Sandwich is a charming town just 15 kilometres from Broadstairs. We often go here as part of a Friday afternoon visit, or you can easily reach it independently by train. It’s a small town but has some really interesting little shops and cafes, and it’s very pleasant to walk around the narrow streets with quirky buildings dating back as far as the 14th century.
You may be interested to know that the town got its name before the popular snack food! The creation of the sandwich is attributed to John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), a British statesman and dedicated sandwich gambler, who is said to be the inventor of this convenient type of food so that he would not have to leave his gaming table to take supper. The bread around the meat probably meant that he wouldn’t get greasy fingerprints on his playing cards!
There is a famous road sign near the town, pointing the way to both Sandwich and to Ham – the name of a local village!
Brighton is a fantastic destination for a day out, with its vibrant cultural mix and its varied arts and music scene. Here you will find modern shopping centres alongside unusual boutiques and small specialist shops in the old, historic lanes of the old town (known as ‘The Lanes’).
Something you really should see when you visit Brighton is the wonderful pier which is the one of the best examples remaining in the UK. With galleries, cafes and entertainment, you can spend a wonderful time here while admiring the views of the city behind you.
You must also visit the amazing Royal Pavilion ,which was built over 200 years ago as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, and which mixes the visual styles of India and China in a British royal building. You may love it or hate it, but you certainly won’t forget it!
Broadstairs Dickens Festival takes place every June, and lasts for about a week. Don’t be surprised if you bump into a ‘Victorian’ while you’re having your coffee or buying a sandwich! The streets are full of people in Victorian costume, many representing characters from the novels of Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens visited Broadstairs in Kent regularly from 1837 until 1859, and the town has always had a strong connection with the famous writer.
In 1937, to commemorate the centenary of the author’s first visit, Gladys Waterer, the then resident of Dickens House, conceived the idea of putting on a production of David Copperfield and of having people about the town in Victorian dress to publicise it.
During the Festival, you can take tea with Victorians, listen to historical talks or Victorian entertainment, including dramatizations of Dicken’s works. It’s all great fun and very special!
Hever Castle is in our home county of Kent, about 80 miles/130 km from Broadstairs, so easy for a day out. The castle dates back 700 years in parts,and was the childhood home of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII (He had six in total!). It has 125 acres of beautiful gardens, two mazes and a boating lake, as well as shops and restaurants.
Here is a video of one of our recent day trips there.
Walmer Castle dates back to the time of Henry VIII (1491 – 1547) and was originally built as a defence fortress, but has evolved into a homely residence for many well-known names from the Duke of Wellington to the Queen Mother. Inside you can explore Wellington’s career, the story of his life and death and even see the original Wellington Boots. Outside there are beautiful, direct sea views and eight acres of magnificent gardens and woodland.
This is a regular Friday afternoon excursion from Hilderstone College.
Canterbury is a fascinating city, with hundreds of years of history – in fact, it dates back to Roman times. The impressive cathedral has been a place of worship for more than 1,400 years, and is the ‘headquarters’ of the Anglican Church (The Archbishop of Canterbury is the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion). Pilgrims have been travelling to this city for hundreds of years, and they were the inspiration for Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’.
Apart from its history, Canterbury has a fantastic selection of shops, entertainment, museums and eateries, and makes a great day out. What’s more, it’s only half an hour from Broadstairs by train.
Broadstairs may be a small town, but you don’t have to travel far to do some serious shopping! Just outside the town (with great bus links) is Westwood Cross Shopping Centre, with over 50 stores including Primark, TK Maxx, Marks and Spencer, HMV, Next and The Body Shop. Food and drink outlets include Costa Coffee, Cafe Rouge and Nando’s. There is also a multi-screen cinema to keep you entertained, and there are excellent gym facilities.
Louise and Angela are the Accommodation Officers for Hilderstone College. Louise has been in the role of Accommodation and Welfare Officer for just over a year, coming from a background in education and safeguarding roles. Angela is the Deputy Accommodation and Student Support Officer and has been in the role for 2.5 years, previously working with the homeless and for a local University. This is what they have to say about their work here:
‘Our job is to place our students with families in the Broadstairs community. We ensure students are suitably matched to families in respect of dietary needs and any special requests as far as possible! We work very closely with our homestay hosts and they become part of the team. This includes visiting them in their homes, resolving any issues that may arise (usually due to communication!) with their students and supporting them in the very important role they play for Hilderstone students. We have families that have been hosting for as long as 40 years and we work with new hosts all the time. Hosting students proves to be a very rewarding experience and you really do get to meet some very interesting people from all over the world and some longstanding friendships are made.
We also ensure the students are happy and well cared for, including safeguarding our students, particularly those under the age of 18. We work very closely with all of the departments in Hilderstone including marketing, who get the students here in the first place and the teaching staff. Hilderstone College staff really do work as a team!
We both enjoy the role as it enables us to meet lots of people in our community and from all over the world and it is very satisfying when students go home having had the best experience and our hosts have enjoyed having them to stay!
If you would like to join us as a homestay host for Hilderstone and live in Broadstairs, then please do get in touch:-
By email – firstname.lastname@example.org By phone – 01843 869171