Deal is a real charmer – a compact, pretty town with plenty of good pubs and a scenic shoreline. The seaside razzmatazz is kept to a minimum – the stark-looking pier has a café at the far end, but no amusements – so it’s easy to appreciate the beauty of the shingle beach, dotted with vegetation and the occasional boat or wooden hut. Deal has a little castle, but the more impressive one is Walmer Castle, just over a mile away along the sea front. The high street is a happy mix of junk and vintage stores, delis, old-fashioned greengrocer’s shops and independents such as Smugglers Records. On Saturday mornings there’s a bric-a-brac market. The quality of food and drink is high: get a takeaway from the Middle Street Fish Bar or live it up at Frog & Scot bistro (the owners also run Le Pinardier wine shop and bar). Decent pubs are easy to find – the Bohemian serves big plates of pub grub and has a hidden beer garden.
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