Formal zone – school/group visits

School & Groups – Beach Excursions

Schools, clubs or large group excursions to the NE Kent coast can enjoy the beaches or view the variety of marine and coastal wildlife around the Thanet coastline depending upon if the tide is in or out. Groups should use the online ‘notification’ process – see below. Educational visits can see evidence of coastal erosion, run beach inspired activities, use the ‘online educational toolkit’ or just visit for general coastal leisure opportunities.

A number of bays around the NE Kent Coast are suitable for organised trips, including:

Beach Safety: Thanet’s Beaches & Coast Public Space Protection Order (PSPO: news release 2021) replaces the former coastal byelaws to help public safety. Within the new Beach and Coast Code of Conduct school and large group visits (over 20) are asked to notify the council – and can use the School/Group Visit Notification link below.

Please read the RNLI’s Beach Safety advice to have fun and stay safe. Learn to recognise the safety flags, understand rip current, waves and tides; safe use of inflatables and bodyboards; an staying safe in the sun or sea.

RNLI Lifeguarded beaches: please look up the lifeguarded beaches and details of where and when they will present, for extra safety on your visit.

Educational Activities assistance: The Thanet Coast Project can assist with activities like Seashore Safaris (over ‘Low Tide’ times only) or Scavenger Hunts & Beach Art for a small donation to help cover our costs. For more information, please submit school/group details on the notification form or contact for availability at:

*Educational on-line toolkit: {please click for link} A free online educational toolkit is available for four of our beaches at Minnis Bay, Joss Bay, & both Margate & Ramsgate Main Sands. This will give your class/group an insight into our coastline – with a detailed introduction document which highlights practical and safety information for your visit. There are suggestions for activities and resources, with each activity tailored to either KS1 or KS2, or both and linked to different subjects in the curriculum. There are accompanying audio files which explore some of the unique stories of our coastline and key messages about sea safety.


Please inform the Thanet Council of your intended visit for schools or groups (for over 20 people) to the Thanet beaches – from Birchington, Westgate, Margate, Broadstairs & Ramsgate at:

In this form, you will be asked to provide information on the:

  • name of school/community group
  • your contact details (& emergency contact number for on the day)
  • beach you are looking to visit
  • intended date & the times of your visit
  • numbers (students/pupils/children; & also teachers/helpers)
  • what the activities are being undertaken

This is required for health and safety – so that it can be shared with the bay inspectors, RNLI lifeguards (if working that day) & concessionaires (if you are linking up) and is part of the Thanet Beaches and Coast PSPO’s Code of Conduct. When planning your visit, this information can help you to avoid other schools that have already notified us of their visit, or any events or other work/activities that are taking place on that day.

Please ensure that you check the site beforehand & send us a copy of your:

  • risk assessment for your visit and activities on your chosen section of coastline, &
  • public liability insurance (making sure that your excursion/activity is covered by this)

We would also advise you to contact the local cafe/concessionaire within the bay so that they are aware of your intended visit – especially if you intend to use their facilities (so that they have enough ice creams in, or staff to help run attractions!). Further local advice available from the Visit Thanet Information Centre: 01843 577577.

Further information

Please remember to read the following, as part of your planning for your organised educational visit to the coast:

Mobility Access: Many of our beaches have ‘all terrain wheelchairs’ available for booking for anyone with mobility impairment. For further information and for donations to help this superb charity, please visit the website: Beach Within Reach

Group Visits to Thanet’s Beaches & Bays (Visit Thanet)

Apart from the free educational toolkit there is additional resources available for schools from:

Guardians of The Deep – Our Guardians of the Deep partnership project with Kent Wildlife Trust and partners (2017-20) has left a legacy to pass on knowledge to teachers to help local schools benefit from WildBeach /Teach on the beach activities.  Further information with a Teach on the beach booklet, and marine games booklet is available online.

Marine Education – marine outreach material produced from various Natural England initiatives such as hidden seas.

Kent & Essex IFCA: Key stage 1&2 resources to teach children about the coastal waters and wildlife around Kent and Essex

World Ocean Day for Schools – resources for helping teachers and children get involved (from videos, activities to lessons)

Beach Groups – Thanet Council’s Events Policy:

  • Small Groups (under 50 people) need to inform the Coastal Team of any group visits to the beaches and bays = you can let us know via the notification process above. Groups that want to have music, food, alcohol or equipment on to the beach will be classified as an event and should go through the Events process.
  • Large Groups (over 50 people) needs to consider the impact on the surrounding area and services. If these groups want to have music, food, alcohol or equipment (or want to run an public activity/event on to the beach) or there are going to be large numbers, then it is classified as an event and should go through the Event process.

NOTE: Other beaches in North East Kent:

Whitstable, Herne Bay to Reculver Country Park: Please contact Canterbury City Council ‘Foreshore Services’ – leisure-communities for advice on visits to Whitstable, Herne Bay to Reculver in NE Kent.

Sandwich Bay: private estate toll road access charges (POA)