Ranked by The Times as the 'best place to live in Britain' in 2018, for a restful weekend we can highly recommend the coastal town of Deal, Kent.
Eight miles northeast of Dover, with views of France from the shore, the town is filled with colourful, Georgian architecture, a bustling high street and a clean, peaceful seafront.
Here are our top five tried and tested things to do:
Deal Castle: One of three fortresses built by Henry VIII along this part of Britain's coastline. The largest of the three, discover the history of the castle, originally built to ward off the threat of invasion from the rest of Catholic Europe. Located right by the seafront, you can slowly walk back into town after and enjoy the views.
Smugglers Records: A haven for music lovers, spend hours searching through vintage records or enjoying a great coffee in this unique venue. Run by a not-for-profit folk & roots label, the team have released more than twenty records, run six festivals and now own their own record shop in Deal with live in store sessions.
Discover more: https://shop.smugglersrecords.com/
Deal Pier: Located right in the centre of Deal's seafront, bathe in the sun as you walk down the pier, originally built in 1838 before being destroyed in a gale. Reopened in 1957, the pier is a popular location for fishing and crabbing for the kids. See what you can catch, or enjoy a delicious meal in the popular cafe at the end.
Market Days: As well as a monthly Farmer's market, you can indulge in a range of local food or discover unusual antiques at one of Deal's three weekly markets. Held in the Town Hall on Wednesday and Friday, or the Union Road car park on a Saturday, it's well worth going for the delicious cakes and chutneys alone. A true community feel.
Middle Street: Due to Deal's position on the Downs, the town grew to become the busiest port in England during the 1700s. Located in the 'Old Town', Middle Street in particular thrived, as it became centre to Deal's seaside smugglers. Many houses on this famous street still have old secret hiding places and tunnels running through them. Now a pretty road with cottages on either side, it's a far cry from what it once was in the 18th and 19th century.
Whether you're planning a weekend trip away, or want a bedtime reminder of the coastline, these easy to pack season picks with keep you cool this spring.