High temperatures result in people packing Thanet beaches

Botany Bay today (May 20) Photo Katy Watkins

Hot weather has resulted in crowds packing out Thanet beaches and car parks.

Families have flocked to beaches including Botany Bay in Broadstairs, Minnis Bay and Margate.

It follows the easing of restrictions on public life earlier this month that means people are now able to exercise as many times a day as they like and can travel to outdoor destinations.

Concerns have been raised about social distancing and the lack of public toilet facilities as well as there being no lifeguard patrols.

Some public toilets in Thanet will be reopened from May 23-24 but these will only be at the main beaches.

Photo David Larkins

Minnis Bay has also attracted visitors with one resident saying: “Day trippers are urinating and defecating all over the surrounding bays.”

Photo Carl Hudson

A Kent Police spokesperson said: “Officers continue to engage with anyone not following the Government’s instructions, explain why they are necessary and encourage them to take personal responsibility for adhering to the latest national advice. Enforcement through fixed penalty notices will only be used as a last resort.”

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Last week Margate businesses had appealed for visitors to stay away for the time being despite the announcement that people are now free to travel.

The Don’t Visit Margate campaign was launched on the Visit Margate page, and businesses including Peter’s Fish Factory, GB Pizza Co, Cliffs, The Lifeboat, and The Reading Rooms have signed up.

Margate Photo Chris Gadd

The don’t visit plea was also backed by North Thanet MP Sir Roger Gale.

Kent Police last week issued a plea to follow social distancing after the easing of lockdown measures.

By contrast, quiet at the West Cliff Photo Daisy-May Stillman

Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: “It’s fantastic that the public response to tackling Covid-19 means restrictions have been eased but it is important to remember the restrictions could easily come back if the rate of infection increases to an unacceptable level.

Packed car park at Botany Photo Katy Larkins

“To avoid the rate of infection increasing, everyone needs to continue to abide by the social distancing measures. My officers will continue to be visible in our communities and will engage with those who need reminding, explain the restrictions that still apply and encourage them to take personal responsibility in the fight against the coronavirus.

Just a few swimmers at Ramsgate’s artificial beach Photo Daisy-May Stillman

“Throughout this pandemic, my officers and I have witnessed incredible acts of community spirit and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their compassion and resolve, however, we must not become complacent.”

Photo Friends of Botany Bay

Police will continue to address breaches, which include gatherings as well as people found trying to holiday or stay at a location other than their home in the county.

Visiting the homes of friends or family is also not permitted unless it is to support someone who is considered vulnerable or for medical purposes.


  1. Why so much hate for people coming to the beach. Some people can go several hours with out using the loo. From most of the photos I’ve seen there appears to be social distancing going on. For those few who do use open spaces as a toilet that is of course unacceptable also is blocking people’s driveways and inconsiderate parking. But the beaches do not belong to just us locals. Can you imagine being on lockdown with a couple of children in a small flat in a city or town.

    • I totally understand people needing to get out, loos are an issue though and need to be opened in a safe way

    • I speak from experience!
      The people I’ve met who live in flats in the cities who come to the beaches haven’t done a days work in their lives.
      My family have all had covid, caught from qeqm when I took my mum to weekly chemo as she’s got terminal cancer. Wake up !

  2. TDC have been trying their very best to turn the area into a giant toilet for many years. It now looks like they have managed it. All the seafronts reek of urine and human faeces laying around the beaches.

    Are we a third world country?

  3. I wonder how many of those lying on the beaches within touching distance of others are carrying the virus. They can easily pass it to another innocent being who could end up seriously ill or worse. People need to take responsibility for their own actions, they seem like adults and children trying to have a nice day out which is ok, but crowded beaches are not a good place to be at the moment with hundreds still dying of covid-19 each day in the UK. We don’t want that to start increasing again otherwise we will all be on lockdown many more months.

    • The government should have put a limit on how far people can travel. A limit of 15 or 20 miles, say. But, as usual, they blundered on , compounding the error of delaying lockdown with the error of loosening restrictions too much as well as too soon.

    • Who,s lying next to another group.Just came home from the beach with nobody from another group anywhere near me.Stop this nonsense now and let,s get back to normal.

