Explore free beauty spots
IF YOU have the Bank Holiday blues because cash is limited and the family wants to enjoy the school holiday look no further than just outside your doorstep - Thanet is teeming with opportunities for free fun.
Treat Thanet as your very own tourist spot and rediscover the treasures it offers - all without costing a penny.
How many beaches have you visited? There are many, such as Grenham Bay in Birchington, that are tiny, virtually unknown, gems. A trip around Thanet's Coastal Path (thanetcoast.org.uk) provides explorers with beaches of every personality from brash to bashful – and all beautiful.
If you've a bicycle, the Viking Coastal Trail (visitthanet.co.uk/viking/trail_map.asp) combines coastline and countryside.
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Head inland to one of 70 areas of public land including 38 parks for picnicking, football, dog walking or just strolling. More than 30 spots have play equipment. Find your nearest at bit.ly/thanetparks or bit.ly/thanetgreens. Kent Wildlife Trust manages Pegwell Bay Country park, one of six reserves in East Kent. Pegwell offers a wealth of walks, photographic opportunities and places to watch wildlife especially birds, butterflies and orchids. (www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserves/ east-kent-coastal/sandwich-pegwell-bay).
Just along the Thanet Way is Reculver Country Park with its distinctive twin towers offering the remains of a Roman fort and Saxon church and wildlife including geese and migratory birds to watch.
There's more history to be found at St Peter's Village Tours, full of costumed characters and drama, are worth taking the whole family to (www.villagetour.co.uk).
How about experiencing some medieval masterpieces? Many of Thanet's churches are beautiful historic monuments that still breathe life into communities even though congregations have reduced.
If you haven't visited a church lately start with St Laurence, in St Lawrence, St George's, in Ramsgate, or St Peter's, in St Peter's, all steeped in history from pews to gravestones.
What about a windmill? The 1760 White Mill, in Sandwich, is open all year on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays 10am to noon and bank holidays. Margate's Drapers Mill built in 1845 is also restored but doesn't open until June, July and August.
If the weather is unkind head indoors.
Margate Old Town fairly drips with galleries quite apart from Turner Contemporary where there's only until May 13 to see the Turners on show.
And don't miss Limbo Arts and Crate, tucked away in Bilton Square off the High Street.
Donations are welcomed but there's no admission charge at Margate Museum and, over in Ramsgate, there will be many celebrations when the Maritime Museum reopens tomorrow.
In Manston, even car parking is free at The Spitfire And Hurricane Memorial Museum where all the glories of the Battle of Britain can be relived (www.spitfire.memorial.museum).
After the bank holiday visit your library. There's more than books there with the opportunity to join clubs and classes, fitness walks, hear stories, view art displays and find out more about what's available around the isle.