Whether keeping local or heading a bit further afield, Bellevue is the perfect base to experience the beauty of Kent.
the Garden of England
Spectacular coastlines, dramatic cliffs, georgeous beaches, rolling green hills, historic cities and towns, eclectic art and culture – there is so much to do and see in Kent, the Garden of England.
Here are just some that we recommend.
On your doorstep
Herne Bay Beach, Pier & Promenade
At Bellevue, you are not only just yards from the beach but also a stone’s throw from Herne Bay’s most famous attractions, including the world’s first freestanding purpose-built Clock Tower, the town’s historic sea defence jetty (also known as Neptune’s Arm) and its famous pier, promenade and central bandstand. An English seaside town wouldn’t be complete, of course, without amusement arcades, beach huts and pit stops to indulge in fish and chips, ice cream and candy floss!
10-min drive or 1hr clifftop walk
Reculver Towers & Roman Fort
Breathtaking coastline walks don’t come much better than the clifftop Saxon Shore Trail between Herne Bay and Reculver, home to one of the earliest Roman forts built against Saxon raids on the ‘Saxon Shore’. Simply turn right out of the front entrance of Bellevue and hug the coastline – the imposing Reculver Towers command the Herne Bay skyline so you can’t miss it! An excellent cycle route, the Oyster Bay Trail, also runs through the Reculver Country Park.
15 min drive or 2hr COASTAL HIKE
After marvelling at the Roman towers and fort, cyclists or keen walkers that continue down the coastline will reach Minnis Bay, a secluded sandy beach popular for windsurfing, water sports and kite surfing. The family-friendly stretch of beach is almost flat and bordered by sand dunes. At low tide, a large expanse of sand is exposed and is ideal for walking, ball games and sunbathing.
10-min drive or 1hr coastal walk
Famed for its oysters, and the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival in the summer, Whitstable is brimming with fresh seafood restaurants. If you fancy the walk from Bellevue, the first Whitstable landmark to greet you after an hour or so of seaside trekking, through the Tankerton Slopes, is Whitstable Castle, whose attractive gardens make for a pleasant pitstop. Elsewhere in Whitstable, watch the fishermen at work on the vibrant harbour or embrace the bohemian vibe while getting lost in the wide array of quirky boutique shops and galleries.
20-min drive or 1hr coastal cycle
Turner Contemporary, Margate
MARGATE has transformed into an art lover’s dream in recent years, thanks in large part to the internationally-acclaimed Turner Contemporary gallery, which sits majestically beside the town’s trendy Old Town. For more of a family-friendly day out, Dreamland Margate offers fun for all ages with its vintage amusement park, programme of live music events and retro Roller Disco.
20-min drive or 45-min cycle
This ancient city, with its cobbled, medieval streets and intricate links to Britain’s history, is richly deserving of its UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The jewel in its crown is the awe-inspiring Canterbury Cathedral, England’s first cathedral and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England. A fantastic day trip.
25-min drive or 1hr 15-min coastal cycle
Botany Bay, Broadstairs
Filled with nostalgic seaside charm, Broadstairs boasts seven sandy beaches. Arguably the most famous is Botany Bay, with its distinctive chalk stacks, but it’s also worth visiting Stone Bay, Joss Bay and the centrally located Viking Bay. The latter is home to Kent Surf School and Dickens House Museum. Broadstairs was Charles Dickens’ favourite holiday spot and the museum, the former home of the woman who inspired Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield, presents a wealth of Dickens memorabilia.
White Cliffs of Dover
No list of the top attractions in Kent – indeed the whole of the UK – is complete without the White Cliffs of Dover. A truly iconic British landmark and a symbol of hope and freedom which has endured for centuries, the White Cliffs of Dover is a bonafide national treasure. If this site’s fascinating military history doesn’t tempt you to visit, its immense natural beauty surely will.