  4. It’s shocking watching our town busy beach! I tho we still in lockdown and children not in school I can’t work because of lockdown! But when I looked in to so busy parking near the beach and full of people make no sence! It’s holiday or lockdown ?

  5. Botany Road is like an assault course today. Is this what our Prime Minister had in mind when he said the public would use common sense? Probably. There is no chance of social distancing and several of the visitors have left because the beach is too crowded. No public toilets, nowhere to park,or spend their money. Just the probability of bringing their infection to our area. MADNESS.

  6. Could I perhaps make a radical suggestion here?? Instead of continually blaming the beach-goers, who are largely doing nothing currently illegal, shouldn’t TDC be coming up with a very simple solution to something that potentially is both illegal and an additional health hazard.. the total lack of public toilets? If they are looking at opening just a few of these anyway, surely it’s not out of the question to, heaven forbid, go back to the idea of the old-fashioned toilet attendant.. one per toilet block? Surely this wouldn’t be much more expensive than having one or more ‘roving’ attendants as used to be the case? If protection from the virus is an issue, then address it by providing them with full PPE from the outset. Further, if you were a TDC employee asked to do this job, refuse – until such protection is guaranteed.

    • Ok mate, fancy a job? Full PPE. Have you seen the public toilets? Imagine how bad when no one wants to touch anything? It was bad enough before this.

      • Interesting then that’s exactly what they are going to do.. announced Thursday morning. BTW of course I know there is only one toilet at Botany Bay, apart from at the Hotel when it’s open. So what? Most beaches only have one public toilet facility. TDC aren’t going to suddenly provide additional portaloos..!!

  7. David, there is only ONE public toilet at Botany Bay. You obviously don’t live in the area so your radical suggestion is totally irrelevant. There have been reports of people urinating and defacating on the beach. As for blaming out visitors, wrong again. If there is any blame, to use your language, see Mr.B Johnson idiot from a pathetic government.

  8. Hottest day of the year people are always going to come to the beach. What planet are Thanet District Council on not opening the toilets? We can’t hide from this virus forever. Life must continue on. If you don’t want to take any form of risk then stay in your house. Is about time now Thanet opens up and starts welcoming people back otherwise there will be even greater mass unemployment in an area which already had high deprivation which will cause even more damage than the virus itself.

    • It is very easy just say open the toilets. But to comply with social distancing each toilet will need around 3 staff, for each sex. someone to monitor the queue outside, and letting you in when the person coming out is clear of the entrance. I suppose they could ask the men if they need a poo or a wee, to save a bit of time, in side. Another person checking and cleaning an sanitising the cubicle after each person and one more cleaning the wash basins and floor etc. If something along this line is not done the Council could be prosecuted for none compliance of social distancing. If people find out that Thanet is not open for business just yet they might go elsewhere.

    • My mother nearly died from virus. The rest of our family were incredibly ill with it, my husband still is. Until you’ve experienced a near death from it please ?

  9. Too many people have given up on social distancing. Unfortunately a lot of people are living in ignorance and believe that This crisis is over and everything is back to normal.

    Gangs of up 30 teenagers in Ramsgate King George park all drunk, Botony bay is as though nothing’s happened and idiots in supermarkets and garden centres not following the one way systems and 2 meter guidelines.

    Unfortunately a lot of people are of the mindset that they can now do what they want because they are not necessarily in the demographic that really suffers the full effects of COVID. The worst offenders seem to be those aged between 14 and 40. The selfishness of the human race is frightening.

  10. The public are at the sites shown mainly because of free parking minnis bay in particular. Charge the going rate throughout summer free in winter you will find the majority will become the few. And enforce it. Works well for other resorts Deal does not have this problem as you have to pay to park.

  11. I live i seafront on margate sands and there people going to toilet anywhere thay want and the rubbish that is left

  12. This is absolutely apaling why aren’t beaches shut if there’s no toilets or life guards and people are peeing wherever it’s disgusting !

    • How do you ”shut” a beach without police/security guards there 24/7 to stop people going on the sands?

  13. Strangely enough,most of the people packed onto and defecating over the beach at Botany were from ethnic groups that are most likely to die from Coronavirus infection. Does anyone care ?

    • Yes,Rob – I care.I don’t see why people from ANY ethnic group should be abandoned in the public consciousness to the effects of contracting Covid-19.

