Viking Bay

Broadstairs Kent CT10 1NB

Broadstairs, the smallest of the seaside resorts strung along the Thanet coast, is surrounded by half a dozen or more sandy bays. If you're looking for family fun, however, the town strand – officially called Viking Bay – is the one to beat. Curving round from the tiny timber harbour and stubby pier, the beach sweeps in a pretty arc below steep cliffs above – stairs and an old-fashioned lift connect the two. Everything is delightfully low-key, from the little row of beach huts to the short boardwalk that snakes through the sand, and there's a safe tidal pool for when the waves have receded. It can get pretty crowded on sunny days with local families building sandcastles and chasing waves – there's also a seasonal surf school, and children's rides including trampolines, boat swings and a bouncy giraffe. In November, the beach is the location of the hugely popular town fireworks display. No dogs allowed May–Sept.

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