Deal, Kent is one of my favourite locations anywhere. It one of the most picturesque and enjoyable places on the British coast to visit. I was raised there and get back to visit as often as I can.
Deal Photography Galleries
There are three galleries of black and white photographs of Deal on this site:
Articles on Deal
There are also several articles on the town on this site.
- The many pleasures of Deal describes some of the best ways to enjoy the town.
- There is an article on Deal history and companion posts on Deal’s famous visitors and residents and the pubs of old Deal.
- There is even an article on the other towns around called Deal in other countries.
Photographic Opportunities in Deal
The rest of this page describes some of the best photographic opportunities the town has to offer.
Deal Photography Opportunity #1 – The Boats
Whilst the luggers that used to cover the beach in Deal, it is still the most obvious place to start. There are usually a couple of old boats from the early twentieth century and several working boats to shoot on the shingle beach. There is also winding gear and f lobster pots aplenty. I have put together a gallery of boat shots, all taken on film – you can view them at my boats of Deal, Kent gallery.
Photography Opportunity #2 – The Pier
One of just eight piers in the Southeast and 60 surviving nationally, the current pier is the third sited at Deal, Kent. The history of the piers makes for interesting reading in this article. Built from reinforced concrete, the current 1026 feet pier was opened in 1957 by the Duke of Edinburgh.
The pier provides excellent views of the seafront, and photographers are often able to take advantage of the amazing cloud formations that gather over the town, which is one of the highlights of Deal photography. Visitors to the pier are welcomed at the entrance by a 3 metre high bronze statue, ‘Embracing the Sea’, by sculptor John Buck, which is also very photogenic. The pier is popular with anglers and has benches lining its entire length as well as a number of shelters. Catches include mackerel, garfish, mullet, pollack and sole in summer with whiting and codling in winter.
Photography Opportunity #3 – The Conservation Area
The town developed a mile or so inland from the coast, in an area now known as Upper Deal, where the ancient Parish church of St. Leonard’s stands with its distinctive cupola. In the seventeenth century development shifted closer to the beach in Lower Deal along the three streets that run parallel to the shore – Beach, Middle Street and Lower Street (now the High Street). Middle Street is now the heart of the picturesque conservation area (the first in Kent) with numerous narrow streets and alleys. Deal was a smuggling town and the alleys were ideal for taking contraband from boats on the beach into the town.
At one time these narrow streets also contained a very large number of pubs. At its peak in 1871 the town had 79 Public Houses and 16 Beer Houses for a population of around 8,000 people! See the post The Pubs of Old Deal for more on this subject. There are still a good number of great pubs to visit in the old part of the town, my favourites being The Ship Inn, which takes a good photography, and The Deal Hoy.
Photography Opportunity #4 – The Seafront and Promenade
The area near the popular Kings Head pub is particularly attractive with plenty of bench seating shared with the nearby Port Arms. The pub and the guest house next door is decorated with flowers and bunting in the summer and it really is a great place to sit and relax. The seafront promenade extends from Sandown to Kingsdown and provides a wonderful walk with photographic opportunities provided by the boats, beach houses and the pier.
Photography Opportunity #5- The Timeball Tower
The town also used to be a port, providing for the ships anchored in the sheltered anchorage known as the Downs and has one of only seven surviving timeballs in the UK. The Timeball Tower is four-storeys high and stands at where the entrance of the old Naval Yard used to be. The tower, with a huge anchor in the foreground, makes for an interesting subject.
Photography Opportunity #6 – The Castles
By the time of Henry VIII the importance of the Downs made the coastline worthy of protection. Two of the original three castles built at that time survive. The artillery fortress at Deal, Kent (constructed 1539–40) is squat and functional. Another is close by at Walmer but this has evolved into an elegant stately home where the Duke of Wellington stayed in his role as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports until his death at the age of 83 in 1852. A third castle at nearby Sandown was lost to the sea and is now little more than a rockery, though the area is still worth a visit.
Photography Opportunity #7 – Out and About in South East Kent
Whilst photography in Deal, Kent provides plenty of photographic opportunities, the town is also a great base for photographers to explore the rest of South East Kent. Folkestone, Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Canterbury are all within easy reach. Further afield, Whitstable and Dungeness beckon. I often visit these destinations when I stay in Deal, but the town itself remains my favourite place anywhere.
Summary of Deal Resources on this Site
- Black and white photography gallery of Deal
- Black and white photography gallery of Deal 2
- The boats of Deal (black and white film gallery)
- The Many pleasures of Deal (article)
- The History of Deal (article)
- The Pubs of Old Deal (article)
- Famous Visitors and Residents of Deal (article)
- History of photography timeline (article)