  14. Make sure you let your MP know. It’s his mob that made this unbelievable decision. Can’t think why, perhaps there’s something we don’t know, any ideas folks. Standby, they’ll be back!!

  15. Absolutely rediculous you can meet a friend outside.lots of other people around.yet cant in your garden.surely it is safer as only oneself useing it.feel safer than anywhere else

  16. Thanet is one big toilet anyway. Kent is the garden of England and thanet is the compost heap. Always has been. Don’t understand why anyone wants to visit thanet anyway. Essex is much better. Cleaner. Safer and nicer locals who have teeth.

    • Thanks Mary, luckily I don’t need to put my teeth in to reply. Good to hear some unity from our neighbours. I hope your dentists survive the downturn. X

    • Thanet is certainly not “one big toilet”. Please do not make these mistaken and insulting generalizations.

  17. People need to take responsibility for their own actions. Admittedly, the toilets could and should be open but the government is trusting the common sense of the people and some are just not using it.

    • Exactly, the “you can’t tell me what to do, i’m not stupid” generation proving they are totally wrong. It’s as if people want to live in an ever more regulated and controlled society.

  18. One thing nobody has mentioned is it’s not only the beaches people are visiting its also the local shops buying snacks for the beach etc. Broadstairs was packed yesterday and the streets are very narrow and difficult to distance yourself. I understand that being outside in the fresh air is not too much of a problem but in a small shop it’s different. I think the government didn’t think it through when they said people could go to parks and beaches. I for one am very afraid of a new wave of the virus and we have all worked so hard staying at home for it all to be ruined by a thoughtless few. I would also like to add that unlike some I think Thanet and especially Broadstairs is a beautiful place with friendly people who mostly have all there teeth!

    • Current government advice is that if you are going into small shops or travelling on public transport you should wear masks or face coverings.

      Unfortunately too many people are too selfish to wear a face covering and instead jeopardise the poor shop workers, other customers and their families by refusing to cover their faces. These selfish idiots should be ashamed of themselves and the Government needs to make it law rather than strongly advising people wear face coverings.

  19. We need to get some sense of perspective and move towards some sort of normality again. All people, and families, deserve to be able to enjoy the seaside. Health risks in the fresh air are far less. There has to be a way to look to open public toilets for locals and visitors alike. Too much negativity erodes the life blood of most. But for those moaning about people peeing etc. outside. Think of all the dog owners who allow this every day on the beach, green spaces etc. The grass by the Royal Esplanade smelt of dog pee yesterday quite heavily in the heat. Imagine families sitting and picnicking there, and what your shoes are walking through. Little thought to that one is there.

  20. I don’t understand why public toilets are open in Canterbury , Herne bay, Whitstable and Medway towns etc , but Not here !

    • Just had 3 car loads of what i think were turkish folk(11 in all) with a dog park in my road and disappear to the beach. Returned approx 3 hrs later to open their cars and proceed to have a picnic beside their cars. No problem with this but their leftover food and rubbish was just left on the path and wall attracting seagulls and other vermin!!

  21. They are just as bad here in the west country, you cannot educate stupid. I have a lot of friends in Margate and Ramsgate but wouldn’t dream of driving down for the day.

  22. Carl hudson pls put time u take pis as what i see around 1 till 5 the beach is totally packed

  23. I was walking my dogs this morning along the front in cliftonville. The bins near the steps full to overflowing. Rubbish on the beach. Yet we are not allowed to walk dogs on the beach as they might leave a mess but it’s ok for people to leave all their rubbish that goes into the sea, eaten by dogs or spread about by seagulls. Allow the dogs back onto the beaches as it’s a damn sight cleaner than letting humans on there.

  24. Keep dogs off the beaches they are already banned from. There are plenty of other places where people can walk their dogs . And please keep them on short leads when there are other people around.

  25. Early this morning my dog ran off to sniff around left behind barbecues, empty beer bottles, drug paraphernalia and all sorts of other rubbish left in a sprawling heap at the bottom of the cliffs between Botany Bay and Kingsgate Bay. Do you think people who obviously don’t give a damn about anyone or anything other than themselves are observing social distancing ? No one seems to be policing the beaches now the lockdown has been relaxed so it’s just a free for all. Parks are heaving too with kids playing in the playgrounds. WTF????!!!!!

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