The village of Birchington-on-Sea makes for the perfect holiday destination if you're looking to get away from the city. This little coastal village is a popular tourist hotspot, with lots of attractions available. One of the best places to go in Birchington-on-Sea is Quex Park, which is set in 250 acres of parkland and is the perfect day out for children. There are all kinds of fun things to do at the park, from exploring the house to watching bird of prey displays at the Quex Falconry Centre.
If you'd rather soak up some sun you can head to Minnis Bay, the award winning beach at Birchington-on-Sea, The beach is a hit with watersports enthusiasts as well, with loads of windsurfers flocking to the beach every year. You could also take a trip to St Mildred's Bay in nearby Westgate, close to the Westgate and Birchington Golf Club.
Quex Park is one of the best parks and gardens in Birchington-on-Sea - you're practically spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding on what to do during your visit. If you want to take in all of the attractions and activities at Quex Park you'll need to devote an entire day to it, otherwise you might not be able to see everything.
Much of Quex Park is parkland and greenery, so you can go walking to your heart's content. At the heart of the country park is Quex House, built in 1805, which is partially open to the public. The house gardens are spectacular, with many species of exotic plants on display. There's a woodland walk in the garden that you can take to explore the garden in its entirety.
While you're at Quex Park you should definitely check out the Powell-Cotton Museum, which has an impressive collection of stuffed animals from the former owners trips to Africa and India. Percy Powell-Cotton also collected archaeological artefacts, weapons, ceramics and other items that are now on display in the museum. They have regular art exhibitions at the Powell-Cotton Museum as well, so you can see some great local and national art.
If you're after great family friendly things to do at Quex Park you should have a look at Jungle Jims, a huge indoor play centre with toys for all ages of children. If you enjoy gardening you can buy plants from the Secret Garden Nursery & Plant Centre, and you can get great Kentish produce from Quex Barn, a farmer's market with a restaurant attached. If you want to take in a stunning bird of prey display The Quex Falconry Centre is the place for you - they hold shows throughout the day and are open seasonally. During summer you'll find a fantastic Maize Maze at Quex Park that you'll have loads of fun navigating through.
Minnis Bay is accessible from Sea Road and you'll find on-street can parking close to the seafront, some of which is free. This beach is perfect for families and during summer there's a lifeguard on duty, so you can rest assured that your kids will be safe. You shouldn't ever have to fight for spots on the beach here as most of the activity comes from the watersports enthusiasts who spend most of their time out on the water. Some of the Birchington-on-Sea outdoor activities include windsurfing, sailing and sea angling, and there are clubs for each sport in the village.
St Mildred's Bay in Westgate is just a 4 minute drive from Minnis Bay so it's easy to get to and it's well worth a visit while you're in Birchington-on-Sea. While Minnis Bay is more a shingle beach St Mildred's Bay has beautiful sandy beaches. The beach has disabled access and is close to a number of Westgate-on-Sea shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs.
The Westgate and Birchington Golf Club is popular with locals and visitors and is open all through the week. Visitors' green fees are very reasonable as well, so you don't need to break the bank to enjoy a good game of golf on their 18 hole course. If you feel in need of lessons you can book yourself in for a training session from one of the club's professional golf trainers.
One of the best restaurants in Birchington-on-Sea is The Minnis, which is located just a short walk from Minnis Bay on The Parade. They have a wide selection of menus on offer so that everyone is catered for - they've got children's menus, separate menus for vegetarians, BBQ menus, buffet menus and loads more.
The Smugglers, one of the good Birchington-on-Sea pubs, is perfect for a quiet drink out after your exciting day out in the village. They're based on Canterbury Road and they serve food as well as having a fully stocked bar.
There are a range of cafes in Birchington-on-Sea, such as Eva's Tea Room on Minnis Road, which serves amazing light lunches and cream teas at low prices. You can choose from a collection of teas including English breakfast, lapsang souchong, jasmine, earl grey and many more. You should always make sure to look at their specials menu when you're ordering lunch with them though, as they have different treats on every day.
Steam Train image contributed by Rick Ryder. Pool on Beach image contributed by Pam Fray. Remains of sea groyne, minnis bay image contributed by Ian Yarham. All images are copyrighted but licensed for further reuse under the Creative Commons License.