 'Hollyoaks' and 'The Witcher', will be in the county at the end of the month.

The limited series will be based around the life and career of punk rock legend and Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Produced under the watchful eye of the award-winning director, the series is based on his 2018 memoir 'Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol', and will consist of six episodes. Film crews will be coming to both Deal and Folkestone this month to film various scenes.

Producers have approached Graham Stiles of the King's Head in Deal, with a view to setting up a crew base at Channel View Bed and Breakfast which he owns. The outdoor terrace known as The Square, has also been booked, and will be taped off while actors are filmed. Mr Stiles said:

"It's going to be great for the area. The crew will be staying at the B&B and this area (the Square) will be closed off while they film."

The crew will arrive in the town on Monday, 26th April, and filming will start two days later on Wednesday, 28th April.

Businesses in King Street have also been approached, including Mr Dapper Master Barbers and the Royal Leisure Centre.

Shortly after visiting Deal, filming will move to The Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone. The hotel will host an interior scene in which the protagonists perform in a restaurant, and the windows will be blacked out to help provide a night-time setting.

The show's stellar cast including Game of Thrones' Maisie Williams, who will play punk icon Jordan (aka Pamela Rooke), and Babyteeth's Toby Wallace as Jones. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, of Game of Thrones, Love Actually and The Maze Runner fame, has also recently joined the cast. Anson Boon is Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge is Sid Vicious and newcomer Jacob Slater is drummer Paul Cook.

In an announcement with FX, who commissioned the series, Oscar winner Danny Boyle described the Pistols' breakthrough as "the moment that British society and culture changed forever". The director and executive producer added:

"Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent … this is the moment that British society and culture changed forever."


The Third Pier - 1957

The third Deal pier, the only pleasure pier to be constructed since the war, is built on the site of the one it replaces. It was officially opened on Tuesday, 19th November 1957 by H.R.H. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. The band of the Royal Marines, a Guard of Honour and a very large concourse of people attended the grand opening ceremony. A presentation key made by Thomas Fattorini can be seen in the Town Hall. The design of this ceremonial key embodies the Ducal Coronet in silver gilt and enamel, and the Arms of the Borough on both sides, parcel gilt in blue and red enamel. A trident and rope border denote Deal's maritime associations.



The official opening by the Duke of Edinburgh on 19 November 1957

The Daily Express, Wednesday 20 November 1957 at page 9

The Man I Saved by Prince Philip

Prince Philip opening a new £250,000 pier at Deal, Kent, yesterday, said:

"I find I have a link with Deal - I helped to rescue your pier master."

To Captain Arthur Harris, the pier master, he said:

"Yes, I remember you. You're the chap who had the curious cargo."

Later, Captain Harris explained:

"I was first officer in a tanker blown up by a mine in the Thames approaches in April 1943. Our cargo was petroleum jelly, which was kept liquefied by the boilers. As the tanker broke in two, petroleum jelly poured out and solidified in a layer quite five feet thick on the top of the waves. "As we rowed through this the destroyer Wallace came along. A fair haired lieutenant helped us up the scramble nets. Later I asked who he was. I was told: 'Lieutenant Philip.'"


The Daily Mirror, Wednesday 20 November 1957 at page 2

Not Keen

The Duke of Edinburgh has an aversion for long piers, particularly Southend Pier, the longest in the world. He said so yesterday when he was opening the new £250,000 pier at Deal. It's a mere 900 ft. Said the Duke:

"I was very fond of piers as a child, but since I had to walk the whole length of Southend Pier (one and a third miles) during the war to get back to my ship, I haven't cared for them so much."


Monte Carlo or bust …

4th April 2021, Beth Robson, KentOnline

Bessie - the knitted car - to head to Monte Carlo from Dover for Martha Trust

A second hand car that's racked up thousands of miles in fundraising pilgrimages has been given a new lease of life - for another year. It means Bessie, the colourfully knitted Vauxhall often seen around Deal, can go on to take on another challenge for Hacklinge charity Martha Trust.

Her story is somewhat a fairytale of the rags to riches variety. Once upon a time, the little old green car was parked on a road in Gravesend. She was waiting for someone to buy her because her owner had bought a brand new car when she got snapped up for the bargain price of £600 she came to Deal. And that's when the fun really started.

Since then Bessie has been turning heads thanks to a unique make-over by keen knitters Pat Wilson and Jill Burford who knitted her a new patch-work cover bursting with colour and character. Her new woolly shell was so distinctive Bessie woke up to a new calling: to transport intrepid fundraisers to cities across Europe racking up thousands of miles and pounds for the charity that cares for young adults with profound disabilities. Since 2016 the £600 car has travelled with Pat Wilson and Jill Burford to Rome and Monte Carlo the following year. Then she went off with Jill Burford and Fay Franklin to Barcelona the year after that.

Bessie's team has raised £20,000 for Martha Trust to date. The tally contributes to the £235,000 it needs each year to provide care to those it supports. This has been done through sponsorship, casino night, raffles, auctions, quiz nights, music events and many generous donations. She has racked up guest appearances on TV and radio and has appeared in newspaper and magazine articles. She's also appeared at the NEC Craft Show, in Montreuil for World knitting day and has become a popular celebrity around the Deal area firstly in her beautiful knitted cover and then emblazoned with the Team Es-Car-go logo. Her team donated Bessie to Martha Trust to give her another adventure to Monte Carlo in 2020 however due to CoVid-19, the trip was unable to happen.

