Where to go this Summer? Who to see and in what order? The end of lockdown is a welcome relief after the terror of last Spring when a new killer disease stole over our country and enforced isolation struck everyone. Now there is a window of respite. International travel remains subject to some uncertainty, but there are unlimited options to explore our own country and reunite with family and friends. To reconnect and enjoy company and activities.
So it was brilliant to see the Deal Carnival and Regatta putting on so much fun for everyone this week. From lorry pulls to spectacular fireworks to the carnival floats, and more besides. Congratulations to all on the organising committee for a tremendous job this year which has really lifted spirits.
With so many people enjoying staycations, where better to go than our corner of Kent? Here in Dover and Deal, we have amazing beaches and breath-taking countryside. The views from our White Cliffs across to the French coast are incredible. While the walk across the chalk meadow from the Langdon Cliffs to the South Foreland lighthouse is a particular highlight. A walk that combines panoramic sea views and with the best of British chalk meadow, flora and fauna. The White Cliffs Walking Festival at the end of August is back on this year. In previous years it has attracted well over 1000 walkers, with well-organised walks from 2 miles to 30 miles and a range of different routes and experiences in our White Cliffs Country.
Beyond the walks, we have the great Castles of Dover, Deal and Walmer and the fabulous Battle of Britain memorial at Capel-Le-Ferne, as well as some of the nation’s best golf courses and excellent hotels and accommodation for visitors to come and stay in.
After a great day out, our community boasts fine pubs and restaurants to enjoy as well. The seafront plaza in Deal packed on summer days with people enjoying fine food at Dunkerleys and good drink at a number of excellent pubs. Dover’s new Clocktower Square and Pier complementing and extending the Dover seafront, the Dover Marina Hotel and the Sea Sports Centre.
Our area has so much culture, sport and entertainment as well, with the Astor Theatre running a varied programme of events that is well worth a look and the firm favourite, the East Kent Railway. As well as a range of activities at Betteshanger country park, including a 5km family fun run, archery and outdoor assault courses.
That’s why in a year in which it is better to stay and play, Dover, Deal and our coastal and countryside villages remain among the best places in the UK to visit – and to live.
It’s been a terrible time during the pandemic. There’s a window to refresh, renew and recharge this August – let’s make the most of it.