best kept secret
On a walk last week we spotted this wonderful sight – at least a dozen kitesurfers in full flight, soaring over the waves and leaping high into the sky as they caught the wind at gorgeous Minnis Bay. We thought you’d like to see these photos and enjoy finding out more about this little known bay. Minnis Bay is located on the coast at Birchington, between Margate and Herne Bay. It is one of Kent’s best kept secrets.
Bring your kitesurfing gear when you come to stay in one of our holiday lets in Broadstairs and this could be you!
Our fully equipped self catering holiday accommodation is highly suitable for a group of kitesurfing friends. We’re just a short drive from this location, as well as all the other beautiful sandy beaches that wrap around the Thanet coast. Yes, all are sandy for 26 glorious miles and we are located right in the middle of them all, at Broadstairs.
Minnis Bay has dedicated members’ clubs for windsurfing and sailing. New members are welcome to join both clubs and make use of the facilities. The annual fees are very reasonable and can include hire of windsurfing equipment, dinghies or catamarans, respectively, if you don’t want to lug, or don’t yet possess, your own.
Jet skis and water skis are not permitted here, making it very safe for everyone else, including children. The beach shelves very gently and you can sail while not being out of your depth at low tide.
The kitesurfers we saw were not linked with either club but were there as a group, on their own initiative with their own equipment. All the different beach users here get along well side by side, there’s plenty of space for all.
This is not a bay where you can expect to book a watersports experience or have lessons – you’ll have to head to one of the (several) other nearby spots around the coast if that’s what you’re looking for. Check out our earlier post for details of several day experience options available close to our holiday lets in Broadstairs:
Windsurfing and sailing Clubs
If you are looking for a wind surfing or sailing club to join, with great facilities, look no further. The clubs both have a great friendly vibe with plenty of parking, tea and coffee as well as equipment for hire – and both are keen to have more new members.
Minnis Bay is also well used by those adventurous souls who want to do their own thing.
Minnis Bay sailing Club
Minnis Bay Sailing Club is a dinghy and catamaran sailing club suitable for racing or cruising.
Their fleet of club boats, available for sail training and club members to hire, includes: 3 Dart 16’s, 3 Laser 2000’s, 3 Toppers, a Laser and a Pico. The Club was established in 1950 and has traditions going back to those early days with social events as well as the sailing. Their main focus these days is racing in a range of ‘Class Boats’ and they have lots of trophies on display in the Club House testament to members’ successes. They are affiliated with the RYA and sometimes also run sailing courses.
minnis bay windsurfing club
Minnis Bay Windsurfing Club is also RYA affliated. Members can borrow equipment including boards ranging from 130L up to 220L and sails from 4m to 6.5m as well as a stock of wetsuits in several sizes, buoyancy aids and a few harnesses. Any members wishing to borrow equipment regularly pay a slightly higher annual fee. The club is not for profit and run by volunteers, for the benefit of the members. The club house provides tea and coffee and members get a car parking permit.
Both clubs’ websites have lots of useful information:
More about the bay and surrounding area
Once again in 2017 this lovely beach also has a blue flag award.
There are toilets in the car park, (plus, summer only, at the far eastern end of the bay), and a life guard is on duty during the summer months. Non club members pay a small charge for the car park during the summer months, but parking on road on the sea front is currently free all year round.
‘The Minnis’ bar and restaurant, now owned and operated by Shepherd Neame, is open all year and has a large glassed in sea facing terrace offering fabulous views and protection from the wind. Just next to the Windsurfing Club hut you’ll also find the ‘Windshack’ cafe, selling hot coffee and very tasty steak sandwiches.
Up the road in Birchington village there are many other local shops selling more food and pretty much anything else that you might need or want, as well as a good number of other eating options such as the likes of Joe’s Cafe and the Powell Cotton Arms, offering varied menus and a cosy and friendly welcome.
Just slightly further inland is the exciting Quex Park Estate with the Powell Cotton Museum, gardens, Jungle Jim’s, Mini Golf, craft village, garden centre, cafe, restaurant and very good farm shop. So that’s worth a visit when you’re over this side of the Isle as well.
The closest windsurfing shop is Board-Worx in Whitstable. You can call them 01227 276566 to check availability of anything you might want to buy there.
Regardless of wind conditions, Minnis Bay is great beach and very safe for the kids to play on. It is also the starting point for an interesting walk (approximately an hour) along the sea wall, westwards to Reculver, where you’ll find the remains of a Roman Fort and the impressive 12th Century towers visible for miles around.
We think you’ll love it there!
Come stay with us soon and enjoy Minnis Bay and so much more across the Isle of Thanet in Kent, just over an hour from London.
Check the form on our home page for details of holiday accomodation availability
Tags: beachkitesurfingminnis baysailingvillagewindsurfing