Broadstairs

  • Hilderstone College

    Since 1970, Hilderstone College has developed an international reputation for quality and individual attention to every student's needs. Located in the lovely seaside town of Broadstairs in south-east England, just 80 minutes from London, we offer a wide range of intensive English, university preparation, business English and exam preparation courses for adult learners (age 16+). From 2017 we are running courses for teenage groups (aged 14-16). The College also specialises in teacher development...

Broadstairs beach

This coastal town in scenic Kent is a fun place to learn English.

By day, Broadstairs is a quaint and relaxing place. There is an overall vibe of Victorian nostalgia and many of the local businesses play up the connection with its most famous celebrity, the novelist Charles Dickens, who used to spend his summer here.

Enjoy the nostalgic seaside charm of this picturesque English town, with its stylish boutiques, retro ice cream shops, fisherman’s cottages and surfing schools.

Fans of Charles Dickens will love the Dickens House Museum and Bleak House, his former residence overlooking Viking Bay. During June, the locals dress in Dickensian costumes for the annual Broadstairs Dickens Festival. Another famous Broadstairs festival takes place in August, when the town is filled with traditional and contemporary folk music.

A great way to explore Broadstairs is the Broadstairs Town Trail, a self-guided walk that takes visitors all over the town. Its 10 illustrated boards and pamphlets explain the fascinating history of the buildings and local people.

Broadstairs has a row of classic beach huts that have appeared in various films and fashion shoots and it is a popular day trip for fashionable Londoners in search of a retro experience.

At weekends, you’ll find many people walking along Viking Bay Beach, watching the waves on the sand or enjoying the views from one of the traditional style ice cream parlours. Among the many places to eat, Osteria Posilippo is an excellent trattoria-style Italian restaurant run by a real Italian family. It was ranked one of the top 10 Italian restaurants in the UK by The Independent newspaper.

By night, Broadstairs has a lively atmosphere, with a good range of pubs, restaurants and bars attracting locals and tourists. A short bus ride away is Westwood Cross, a large shopping centre and entertainment park that opened in 2005. It features many popular high street stores as well as a Vue cinema, a casino and many restaurants.

Explore more of East Kent from your Broadstairs base

For surfing, head out to nearby Botany Bay and Joss Bay, also popular for sunbathing and swimming in summer. Along the coast, take a tour of the World War I Ramsgate Tunnels or a boat trip from the only Royal Harbour in England. A bus called the Thanet Loop runs every 10 minutes between Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, so it’s easy to check out the many local attractions, including Dreamland, the original UK “Pleasure Park”, which has classic side shows and historic fairground rides. Margate has the striking Turner Gallery, which exhibits contemporary art, and just 17 miles away is Canterbury, with its historic centre and famous cathedral.