Isle of Thanet Villages

Tempting though Thanet's towns are, its villages shouldn't be missed. Dotting a scalloped shoreline and tucked away amid farmland, they're ripe with sleepy inns and history-packed sights, ranging from 6th century saints to WWII planes.

At Birchington-on-Sea, a stained glass window commemorates the burial of Pre-Raphaelite Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Quex Park is nearby, home to the Regency Quex House the exotic curios of the Powell-Cotton Museum, and the local produce-packed deli-cum-restaurant Quex Barn.

Manston reveals the Isle's dramatic role in WWII. At the RAF Manston Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum, view the legendary aircraft and discover stories of the pilots who defended the skies. 

Minster is home to the exquisite Minster Abbey. A religious site since 670, it's still home to a faith community today. Nearby, St Augustine’s Cross marks where the saint conducted the first English mass after landing in 597.

Now-landlocked Sarre was once a Cinque Port. Hunt out one of the country's oldest pubs; the Crown Inn, famous county-wide for its punchy cherry brandy. In tiny Acol you'll find the Gothic-style St. Mildred's Church, plus - if you're lucky - the ghost of Smuggler Bill. Westgate-on-Sea has a thriving cinema and Victorian canopied shops. Monkton offers a nature reserve, complete with trails, study centre and giant telescope.

St Peter’s stages award-winning village tours led by an engaging cast of costumed characters. St. Nicholas-at-Wade gets its name from a channel that had to be waded across to reach the mainland. Do your own version of the walk today, then settle down for some great pub grub.

All along the shore lie a string of tucked-away beaches and bays. Track down St. Mildred’s BayWest Bay and Minnis Bay – from here a superb footpath edges coast and countryside to Reculver's imposing Roman and Saxon remains.

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