Page Updated:- Wednesday, 31 March, 2021.


Earliest 1971

(Name from)


Open 2020+

The Bay

St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe

01304 853051

Coastguard St Margarets Bay
Coastguard St Margarets Bay
Coastguard sign May 1973

Above sign May 1973.

Coatguard sign 1991Coastguard sign 1992

Coastguard signs above August 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Coastguard sign St Margarets BayCoastguard sign St Margarets Bay

Above photos by Paul Skelton 10 November 2007

Coastguard sign 2010Coastguard sign 2010

New signs photographed by Paul Skelton 14 November 2010.

Coastguard sign 2020

Above sign, 2020, kindly taken and sent by Roger Pester.

Coastguard sign 2010
Coastguard 2007

Above photo by John Law, 15 May 2007.

Coastguard 2015

Above photo 2015.


Originally called the "Green Man" this pub is now titled the "Coastguard" to honour the original coastguard station built in 1737 housing six men and a boat.

It changed name after being rebuilt in 1951 after being accidentally flattened by the Canadians on target practise during WW2.


Coastguard 1976

Above postcard postmarked 19 May 1976. Kindly sent by Graham Butterworth.

Historic pub opens  its doors once more

From the Dover Mercury 16 August 2001

Nigel Wydymus of the Coastguard

NEW LIFE: Nigel Wydymus and Sam Robinson-Wildman at The Coastguard.

A NEW lease of life has begun for an historic pub at St Margaret's which only a year ago was threatened with closure.

New licensees Nigel Wydymus and Sam Robinson-Wildman officially opened The Coastguard, overlooking St Margaret's Bay, on Monday.

There had been fears the 300-year old pub would close after an application was made to convert it to a dwelling.

The proposal for the only pub in the Bay stirred much opposition from locals and the Campaign for Real Ale. It was thrown out by Dover District Council in January.

The picturesque seafront location is a main attraction for Mr Wydymus and Ms Robinson-Wildman who are taking on the business, having previously tackled high-powered London jobs.

Ms Robinson-Wildman's parents live in the village and she knows the spot well.

The pub is the nearest British hostelry to France with good views on a clear day. There is a shipwreck a few hundred yards off shore and a pill box and Napoleonic wall behind it.

Mr Wydymus has Scottish roots, but previously worked in London as a project manager for large scale events including rock concerts.

Ms Robinson-Wildman's background is in theatre and catering. She has worked as stage manager for West End hits including Oliver and Phantom of the Opera.

Their vision for the pub is to create an active and lively community asset which attracts both locals and visitors. Special events such as Beaujolais nights will be on the itinerary.

It will be open daily from 11am to 11pm around the year with food being served throughout the day.

Developing a reputation for excellent cuisine is a priority and the plan is to open up the first floor restaurant.

The emphasis will be on modern British cuisine, using local produce including game, seafood and vegetables.

"Being on the beach is such a good location and the main thing we love about the spot," said Ms Robinson-Wildman.

The pub was originally called The Green Man. It was accidentally flattened during the Second World War by the Canadians on target practise. It was re-opened and the name changed in 1951 to The Coastguard.


The pub of his dreams.

From the Dover Mercury 17 January, 2002

Nigel Wydymus

CHANGE OF SCENERY: Nigel Wydymus, new landlord of the Coastguard Ref 27623

Two years of scouring the South Coast has given Nigel Wydymus, with his fiancée Sam Robinson-wildman, the pub of his dreams - The Coastguard at St Margaret's.

"There's the location, the views, the atmosphere, the relaxed mix of people, the gorgeous scenery and you can just sit and watch a couple of ships going past."

Which is as dramatic a contrast as can be imagined from working on Rolling Stones and U2 tours and delivering the Millennium Dome contents on time.

His unusual surname is owed to his father's luck in escaping his homeland at the outbreak of the Second World War.

"He was on the last ship to leave Poland," said Nigel, 42. "He went to Canada, then to Britain to join the Free Polish Navy and saw service on the convoys and a good few battles.

 "Stationed in Scotland, he met my mother and in 1948 they married."

Nigel was brought up in Ardrossan on Scotland's West Coast and friends introduced him to the music business. "I started hanging out with them having a great time and ended up going to Glasgow for training."

It was an endlessly challenging and rewarding experience as he worked on the concepts and designs for the Rock world's greatest talents.

"You have to be tremendously focused, because everything is to an absolute deadline - if you have 30,000 fans waiting you've got to get it right first time there's no room for: 'Sorry, oops, it'll be another half hour.'

"Outside it looks a really aggressive place to work but it's very, very focused and a hell of a lot of fun! People are relying on you to get the tour on to the next night, the next country, the next continent and you have to make sure that Part A fits into Part B every time!"

