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|Broadstairs to Margate: The Dickens and Turner Trail|
|Author: Claire, Published: 03 Sep 2012||Walk Rating:|
|A 6 mile linear trail running from Broadstairs rail station to Margate rail station in east Kent. The return leg can be completed with just a six minute train journey. The walk begins with an exploration of Broadstairs’ sea front with its beautiful beach and the promenade set on the low cliff edge with a wide range of shops, hotels, cafes and restaurants. The route continues heading out through the small village of St Peter’s and through open farmland to reach Margate. Here you’ll have chance to see the traditional British seaside resort with its beautiful expanse of golden sand. |
Broadstairs has strong connections with the writer Charles Dickens and Margate is closely associated the artist JMW Turner and throughout the walk you’ll have chance to learn more about these two icons of British cultural history.
The walk is almost entirely flat and there are no stiles or gates. The paths are all well made tarmac or stone surfaces which are in most part wide but do narrow quite a lot through the open farmland and so it may be tight for wider pushchairs. There are public toilets in Crofts Place in Broadstairs, just off the High Street, about five minutes into the walk. Approximate time 2.5 to 3 hours, plus extra time to explore any of the attractions.
The walk starts from Broadstairs rail station and ends at Margate rail station. If you are coming by car the best plan is to park at Margate rail station and then catch the train (a six minute journey) to Broadstairs before walking back. Frequencies of the train service vary so check before you travel. Approximate post code for Margate Station CT9 5AD.
|Start to Bleak House|
Start point: 51.3606 lat, 1.4337 long
If you are travelling by car, park at Margate Station and then catch the train to Broadstairs Station where the walk begins.
|Bleak House to Dickens House|
Start point: 51.3598 lat, 1.4453 long
Bleak House was built in 1801 and was the home of the local fort captain during the Napoleonic Wars. Charles Dickens leased the house from 1837 to 1859, spending every one of the 22 summers here with his family. It was here that he wrote David Copperfield and also began work on Bleak House. The house was then called Fort House and was renamed Bleak House after Dickens’ death in 1870. Bleak House today is a hotel, tea rooms and smuggling museum and guided tours are available (fees apply) which include Charles Dickens’ study.
|Dickens House to Crampton Tower|
Start point: 51.3582 lat, 1.4424 long
Dickens House, now a museum, was immortalised by Dickens as the home of David Copperfield’s aunt, Miss Betsy Trotwood. It was here that Dickens watched the ‘Donkey Fights’ and both the cottage and the donkey fights were made famous in the novel, David Copperfield. The museum is open during the summer months.
|Crampton Tower to Dickens Mosaics|
Start point: 51.3599 lat, 1.4332 long
Crampton Tower is a flint tower and was built in 1859. It formed part of the first Broadstairs public water supply. The engineer responsible, Thomas Russel Crampton, is chiefly remembered as a designer of railways and locomotives, but he was also concerned with gas, water works and the submarine telegraph cable. He was the first to succeed in laying an effective telegraph cable under the English Channel. The tower now houses a museum, but limited opening times apply.
|Dickens Mosaics to St Peter's Church|
Start point: 51.3626 lat, 1.4277 long
Continue ahead beyond the crossroads and the road becomes the High Street. On the right, through a green gate, look out for the Nuckell’s Almshouse built in 1858 with a beautiful statue of mother with children above the door. St Peter’s village history is brought to life once a week when costumed characters give guided tours telling the history of the local workhouses, residents and church.
|St Peter's Church to Rail Bridge|
Start point: 51.365 lat, 1.419 long
St Peter’s Church was built of flint in 1070 and was later enlarged. The church tower is 82ft high and it was used as a watch tower during the Napoleonic Wars.
|Rail Bridge to Turner Mosaics|
Start point: 51.3776 lat, 1.3956 long
Cross over the bridge and continue ahead on the tarmac path as it swings left heading once again for the windmill. Go straight on through the squeeze gap and onto the quiet road. Pass by a primary school on the left and on the right you will come to Drapers Mill.
|Turner Mosaics to Turner Gallery|
Start point: 51.3856 lat, 1.384 long
These mosaics depict some of the works by the artist JMW Turner. Born in London in 1775, Turner was a renowned landscape painter using both oils and watercolour. Around 1786, Turner was sent to Margate where he produced a series of early drawings of the town. Turner would return to Margate many times in later life. One of Turner’s many legacies is the Turner prize, a prestigious art award which began in 1984 in his honour.
|Turner Gallery to End|
Start point: 51.3911 lat, 1.3818 long
The Turner Contemporary is a contemporary art space which commemorates the association of Margate with Turner. Opened in April 2011 by another local artist, Tracey Emin, the gallery has three stories of exhibitions and entrance is free.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Fab walk. Two great towns with plenty to see along the walk.
|By Richard on 14 Oct 2012|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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