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South East England beaches

The beach guide has 177 beaches listed in South East England.

Despite being one of the most densely-populated areas on the British Isles, within easy commuting distance of London, the coastline of South East England has a certain authentic charm.

The international ferry terminals of Dover and Folkestone are accompanied by all the noisy bustle of busy working ports, while traditional seaside resorts such as Eastbourne and Margate, where both donkey rides and deckchairs were invented, remain quintessentially English. The distinctive chalk landscape has attained iconic status in the White Cliffs of Dover, while the spectacular Beachy Head, flanked by the imposing Seven Sisters, is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain. The old fishing and smuggling port of Deal, with its shingle beach and long pier, is steeped in history, while Rye, with its half-timbered houses, old inns and twisting cobbled streets, has been called the 'prettiest town in England'.

Brighton is one of England's liveliest and most forward-thinking coastal cities, while the neighbouring (and some would say more genteel) Hastings hosts the fascinating Shipwreck Heritage Centre. Broadstairs, with its seven sandy beaches, is home to Bleak House, Charles Dickens' holiday home, while Whitstable is famous for its oysters and top-class seafood restaurants. Herne Bay, with its distinctive clock tower and bandstand, long shingle beach and promenade, is a classic Victorian seaside resort, while Chatham's historic dockyard, with exhibitions of warships and naval architecture, is an excellent maritime heritage destination.