Delivering the Dome contents meant that he and Sam knew what would be inside years before the rest of Britain and he has very positive memories of what it meant to non-politicans.

"The Dome was absolutely brilliant - it's just a shame that it became a politicians' football."

They found The Coastguard because they were visiting Sam's family in the area and knew-instantly it was all they hoped for in a pub/restaurant.

Now they are busy preparing for their wedding: "We've chosen January 25 - it's Burns Night so there's no danger of me ever forgetting the date" said Nigel.


From the Dover Express, 16 April, 2009

Coastguard has sole

Report by Yamurai Zendera

Sam Wydymus

Cooking up a storm: Head chef and joint owner of The Coastguard Pub, St Margaret's Bay, Sam Wydymus.


A HEAD chef has had the honour of writing a recipe for the new Kentish fresh fish guide from Produced in Kent.

Sam Wydymus, 39, who can be found cooking up a storm at the Coastguard pub and restaurant in St Margaret's Bay, was approached by the food group to provide the sole recipe on which the Soul to Sole Fish Trail guide is based.

The pregnant mum-of-two, who is also co-owner with husband Nigel, 47, said she was delighted to be given the honour of contributing to the latest offering of the firm's Food Trails series - which highlights some of the products most closely associated with the county.

She said: "It's such an honour to be asked, especially when there are so many other great fish restaurants in Kent.

"For the Coastguard to be asked to write the recipe on which the book is based is like being asked to represent Kent in the food Olympics."

Mrs Wydymus, who is due to give birth in August, added: "As the closest UK restaurant to France, we've always felt duty-bound to be an ambassador for Kentish food, drink and hospitality.

"We have the Garden of Kent behind us and the wide open sea in front. People come here expecting amazing local fish."

Despite this latest honour, the award winning business has seen trade hit by the credit crisis and recession.

Mr Wydymus, a former production manager for the Rolling Stones and U2, said: "Our growth is not as high as we would have hoped.

"We aim for 10 per cent growth a year in sales and income, but our growth has been about five per cent.

"We are not overly concerned about it but it's something to be aware of People are being more cautious about what they do with their money.

"We have to make sure we still offer value for money and quality."

The couple started their business in 2001 and employ 28 people.


From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 21 January 2010.


 CHEF Sam Wydymus is reviving the old tradition of bread being baked in St Margaret's.

"Many moons ago, long before supermarkets took over the world, the little village of St Margaret's at Cliffe had its own bakery," she said.

"In my never-ending search for good bread, I have decided to re-establish the tradition."

Armed with a bucket, some grapes, some Crabble Mill flour and a rolling pin to bash it all up with, she is growing her own wild yeast to make the first sour-dough loaf to be baked in the village for many years.

Sam is head chef at The "Coastguard" in St Margaret's Bay, which has been known for the freshly baked bread served in its restaurant since opening nine years ago.

"When snow recently cut the village off from the rest of the world, I was called upon to bake extra and the idea was born. We are making bread the way our Neolithic ancestors would have done," she said. "We have to feed it twice daily and you are under no doubt you are dealing with a living breathing organism - we've even given it a name!"

Making bread entirely from scratch using local ingredients not only fits in with The "Coastguard's" local produce ethic, but has the added advantage of making bread with character and a naturally long life. The first loaves of St Margaret's Bay Sour Dough will be available in late February with plans for a twice-weekly baking service.

Now Sam is researching some historical recipes for spring including a yeasted simnel cake and even a beer brewed from the mother yeast just in time for Easter.


From the Dover Express, 18 February, 2010


Sam Wydymus and bread

THERE was a time when every village would have had its own bakery, producing wonderfully fresh and tasty loaves day in and day out. The rise of the supermarket and changing tastes may have put an end to this tradition in most places, but in St Margaret's it looks as if the smell of fresh bread being lovingly bakad could be wafting over the village once again. So we sent reporter RHYS GRIFFITHS to find out why old traditions are coming back to life.

AS you wind your way down into the depths of St Margaret's Bay, an everyday piece of technology reminds you just how isolated this beautiful spot at the foot of the cliffs really is.

Down at sea level, the chalk rising up around you means your mobile phone loses contact with the network - then picks up a signal beamed across the Channel from France.

This can make this picturesque part of the village feel slightly removed from the rest of the country behind it, but it is nothing compared to the very real dislocation caused by extreme weather.

As the bay is linked to St Margaret's-at-Cliffe by steep roads, when it snows those living below can find themselves cut off from the wider world.

This was exactly what happened during last month's cold snap, as conditions meant villagers could not get out for essential supplies.

For Sam Wydymus, head chef at The "Coastguard" which she owns with husband Nigel, this could have been a disaster for business but instead it became the start of a whole new venture.

The 40-year-old, who took over the pub and restaurant almost a decade ago, explained how conversations with regulars during the snowy weather led to the idea of setting up a bakery on site.

