Botany Road Margate Kent CT10 3LG
Thanet boasts a string of great beaches, but blue-flag Botany Bay has to be the most dramatic. A broad swathe of golden sand and clean water overlooked by lofty stacks hewn from the local chalk, it’s a striking vision – and one that you’ll see reproduced countless times on local tourist board leaflets, posters and ad campaigns. Despite that, it's relatively uncommercialised, with safe paddling and swimming (there are lifeguards on duty in summer), and is great when the tide’s out – dotted with rockpools, it’s a favourite haunt for fossickers and sandcastle-builders alike. There are no facilities other than toilets and occasional ice cream kiosk on the beach itself, but you’ll find a lovely little tearoom, the Botany Bay Tea Gardens, on the road at the top of the cliff (Thurs–Sun, good weather only). No dogs allowed May–Oct 10am–6pm.