Turner and Dickens Walk
- Credit: Archant
Head out for a day at the East Kent seaside and discover the fantastic landscapes that inspired world-renowned artist JMW Turner and author Charles Dickens
Explore Margate’s buzzing artistic hub with attractions galore and then enjoy some peace and quiet as you head across country to the traditional seaside town of Broadstairs, where you can take a break at one of the lovely beachside eateries.
The four mile signposted route that can be walked in either direction and is designed to be accessible for all. Much of the walk is based on the ancient path linking St Peter’s Church, Broadstairs with St John’s Church in Margate. It combines urban and rural Thanet, starting and finishing at the two harbours which date back to the Tudor period. Marker posts have been put up every 250m along the middle section of St Peter’s Footpath and distinctive black and white signs with the “T&D” logo can be found along the way, to help keep you on the right track!
Start at Margate Harbour Arm next to the Turner Contemporary Gallery and turn right along the promenade, cross the road and walk up Duke Street. This passes close the much anticipated Dreamland vintage amusement park set to re-open on 19th June (visit www.dreamland.co.uk for more details). Not to mention the curious Shell Grotto showcasing secret passages lined with 4.6 million shells!
JMW Turner was 11 when he first came to Margate, later becoming a frequent visitor to the town, inspired by the unique quality of light. The Turner Contemporary gallery is built where once stood the guest house in which Turner stayed. The gallery exhibits work by Turner but there is a focus on twentieth century and contemporary practice, featuring work by internationally renowned artists including one of Margate’s own, the famous Tracey Emin, for more information visit www.turnercontemporary.org.
As you leave Margate and venture into the peaceful countryside be sure to visit one of only two surviving windmills in Thanet. Drapers Mill is a smock mill built by John Holman in 1847 and is open to visitors on Sunday afternoons in June and July and Saturday and Sunday afternoons in August.
You’ll also pass through the historic village of St Peter’s, brought to life in award winning village tours on Thursdays. Costumed characters from past centuries help bring the past to life as you hear about conditions in the local workhouse plus infamous local residents. See www.villagetour.co.uk for more information.
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You’re next stop is bustling Broadstairs High Street, look out for the large white house, Pierremont Hall, built in 1785 Queen Victoria stayed here as an 8-year old princess in 1827, it now houses the Town Council offices.
The last stop on your journey is Dickens House Museum. Miss Mary Pearson Strong was the owner when Dickens was a frequent visitor to Broadstairs; he later based the character of Betsey Trotwood in his novel David Copperfield on her. If you’re visiting in June be sure to check out the Dicken’s festival, from 13th – 19th June more details at http://www.broadstairsdickensfestival.co.uk/.
If you manage to cram that all into a day, take advantage of relaxing on the beautiful beach at Broadstairs or soak up the fabulous coastal views with some local fayre at one of the fantastic restaurants.
For more information on walking in Kent visit www.explorekent.org for information about attractions, accommodation and eating out in Kent head to www.visitkent.co.uk.