"It was one of those bizarre conversations you have," she said. "We could not get further than the village, but we said at least we had bread and lots of beer, so it went from there.

"We wondered what would happen if we couldn't get yeast. WeIl, you can still make sourdough."

The talk in the bar, which has a reputation for producing good food using locally sourced ingredients, turned to the village's past and the days when bread was baked there.

This led mum-of-three Sam to decide to revive that tradition.

She said: "We were talking to people about the last bakery in the village years ago. Now people go to he supermarkets, but this was harking back to the days of the I shop on the corner."

"So it was a little bit of that nostalgia and the fact that we have kitchens which brought this about. Making bread entirely from scratch using local ingredients not only fits in with The Coastguard's local-produce ethic but has the added advantage of making bread with character and a naturally long life."

Now Sam, who appears regularly on BBC Radio Kent as a foodie expert, is producing a range of different sourdough breads and is hoping to create new flavours through experimental recipes.

It is hoped that once these have been perfected, customers will be able to place orders for bread tailor-made to their own taste.

The first loaves of St Margaret's Bay Sourdough will be available from the pub later this month, with plans for a twice-weekly baking service, but Sam joked that, if it really takes off, she could always send her kids out on their bikes to deliver to homes in the village.

Whatever the future does hold, one thing is for sure - the days of the smell of freshly baked bread wafting over St Margaret's have returned for good.

The bread is on sale for £2 a loaf. For more Information, call 01304 851010.

Sam and reporter

Helping hand: Reporter Rhys Griffiths mucks in under Sam's watchful eye.

Bread from th Coastguard

What is sourdough? Sourdough is one of the oldest breads, made using only flour and water, harnessing the wild yeast that is in the air everywhere.

Using natural yeast means it has an individual taste, depending on where it is made, an example of terroir, usually a wine concept.

Sourdough probably originated in Ancient Egypt, and remained the most common bread in Europe until the Middle Ages.

How Sam makes sourdough. All you need is water and flour mixed up in a bucket.

To speed things up, Sam uses organic grapes in a muslin bag, bashed with a roiling pin to release some juice, then placed in the bucket.

This mixture, which will become the "mother" of the sourdough, is covered and left for two weeks.

For the next week. It is fed with flour and water twice a day.

After this, a small amount of mix is taken, water and flour are added, and it is all mixed together and left to prove. After three to five hours, the dough should have doubled in size, then more flour is added and the dough-kneaded.

This final dough is left for another 3-5 hours before baking.


From Your Dover 20 February 2010 BY NICK AMES

Pub turns back clock to revive village bakery.

AN AGE-OLD tradition is being resurrected at a pub at St Margaret's Bay.

Using techniques dating back to pre-history, The Coastguard - a popular inn by the sea - is baking its own bread.

In the past the small village had its own bakery, which partially inspired the idea, and the plans received a boost when the pub started making its own bread to feed customers when the village was cut off by recent snow.

Head chef Sam Wydymus explained why she decided to take on the challenge.

Sam Wydymus

She said: "Many moons ago, long before supermarkets took over the world, the little village of St Margaret's at Cliffe had its own bakery. Now I want to re-establish the tradition."

Using a bucket, some grapes, some "Crabble Mill" flour and a rolling-pin to bash it all up, Sam is growing her own wild yeast to make the first sour-dough loaf to be baked in the village for many years.

She said: "The Coastguard has been well known for the freshly-baked bread served in its restaurant since opening nine years ago.

"When snow recently cut the village off from the rest of the world, I was called upon to bake extra and the idea was born.

"We're making bread the way our Neolithic ancestors would have done. We feed it twice daily and you are under no doubt you are dealing with a living, breathing organism.

"Making bread entirely from scratch using local ingredients not only fits in with The Coastguard's local-produce ethic but has the added advantage of making bread with character and a naturally long life.

"The first loaves of St Margaret's Bay Sour Dough will be available late February with plans for a twice-weekly baking service."


From the Dover Express, Thursday 2 September, 2010


Pub festival celebrates traditional food and drink

Report by Rhys Griffiths

Sam Wydymus 2010

FOODIES: Chef Sam Wydymus is looking forward to this weekend's Historical Food Festival.


A GASTRONOMIC battle between Britain and France is set to take place in St Margaret's Bay this weekend.

The Coastguard pub, which sits in a picturesque location by the Channel, is hosting a Historical Food Festival celebrating the very best in grub from both sides of the Dover Strait.

Getting underway at 10am on Sunday, the event will feature competing foodies from both nations facing off in what the organisers describe as their "little medieval encampment" by the sea.

Among those taking part from France will be master cheesemonger Phillipe Olivier, Opal Coast brewer Christophe Noyons and fish smokers JC David of Boulogne.

