One of England's prettiest seaside destinations with an award-winning high street, this tiny but terrific town has a history as colourful as the buildings that line the seafront.
Deal is fast becoming one of the country's most popular seaside spots with its cool cultural vibe and thriving music and food scenes, plus its excellent road and rail connections to the capital and proximity to the port at Dover. This gorgeous town is easy to get to but a world away - life here comes with a healthy dose of sea air and a nod to a subversive free-trade past.
Wonderful in summer with the beach, plentiful outdoor eating and drinking spots, ice cream parlours, and a busy events programme, it is equally beguiling in winter with its cosy pubs, cafes and restaurants, independent theatre, galleries and music venues.
The town's promenade overlooks a gently sloping pebbly beach that offers scenic views of the English Channel and out towards the Goodwin Sands. Deal Pier (the town’s third) is home to a popular restaurant and a great place to stroll and sit to take in views of the seascape and the historic buildings lining the shore, a scene that has remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
Don't miss Deal Castle. Built by the order of King Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal defences in the 1500s, it’s one of the finest Tudor artillery castles in England. Keep an ear out for some interesting Deal Castle facts during your visit! The fascinating maritime history of Deal - a former smuggling haunt - is a joy to uncover: visit the Timeball Tower and Deal Museum, or book onto Deal's Historic Walking Tour to explore the town's incredible past since the arrival of Julius Caesar, who first set foot in England on the beach nearby.
In town, quaint fishermen’s cottages rub shoulders with well-preserved Georgian town houses. The architectural and historic importance of the Middle Street Deal Conservation Area has long been recognised - it was the first Conservation Area in Kent to be designated in 1968 and since that time the boundary has been extended three times. Its distinctive character is typified by the mainly Georgian terraced houses clustered around Middle Street, changing as you move towards Deal Castle to grander Victorian villas.
The vibrant, award-winning High Street has a wide variety of independent shops and galleries where you'll find works by local makers and artists. See what's on at the Astor Theatre and other live music venues including The Lighthouse, Cin Cin Bar and Landmark Bar. The town's annual events calendar includes the Deal Music & Arts Festival and Deal Carnival & Regatta in July and Deal Braderie, a huge street market, in September.
The town also has a burgeoning food scene - head to the weekly Deal Saturday Market for amazing baked goods, coffee, fruit and veg, meat and fish and more. There is no shortage of independent food shops where you'll find amazing local produce, including Jenkins and Son Fishmonger, The Black Pig butcher (winner of BBC Radio 4's Food & Farming Award Food Producer of the Year 2022) and greengrocer and florist Lavender and Blackberry of Deal. Eat out at waterfront bistros or chic and cosy eateries tucked away in side streets or buy the freshest fish and chips to eat on the beach.
There are plenty of places to stay, whether you're here for the weekend or a longer stay. From boutique hotels that attract glowing reviews in the national press to smart self-catering properties or a home-from-home B&B, you're sure to find what you're looking for.
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