Louisa Bay

Tucked away next to Viking Bay, Louisa Bay may be the smaller and less-frequented of the four main coves close to the town, but its ideal location provides a respite for locals and holiday-makers who wish to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the main sands without sacrificing facilities and amenities.

Despite the appeal of being semi-secluded, Louisa Bay Café provides a respite at the centre of the bay and boasts sea views over the coastline. Serving ice cream, coffee and a range of hot and cold food and drinks, there are also tables available and sun umbrellas are provided.

Toilets are available at Viking Bay, just a few minutes walk along the sea wall. There is also a tap next to the café for washing off sandy toes for the journey home.

Your first glimpse of this beach in Broadstairs could be via the slope found next to the Grand Mansions apartment building – a hotel until the 1950s and once home to a coach house, swimming pool and ballroom. Another way to have your first glimpse could be from the seawall as you walk around from Viking Bay. Replacing overgrown shrubbery, local volunteers have planted a sea of wild flowers to line the beds leading to the bay.

Glimpses of the water and a heady breeze of sea air mingle together as you approach the sands under the Louisa Gap Bridge, a replica overpass replacing the original wrought iron structure built by Victorian engineer Thomas Crampton – whose flint tower still stands opposite the Broadstairs railway station and now houses a volunteer-led museum, great for train-loving children with its traditional model sets.
Louisa Bay Broadstairs
The bay is accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs via the slope and the lift on Viking Bay during the summer months. You’ll find a sea wall lining the soft sands, which during high tide when the beach itself is engulfed by the sea, is perfect for walking from Louisa Bay to Dumpton Gap.  Feeling more adventurous? Why not carry on to Ramsgate via St George Memorial Park.

Dwarfed by chalk cliffs punctuated by small bird’s nests and decorated in vibrant yellow gorse, it’s hard not to feel a world away from the hamster wheel of modern life, yet the picturesque beach is about an hour and a half from London’s St Pancras International Station.

When the tide is low, this family-friendly bay in Kent is the perfect spot to paddle or build a sandcastle (or a practice fort for the annual contest, which takes place in July on Viking Bay!). There is also a tidal pool – which is unsafe for swimming but perfect for crabbing. If you do go crabbing, please put the crabs back in their natural environment.

There’s also no need to fear squabbles over the biggest spade, as the café offers a small range of buckets, spades and beach goods. A wider range can be found at Suzanne’s gift shop on Victoria Parade, which sells shoes and swimwear alongside postcards, candy-striped rock, and other seaside memorabilia. Blue Anchor on Harbour Street is another shop selling everything for the beach, Broadstairs rock and confectionery, shells, gifts, crabbing equipment, toys, swimwear, crystals, and minerals.
Down to the beach with bats, balls, nets, buckets and spades, the sea stretches far and wide and, on a clear day, France is visible across the water, as well as a fleet of white wind turbines.

When summer is over, cold-weather walks along the bay, followed by hot chocolate, are just as appealing as the long summer days, but please be aware the waves can be rough and dangerous at high tide and sweep over the sea walk.

An elderly local resident of Broadstairs is said to have swum in the sea almost every day down at Louisa to keep in good health – even swimming during World War II.

Cold sea swimming is becoming increasingly popular with locals today, but please visit the RNLI website for advice and always stay safe in the water.
Louisa Bay Cafe Broadstairs