Holiday Cottage on the Kent Coast

6 Exchange Street is a available to book now on airbnb

The Cottage

Number 6 is a holiday cottage, full of character, based on the Kent coast in Deal. Just steps from the sea.

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It is a Grade II listed old fisherman’s cottage dating back to 1787 set out over 4 floors. Myth has it that these houses in the Middle Street Conservation Area were built by the smugglers using old boats dragged from the beach, thus the crooked, un-level beams and vast difference in styles and types of houses in this little area of town…. but who knows!

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Our holiday cottage’s layout is simple with a room, on top of a room, on top of a room with the kitchen and bathroom at the back (its OK, the bathroom is upstairs). We do have a lovely unusual spiral’ish staircase with a rope handrail connecting all the floors.

We thought this staircase was quite unique until we moved in when we discovered they are actually fairly common (in the immediate area), but we know one thing – it certainly add lots of character.

If you take a few steps one way from the cottage you can be on the beach and if you take a few steps the other way you have a choice of three pubs (just to get you started on your evening!).

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Dogs

We are a dog friendly holiday cottage and Deal is a very dog friendly town, with it probably being easier to name the establishments that will not permit dogs than the ones that will, but as the house goes we do only have a very small yard. But we hope being so close to the beach and Sandown Castle area that this will help with exercise and stretching their legs.

It is worth noting that each year between 1 May – 30 September between the hours of 9am and 8pm dogs are excluded from the stretch of beach covering Deal Castle to Sandown Castle. However, dogs on leads are permitted on the pier and on the promenade between Deal Castle & Sandown Castle. 

Middle Street Conservation Area

The cottage is located in the heart of Deals Middle Street conservation area, which is steeped in history from the towns smuggling history. This conservation area has long been recognised and in 1968 it was the first Conservation Area in Kent to be designated. Since that time the boundary has been extended three times.

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About Deal

The cottage is ideally located for your holiday as it is just steps from the sea for that morning swim! and so conveniently located to the old town of Deal that you have a wide choice of quality restaurants which cover pretty much every cuisine (we are very proud to have a Michelin recommended restaurant in town too!) and we have lots of lovely bars and pubs – quiet, lively, family and ones hosting live music. We have no doubt that you will enjoy exploring them to discover your favourite.

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However, Deal and the surrounding area is not just about eating and drinking, there are lots of places to visit and things that will keep you entertained too. We have art galleries, museums, great independent shops and a number of weekly markets. Everything needed to make a great holiday!

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Deal is on the National Cycle Network route with really safe cycle paths and there is no need to worry if you do not own or want to bring your bikes, you can hire some while you are here (just have a look at our ‘things to do page – walking distance’ for details – Mike Bikes even has a tandem if you fancy trying one!)

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But, if walking is more your thing then we have that covered too as Deal has some great walks. We have:

  • the Saxon Shore Way where the Deal to Dover section has arguably the most picturesque part of the walk, the cliff top stretch between Deal and Dover
  • the English Coast Path which also offers some really scenic views
  • or you can have fun in creating your own route, walking the  coast to Sandwich or Dover, or we have lots of lovely countryside inland.

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A little bit of history

Deal is a former fishing, mining and garrison town, which is close to Walmer, a possible location for Julius Caesar’s first arrival in Britain.

Deal is first mentioned as a village in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as Addelam. It is referred to as Dela in 1158, and Dale in 1275. Deal developed into a port by the end of the 13th century.

In 1495 the town was the site of an attempted landing by the pretender to the English throne Perkin Warbeck. His supporters were driven off by locals loyal to Henry VII at the Battle of Deal, fought on the beach. Sandown, Deal and Walmer Castles were constructed around the town by Henry VIII to protect against foreign naval attack. In 1861 a Royal Marines Depot was established in the town.

In 1672, a small Naval Yard was established at Deal, providing stores and minor repair facilities. On the site of the yard there is now a building originally used as a semaphore tower linked to London, and later used as a coastguard house, then as a timeball tower, which remains today as a museum of time and communication.

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The proximity of Deal’s shoreline to the notorious Goodwin Sands has made its coastal waters a source of both shelter and danger through the history of sea travel in British waters. The Downs, the water between the town and the sands, provides a naturally sheltered anchorage. This meant that, despite the absence of a harbour, the town became a significant port (both for merchant ships and for the Royal Navy) with transit of goods and people from ship to shore conducted using smaller tender craft. Deal was, for example, visited by Nelson and was the first English soil on which James Cook set foot in 1771 on returning from his first voyage to Australia.

Deal Castle was built as a consequence of international tensions between England, France and the Holy Roman Empire in the final years of the reign of King Henry VIII, when completed Deal Castle resembled, in plan form, the emblem of the Tudor Rose.

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Deal and the adjacent castles of Walmer and Sandown were constructed to protect the Downs in east Kent, an important anchorage formed by the Goodwin Sands which gave access to Deal Beach, on which enemy soldiers could easily be landed and an area the King knew well. Collectively the castles became known as the “castles of the Downs”

The seafront at Deal has been adorned with three separate piers in the town’s history.

  • The first, a wooden structure, built in 1838, designed by Sir John Rennie. Destroyed by fire in 1857.
  • The second, an iron pier, built in 1864. A popular pleasure pier, it survived until the Second World War, when it was struck and severely damaged by a mined Dutch ship, the Nora, in January 1940. This was not the first time the pier had been hit by shipping, with previous impacts in 1873 and 1884 necessitating extensive repairs.
  • The present pier, designed by Sir W. Halcrow & Partners, was opened on 19 November 1957 by the Duke of Edinburgh. Constructed predominantly from concrete-clad steel, it is 1026ft (311m) in length.

The current pier is the last remaining fully intact leisure pier in Kent and is a Grade II listed building.

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There is a sculpture at the entrance of the pier, which is called ‘Embracing the Sea’ (1998) by Jon Buck.

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Notable References to Deal (but don’t believe all that you read!!!)

Diarist Samuel Pepys recorded several visits to the town, being moved on 30 April 1660 to describe it as “pitiful”.

Deal was notorious in the 17th century as a location for smugglers and the author Daniel Defoe wrote of the town:

“If I had any satire left to write,
Could I with suited spleen indite,
My verse should blast that fatal town,
And drown’d sailors’ widows pull it down;
No footsteps of it should appear,
And ships no more cast anchor there.
The barbarous hated name of Deal shou’d die,
Or be a term of infamy;
And till that’s done, the town will stand
A just reproach to all the land”

William Cobbett passing through in September 1823 noted in his book Rural Rides:

“Deal is a most villainous place. It is full of filthy-looking people. Great desolation of abomination has been going on here; tremendous barracks, partly pulled down and partly tumbling down, and partly occupied by soldiers. Everything seems upon the perish. I was glad to hurry along through it, and to leave its inns and public-houses to be occupied by the tarred, and trowsered, and blue and buff crew whose very vicinage I always detest.”

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