Sandgate

Boat outside the Sangate HotelSecret Treasures
Sandgate is an attractive seaside village between the ancient coastal towns of Hythe and Folkestone.

Long uncrowded beaches with views across to France are its most obvious asset. Towards Folkestone cliffs rise above the beach with a fully restored coastal park offering an attractive woodland environment for picnics and leisure overlooking the sea. There are sandy beaches in Folkestone, and you can indulge in powered watersports (including jet skis) at Seabrook.

Sandgate itself has an interesting cluster of antique shops as well as pretty old houses (and a small Tudor castle, used as a private residence). Further up the hill Folkestone is re-inventing itself as a national centre for art, with a growing number of galleries stretching from the large public Metropole gallery (close to Sandgate) to the Creative Quarter around the old harbour.

Sandgate earns a 2013 seaside awardThe area is rich in history. Canterbury, the seat of English Christianity, is less than half an hour away. The constant threat of invasion is reflected in the huge and ancient castle at Dover, as well as the Cinque Port castles in Walmer and Deal and the Martello towers all along the coastline.

Go to the north Kent coast (45 minutes) for the famous oysters of Whitstable. Go south to Romney Marsh for its unique atmosphere. For a truly surreal experience take the miniature railway from Hythe to Dungeness, where seaside shacks on the bleak beach (including the artist Derek Jarmanís famous home and garden) nestle alongside an important RSPB bird reserve. Or take a literary trail across the Marsh, passing the homes of Joseph Conrad and E Nesbitt on the way to Henry Jamesí house in the picturesque village of Rye.

Drive through the upland valleys between Folkestone, Canterbury and Dover and experience areas of outstanding natural beauty. Visit gardens, vineyards, or Britainís oldest brewery in the historic port of Faversham.

The Channel Tunnel terminal is an easy 10 minute drive away. Eurostar train services to Paris, Brussels and other destinations run from Ashford International station, a 25 minute drive. Dover, the busiest port in Britain with its wide choice of cross channel ferries, is 20 minutes away.

Places of interest in and around Sandgate.