Deal, on the east coast of Kent where the North Sea and English Channel meet, is a very attractive, quiet seaside town, perfect for walks along the coast or strolls through the town. It predates the Doomsday survey, of course … It is said to have been the busiest port of England at one time. For sure it was a garrison town, and you can see the impressive brick barracks behind their wrought iron gates. Henry VIII built a castle here as well as at neighboring Walmer and at Sandown, to protect against naval attacks.
Never put off seeing old friends!
My friends in Deal used to spend part of the year in Deltaville, and we became very close. When they could no longer travel to the US, I missed them terribly. I made my first visit over Christmas 2019-New Year 2020, and then came the pandemic – which should have taught us not to put off seeing people who are important, because you don’t know if an opportunity will last. I got back last year and now this past April. I count on returning in the coming year – and hope after that I’ll have a new home within visiting distance for them to come to me.
The house is close to a lovely footpath, as you see in the next photo. What a delightful shortcut! We varied our path to the stores from day to day, enjoying all the flowers in bloom and the flowering trees budding out.
Deal’s Secret Garden: The Captain’s Garden
Deal has a terrific volunteer organization striving to make Deal greener: Deal With It. They organize clean-ups of the beaches and elsewhere, and encourage good environmental practices. An outstanding project of theirs has been to take an unused, unkempt area and turn it into The Captain’s Garden. Produce is offered on site on a donate-what-you-will basis. They are also part of the East Kent Gleaning Network, gathering food from area farms that is distributed to food banks in the region. Diana took me to their Open Day, which unfortunately was a very wet day, literally dampening the activities, but I could see what a lovely and productive garden had been created in this reclaimed spot opposite Deal Castle.
What’s an English town without a high street? Hardly a town, of course. Deal’s High Street has a fairly thriving air, with specialty food shops that are genuinely local, as well as cafes and thrift shops, and the occasional busker offering a bit of entertainment.
Local businesses, individually owned
… are surely a plus in any town, and Deal is home to many. I was charmed by this new store with its gorgeous printed quilts, jackets and other textile products. Hope they prosper!
The town’s iconic image: Deal Castle
First photo, the barracks, and then the castle on the coast.
Our day’s outing to Barham, Kent
I got to meet some of the family on a day trip to Barham, in Canterbury’s district. It’s a lovely village for a day trip from Dover as well as Canterbury. See my post about the village.
Where to stay if not visiting friends
You can stay directly on the seafront and enjoy the view at the elegantly old-fashioned Royal Hotel, which may run close to US$300/night, or find a B&B for half that.