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The seaside down of Deal sits snugly on the border between the English Channel and the North Sea, some 8 miles from Dover. It's an attractive town, with winding lanes, a pretty promenade, and a long shingle beach split by a Victorian pier. Unlike many British seaside towns, Deal has avoided the retro gaudiness of amusement arcades and retained an air of elegance. There's more than just the beach to enjoy, too. Ancient stone castles, fascinating little museums and a thriving foodie scene make Deal a compelling place to take a weekend break.
There's just something so right about staying in a Deal bed and breakfast. Though the town has several hotels, nothing compares to the homely atmosphere and level of service you receive in a B&B. Many of the owners have lived in Deal their whole lives, and know the town and the surrounding area like the back of their hand. They're more than happy to offer up advice on the best things to do and see during your stay. It doesn't matter whether you're coming on a romantic weekend break or taking the family on a British seaside holiday, you'll always find a B&B that fits the bill. Some are found along the pretty promenade, looking straight out over the sea. Then there are the boutique country retreats, a little further up the coast, or the converted farmhouses, which ooze character and personality. If you're looking to save your cash for the restaurants and attractions, you could always opt for one of the budget B&Bs, which offer much more than you'd expect for the money. Whichever you choose, you can always find your perfect match on Expedia, which lists every property, along with detailed descriptions and photos. All you need to do is plug in your dates and budget, and Expedia will do the hard work for you.
Guestrooms come in all shapes and sizes – that's the beauty of a B&B – but you can expect most to have all the modern conveniences you might find in a hotel. After you've checked in, you can flick on the kettle to make a cup of tea, link up to the complimentary WiFi to start planning your adventure, or turn on the flat-screen TV to catch up on the news. If you pick right, you could have your own private bathroom, sometimes with a separate shower unit and tub, while more budget options might have shared family-sized bathrooms. If you have specific needs, like you want to bring the kids or the dogs, you won't have any trouble finding a B&B with interconnecting or pet-friendly guestrooms. Come daybreak, you can wake up to a proper English breakfast – with a veggie option available, too – or lighter bites, like fruit or toast, all washed down with freshly brewed tea. Looking for a completely different type of break? How about a few nights in the capital? There are lots of activities in London to keep you entertained.
It's true that most families who come to stay in Deal bed and breakfasts in the summer make a dash for the beach to spend their days working on their tan or splashing around in the cool sea. If you're not a beach-dweller, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy. If you're a Deal first-timer, it's unthinkable not to visit Deal Castle, 1 of 3 built by Henry VIII along the Kent coastline. If you haven't had your fill of historic buildings, you could try nearby Walmer Castle, which is surrounded by beautiful gardens. At the Time Ball Tower Museum, housed in a Grade II listed building, you can delve into Deal's maritime past. Feeling active? You could always hire a bicycle and go riding along the well-marked cycle routes, or go walking along the beautiful coastline. End the day by watching the sun set over the sea from the end of Deal Pier.