Seaside Deal in White Cliffs Country is a family holiday favourite and a historic maritime location on the Channel Coast. Once a ‘limb’ supporting town to nearby Cinque Port Sandwich, Deal’s waters were an important anchorage point. Ships often had no choice but to anchor at Deal, awaiting favourable winds to carry them on around North Foreland. Henry VIII thought the area so important he built three castles along the coast here, two of which – Walmer and Deal Castles – survive.
The town centre is an attractive scene of seaside cafes and a wide choice of restaurants and inns serving ‘fresh from the catch’ seafood. The beautiful seafront at Deal with long angling pier and pretty shingle beach is popular with families.
Deal & Walmer Castles
Henry VIII’s two surviving castles, Deal Castle and Walmer Castle, were built to defend and service the important anchorage site at Deal. In his capacity as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, the Duke of Wellington spent 23 years at Walmer Castle and you can see many of his personal items and rooms inside Walmer. A scenic coastal cycle path connects the two castles.
Built quickly between 1539 and 1542 to defend the Downs waters, Deal is a Tudor artillery castle with a distinctive series of flat low lying round turrets resembling the shape of a Tudor Rose and built that way to deflect incoming cannon balls. Inside you can tour the battlements, passages and vast basement. An exhibition – ‘The Story of Deal Castle’ also features on a tour.
Walmer Castle also has the distinctive flat turrets but has seen more remodelling over time. It was the main residence for Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports from 1708. Wellington is the most famous Lord Warden to have lived at Walmer. Personal belongings including his Wellington Boots are displayed inside. Other Lord Wardens included William Pitt and Lady Hester Stanhope was responsible for the beautiful gardens here which include a themed wildlife gardens, a kitchen garden, croquet lawn and a woodland walk. A tearoom is onsite.
Timeball Tower & Maritime Museum
The fully restored Deal Timeball Museum on the seafront is an iconic building with exhibitions and interactive displays on communication, semaphore and signalling inside. The tower rooftop with striking ball, once linked by electrical signal to Greenwich so incredibly accurate, was used by shipping to check times. The ball would begin its climb up the roof pole around 5 minutes before the hour, reaching the top and dropping precisely on the hour.
The Deal Maritime & Local History Museum is located just off the High Street in one of the town’s last industrial sites dating from 1803. Exhibits inside explore the history of Deal as ‘limb’ support town to Cinque Ports and the three castles – Deal, Walmer and Sandown. Royal Marine memorabilia and displays on local industry and domestic life in the town’s past are also within. The museum also holds some fascinating engraving illustrations of Deal by JMW Turner.
Pier & Beaches
The pier at Deal was the third to be built in the resort, constructed in 1954 with strong local support. It was the only pier to be built after 1910, hence its significance as a local and national landmark. Today the pier is a very popular spot for pleasure angling and is internationally recognised as a top angling venue.
A glass walled cafe with spectacular views of the Deal coastline sits pier end. Beaches at Deal, Walmer and Kingsdown are all great days out for families. The Walmer Paddling Pool for under 10s with adjacent crazy golf on the beach is a top spot for families with younger children.
World class coastal golf courses feature along the coastline from Deal to Sandwich. In the Deal area you will find one of the country’s best coastal links courses – The Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club. Others include Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club high up on top of the White Cliffs with magnificent views. Royal St George’s and Prince’s Golf Club in the nearby Sandwich area are within easy reach.
Deal and White Cliffs Country are easily reached from London and the Continent. Fast motorway and major road links to Deal include the M20 to Folkestone then along the A20 to Dover, onto the A2 to get on to the scenic A258 Dover Road up to Deal. Alternatively leave the car behind and arrive by rail at Deal Station on Southeastern’s network.
High Speed rail links from London St Pancras to Dover Priory are just under one hour, and at Dover you can pick up your rail connection to Deal. Ferry services at Dover Port and the Channel Tunnel link at Folkestone are both within easy reach of Deal.
Where to stay
Deal is a best Kent seaside resort for holiday accommodation. Choose from stunning cottages and holiday homes, some with inclusive use of indoor pools and leisure facilities. This popular family seaside area also has a good choice of holiday parks or stay in a luxury Deal apartment with views towards the castle. Find coastal accommodation in Deal online now and book with iknow.