Seaside review - Botany Bay, Thanet, Kent - CT10 3LG

When I was growing up my Dad used to drive us to Botany Bay in his white Renault 4. It wasn't the nearest sandy beach (that would be Broadstairs) but it was our preferred one. It also had the advantages of only one sea hut shop, relatively easy parking and a mixture of sand (coarse enough for sandcastles, nice under foot), rock pools (at low tide), cliffs (not threateningly high) and some adventures in neighboring bays (caves further round for adventurous teenagers).

We went again last year for the first time since I was 15 and had a lovely time, so much so it is on the list of beaches for warm days.

Getting there
Google Map

Botany Bay is in a residential area, a mix of 30's houses and more recent. Parking is down Botany Rd, Percy Ave and Kinsgate Ave, we normally go down Percy Ave, if there are no spaces just keep going, turn right at the end past the pub and come back up Kingsgate. Parking is free.

There are two entrances, one is a set of quite steep steps down past the loos on the right side of the bay accessible from the end of Percy Ave, the second is a ramp that you get to from Botany Rd. Neither is easy with a buggy.

The shop at the bottom of the stairs sells buckets, spades, nets, boogie boards, burgers, chips and lollies.

Safety & Water Cleanliness
There is a lifeguard in the Summer, but the gradient is quite gentle and kayaking looks good (waiting for Noah to grow a bit before we try that). The sand and water are clean, although there is a lot of seaweed when the tide goes up again and visibility isn't the best.

Is it Packed?
It's a local beach, so it gets busy after lunch, before that only those with the organisational skills to pack their own lunch and holiday makers seemed to be there. It does get busy on Bank holidays like all half-decent beaches in the UK.

It's worth checking the tides if you want to go and hunt for crabs and other things in the rock pools (the ones on the right have more things in them). When we went yesterday there was a chinese family harvesting the mussels and cockles from them in little plastic baskets.

If you have any other top tips about Botany Bay or suggestions as to why any of the neighbouring bays are even better please leave a comment.

UPDATE: 100912 - We went yesterday and the tide was very low for the entire time we were there (5 hours), which was great for rock pool adventures and walking around the cliffs to Joss Bay, but meant that swimming was very tricky as the rocks underfoot were very sharp - I was one of the many swimmers wincing and tripping my way into deeper water to swim. I would recommend wearing Crocs if the tide is low both for rock pools and swimming.