I spent the first 18 years of my life in Walmer, the village that adjoins the town of Deal in Kent. When I was 18 all I wanted to do was to leave for the excitement of London, but by my thirties Deal had become my favourite place to return to. I brought my young family to Deal often and we rented a cottage in Nelson Street which is situated in the picturesque conservation area of the town. I’ve travelled extensively over the years but Deal remains my favourite place to visit and I visit as often as I can.
A Port Without A Harbour
Deal, Kent is unique in once having been a port without a harbour. The anchorage known as The Downs located between the Deal shoreline and the Goodwin Sands provided shelter for ships in the channel, and Deal became a thriving port, later defended by several castles. It has a fascinating history, equally famed for heroism and villainy. Over time it has been a garrison town, a mining town and lately a thriving seaside resort. See the post on The Historic Town of Deal for more on this subject.
The Many Pleasures of Deal
There are many pleasures to be had whilst staying in Deal. Here are ten of my favourites things to do in the town, in no particular order:
- A stroll along the broad promenade and then onto the pier (said to be the same length as the Titanic but actually 200 ft longer)
- A walk through the winding narrow streets of the conversation area to admire the restored cottages and town houses, and perhaps to visit one of the fine old pubs like The Ship Inn, The Deal Hoy or the Royal Hotel.
- Coffee or a bite to eat in the Black Douglas (run by the descendants of the Scottish knight)
- Sitting out on the seafront in front of the picturesque Kings Arms
- Shopping for fresh fish at Jenkin’s fishmongers
- Lunch or dinner at 81 Beach Street
- Shopping in the boutiques of the High Street (Deal was the inaugural High Street of the year for the Daily Telegraph in 2014)
- Browsing the produce and bric-a-brac at Deal Market on a Saturday morning
- A visit to the nearby visit to the picturesque former fishing village of Kingsdown immediately south of Walmer and the beachside pub The Zetland Arms
- And of course…taking pictures of one of my favourite places in the world – my first Deal Gallery can be found here and the second here.