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The 10 best things to do in Deal, Kent

From pebbly beaches to niche record shops, here's everything you need for the perfect day out in Deal

Written by
Emma Hughes
Ellie Walker-Arnott
Joe Minihane

Kent has endless options for a seaside weekend away. You’ve got Margate with its thriving culture scene, Canterbury with its old-school buildings, and Whitstable with its gazillion-and-one fresh oysters. But don’t let them overshadow what else waits for you in this beautiful county – Deal. 

Deal is a postcard-perfect town, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. Its pretty streets aren’t only full of lovely little cafés and bars, the area is also buzzing with culture. You can make a day out of its offerings, or spend a full week here. From family-friendly activities to ideas for couples, here are the best things to do in Deal. 

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Top things to do in Deal

First up, check out Deal Castle

1. First up, check out Deal Castle

Kick things off with a stomp around Deal Castle. The fort, built by trigger-happy Henry VIII as part of a chain of coastal defences, is amazingly well preserved. Learn about the historic graffiti hidden on the castle’s soft lead roof.

Get a culture fix at Linden Hall Studio

2. Get a culture fix at Linden Hall Studio

Deal’s contemporary art scene is buzzing, largely thanks to Linden Hall Studio. Just 500 yards from the High Street, this airy, two-floor gallery space hosts visiting artists and masterclasses – from etchings to sculptures, there’s something to catch everyone’s eye.

Stop for lunch at 81 Beach Street
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Stop for lunch at 81 Beach Street

For sparklingly fresh seafood with a great view of the seafront, stop by 81 Beach Street – get the salt and chilli squid with sriracha mayo, or crab on charred sourdough. The excellent Frog and Scot's set lunch menu is an excellent alternative. 

4. Get fish 'n' chips at Middle Street Fish Bar

Sure, there's a lot of nice restaurants around. But if you’re seriously hankering after proper chips and golden-crisp batter, then nothing will beat those greasy cravings. Our advice? Go for it, and hit up Middle Street Fish Bar. But we warn you, there will be a line. 
Splash the cash at Taylor-Jones and Son

5. Splash the cash at Taylor-Jones and Son

You could easily lose an afternoon in Taylor-Jones and Son, a gorgeous gallery-slash-boutique. Shop for everything from handmade leather bags to limited-edition prints – if you bring treats, local celebrity Delilah the sheepdog might show you around. Deal Farmers’ Market is a must on the first Saturday of each month: load up on locally picked fruit and freshly baked cakes.

6. Delve into some music at Smugglers Records

Smugglers Records is one of the south-east’s best indie record shops. An offshoot of a label of the same name, it has an impressive selection of new vinyl and friendly, knowledgeable staff to help you pick out your next musical obsession.

Soak up the vibes at Deal beach

7. Soak up the vibes at Deal beach

There’s no nicer spot for a stroll than Deal beach itself – it’s quiet, pristine and dotted with wooden fishing boats. Speaking of which, dangle a line off the 1950s concrete pier and you might just luck out. No chance? Grab a snack at Deal Pier Kitchen, perched right at the end with unbeatable sea views. 

Pay a visit to Le Pinardier

8. Pay a visit to Le Pinardier

Like a little piece of Bordeaux dropped into Deal, Le Pinardier sells impeccably sourced bottles with a side of joie de vivre. Buy one to take away, or enjoy your tipple of choice at the long table with charcuterie and a baguette – you can always sleep it off on the way home.

Sleep over at The Rose
Photograph: The Rose/

9. Sleep over at The Rose

The Rose is a moody, romantic hideaway in the heart of Deal, a couple of roads back from the beach. Enter the dark-hued, 200-year-old building to find wood panelling, open fires and verdant palms. Understated mid-century furniture sits alongside brightly painted and antique pieces. Settle down in the restaurant for seasonal comfort food, before slipping past a heavy red curtain and padding up softly lit stairs to one of eight richly decorated rooms. Don’t visit for slick service or reliable wifi – instead steep yourself in The Rose’s vintage flair and warm, welcoming charm. From £160 a night including breakfast.

Spend a week at Noggin Cottage
Photograph: Nathan Shepherd Photography

10. Spend a week at Noggin Cottage

If you’re looking to spend a week or so in the area (and you absolutely should) then there’s no better option than Noggin Cottage, a beautiful, three-storey Georgian property in one of the town’s prettiest (and most protected) areas, right by the coast. There aren’t many winter evenings more atmospheric than those spent in Noggin’s charming living room, warmed by its wood-burning stove. Worth pointing out that Keeper's Cottage do plenty of other properties in the Deal area, so if this one’s booked up, there are plenty of options.

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