Broadstairs was described by Charles Dickens as "Our English Watering Place". The world famous author visited Broadstairs regularly between 1837 and 1859. While staying at Bleak House he wrote David Copperfield and in recognition of the links between Broadstairs and Charles Dickens the town hosts the annual Dickens festival in the third week of June where Dickensian characters can be seen wandering the streets and welcoming any who chooses to visit the celebrations. The Dickens House Museum is open from April from 1pm to 5pm for the summer season.
The town has a wide variety of restaurants and cafes, so there is something for everyone’s taste or pocket. Broadstairs has Morelli’s and Chiappinis ice cream parlours and a wide variety of shops including a hardware store, Harringtons in York Street; there are national chains including Tesco, Co-op and Boots in the High Street; and independent shops offering a wide range of goods from items for the beach to Wellington boots for when it rains.
Broadstairs has a number of events during the year. One highlight is the Broadstairs Folk Week music festival held every August. Not limited to just folk music, the week also features dance and festivities that celebrate the town's musical heritage. The Folk Week Festival is well supported both by residents and visitors to the area.
Victoria Gardens and the Bandstand overlook the beautiful Viking Bay beach. The bandstand is used regularly with bands playing music throughout the summer. Broadstairs has a quaint and beautiful town centre with its narrow streets filled with interesting shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. There are art galleries and the Palace Cinema where you can watch the latest films in a Grade II listed building. The cinema is housed in what was originally The York Gate Hall built in 1911 and was only converted to a cinema in 1965. Although the cinema only has 111 seats, it is fitted with the latest digital projector and Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound, and also has air conditioning.
"You cannot think how delightful and fresh the place is and how good the walks." Charles Dickens.