She has lots of experience, conquered the Pyrenees on her way to Barcelona and skirted Mont Blanc on the way to Rome, despite her dislike of hills. That's why she needed regular upkeep. Now thanks to Perry's in Whitfield her engine's running smoothly, her bodywork is intact and she is regularly serviced. and will be used by the Martha team for events. With her new yearly MOT, she's ready to be put back to good use.

Manager Chris Lavery says:

"Perrys Dover is more than happy to do whatever we can to keep Bessie on the road. The money she is raising is for such a worthwhile cause and is great; we love that we can make a difference and be part of this journey."

Fundraising and Events Officer Kerry Banks BEM says:

"Bessie's story is truly heart-warming and we feel very privileged that Jill, Pat and Fay bought her to take part in three of our annual car challenges and then donated her to continue to raise funds for Martha. We are incredibly grateful to the fabulous team at Perrys Dover who have made sure Bessie is roadworthy and safe for her adventures on a yearly basis – their support is invaluable!"

This year's car challenge is Monte Carlo Madness.

A team of cars, all worth less than £600, will be leaving Dover on 4th September. Each team has to pledge to raise a minimum of £1,500 in sponsorship. In return Martha organises channel crossings, accommodation and flights home. To sign up, please visit marthatrust.org.uk/montecarlomadness, email fundraising@marthatrust.org.uk or call 01304 610448. The event has been rolled over from 2020 and hopes to go ahead, pending restrictions.


Deal 'virtually Covid-free'

27th March 2021, Phil Hayes, KentOnline

The 10 Kent towns which are virtually Covid-free.

While there has been an uptick in cases in Kent over the past week, there are still several towns which are virtually Covid-free. Infection rates are lowest in the Sevenoaks district, with just 20 positive tests recorded in the seven days up to 21st March, the latest available figures.

But across the entire county there are areas where weekly cases are in single figures - even in Swale, which once had the highest infection rate in the UK. Queenborough, on the Isle of Sheppey, is one of 10 towns in Kent where fewer than three cases have been recorded. When this happens, the Government does not show any data on its interactive map, in order to "protect individuals' identities".

Meanwhile, Hythe, New Romney, Lydd and Hawkinge - which all fall under the same district - are also virtually Covid-free. The same applies to Deal and neighbouring Sandwich.

Fewer than three positive tests have been recorded in both Deal and Sandwich.

Over in the west of the county, Edenbridge, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks town also recorded two or fewer cases over this period. However, Kent's infection rate as a whole rose from 19.8% to 33.6 per 100,000 people. Medway's fell 3.1% to 34.1%. Back on 4th January, Kent's rate was 869.6 and in Medway it was 1,168.2, highlighting how drastically the outlook has changed over the past couple of months.

The recent uptick comes as restrictions are loosened from Monday in the next stage of the Prime Minister's roadmap out of lockdown. The Government anticipates that cases could rise further as more of our freedoms return.

But crucially, this time ministers and scientists will be looking at whether the roll-out of the vaccine to the most vulnerable people means the NHS will not become overwhelmed. Latest figures show there are 90 people in Kent's hospitals with Covid, plummeting 93% from 1,341 on 4th January.

Meanwhile, deaths have also fallen this month. Eighty people from Kent and Medway have died after testing positive for Covid in March, compared to 1,454 in January. Full list of towns with two or fewer Covid cases as of March 21:


Deal on Sunday Times 'Best Places to Live in 2021' list for the south east

26th March 2021, Steve Waite, Kent Online

Two Kent towns are among the top 10 places to live in the south east in 2021 according to an annual list published by the Sunday Times. Deal has been added for its 'swanky but sensible high street' and Sevenoaks was praised for its 'top-class schools, a hands-on community and rolling countryside'.

The Sunday Times guide looks for improving towns, villages or city centres, for attractive, well designed homes and community spirit. It judges areas on topics such as broadband, air quality and schools. Deal is described as 'underrated' and where "the sophisticated and the sensible are nicely balanced and come with a sea view". The guide says it's perfect if you want "a thriving seaside town that’s salty and sophisticated".

"Cosy pubs and wine bars abound, and dining options are plentiful: the Pop Up Café for lunch, Middle Street Fish Bar for cod and chips on the beach, Frog and Scot for post-lockdown French cuisine and Walmer Castle (a real castle, not a pub) for an atmospheric Sunday lunch with veg from the garden."

Deal With It, an environmentally-minded community group, gets a mention for its regular beach cleans and seed and plant swaps, as well as its community hop garden and community-grown beer.

Stroud in Gloucestershire was named the best place to live in the UK, while the Surrey Hills were the best in the south east.

Helen Davies, The Times and Sunday Times property editor, said:

"This guide has never been so important. The pandemic has taught us just how much we rely on our homes, our communities and our surroundings. With working from home now common, it's no surprise that many of us are reassessing our priorities and thinking hard about where we really want to live. Our focus for this year has been community, countryside and convenience. It hasn't been a year for big cities or small villages. Instead it is small towns that have shone: big enough to have everything you need within walking distance and small enough for everyone to feel connected."


Clocks go forward on Sunday, 28th March 2021

This year the clocks go forward by an hour on Sunday, 28th March, marking the start of British Summer Time (BST). BST will begin at 01:00 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), meaning that people in the UK will have one hour less sleep as 1am becomes 2am. The reasoning behind switching to BST is to have more daylight in the evenings. GMT resumes in autumn, on Sunday, 31st October. At 02:00 BST, the clocks will go back an hour to become 01:00 GMT again. This is so there is more daylight hours during the winter months. An easy way to remember how clocks change is the phrase: 'Clocks spring forward in spring and fall back in the fall'.


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