Representing the home nation will be the enigmatically-named Tom the Cheese, brewers from Gadds of Ramsgate and tasty treats from the Weald Smokery.

Chef Sam Wydymus, who owns the venue with husband Nigel, said: "All of these guys are specialists in their fields with tons of awards and worldwide following, they are also passionate about their subjects. None could be accused of being shy or retiring.

"This really will be France versus England - south coast verses north, knives and glasses drawn and ready."

The aim of the festival is to celebrate traditional methods in production of food and drink, something Sam is very passionate about.

She is know for producing her own sourdough bread at the pub, a venture inspired during some particularly wintry weather which saw the village snowbound and cut off from the outside world.

The food festival has been many months in the making, and Sam admits their could be a some good-natured banter between the two countries.

"These doyens of the French and British foodie world have never knowingly been in the same county as one another, let alone a tented village," she said jokingly.

"There is every possibility of an international incident not dissimilar to Waterloo taking place."


From the Dover Express, Thursday 9 September, 2010


Coastguard bomb disposal

A BOMB disposal unit was sent to St Margaret's Bay at the weekend after reports of a suspicious object on the shoreline.

The specialist team from the Royal Logistics Corps arrived on the scene on Sunday afternoon after a walker had alerted the coastguard the previous day.

On closer inspection the offending item was revealed to be an oil filter.

A coastguard spokesman said: "We encourage members of the public to report these things. As a precaution we sent the Langdon Bay coastguard team and the explosives team to check it out."


From the Dover Mercury, Thursday 6 January 2011.


Pictures by MAX HESS and PHIL LOWRY

A HUGE rumbling noise and clouds of dust marked the massive fall of chalk from the White Cliffs at the bay at St Margaret's on Saturday.

Walkers on the beach fled and at first there were worries children, seen playing on the foreshore, could have been trapped under the 30 square metre mass.

Emergency services were called and specialist equipment brought in from across Kent, but no one was found.

Nigel Wydymus, from The "Coastguard" pub and restaurant at the bay, said: "Luckily the children had moved away literally seconds before the chalk fall. "They thought it was all great fun, but the parents were not so sure."

Nigel Wydymus

Mr Wydymus said chalk falls were not so much a surprise after 10 years at the pub, which was built on the edge of the sea front.

"Thankfully there are no cliffs behind or to the side of us, but people should have a healthy respect for the area. I do try to discourage walkers, especially visitors who want to walk from St Margaret's to Dover along the shoreline."

Mr Wydymus paid tribute to the big response from the emergency services, who he described as fantastic.

Cliff fall

The Coastguard's restaurant supervisor Karen Phillips, who said there had also been a small cliff fall on December 23, heard Saturday's crash about 1pm and saw the huge puff of chalk.

She added: "Customers came running in to tell us and we raised the alarm. It was a worry when we thought there were people trapped."

Fire-fighters from Deal and St Margaret's were called, as well as the coastguard and ambulance service, police, Kent Air Ambulance and Walmer Lifeboat. There were also Kent Fire and Rescue's search and rescue dogs.

Deal fire station watch manager Dave Potter said; "It could not be confirmed that everyone had been accounted for, so a thorough search was carried out in the joint exercise.

"It was fortuitous that the tide was out and the incident closed at 4.45pm."

Cliff fall 2011


WALMER'S RNLI inshore lifeboat was called out shortly after 1.20pm after fears people were trapped under the huge cliff fall.

The crew searched the shoreline and joined other emergency services on the beach at St Margaret's on New Year's Day.

Walmer Lifeboat Station's press and publicity officer Andy Roberts said the 999 call came into Dover Coastguard from The "Coastguard" pub on the foreshore.


He added: "We were informed that a nearby section of cliff had collapsed and it was feared that two people were missing and one person was trapped under the rubble and chalk.

"Walmer ILB helped in searching the foreshore near the fall and the crew interviewed members or the public who had witnessed the collapse of a large section of the cliff.

"After an extensive and thorough search it was decided that there was no one missing and the lifeboat was released and returned to station at 4pm," Warmer lifeboat operations manager Denis Brophy said: "Following the recent lengthy cold-snap, coupled with a wet few weeks, the alternating freezing and thawing of water in the fissures in the cliff have made certain areas very unstable. "People should treat both the cliff edges and below the cliff face in that area with extreme caution."


From the Dover Mercury, 2 May, 2013. 80p.


CHEESE-LOVERS are being invited to a special event at The Coastguard at St Margaret's Bay next week.

The restaurant is reintroducing its famous Waterloo cheese board and to launch it a cheesey evening with world-renowned cheese expert and author Juliete Harbutt will be at the pub on Wednesday at 7pm.

The evening will begin with a tasting selection from the summer menu followed by a tutored cheese extravaganza, pitting Britain against the rest of the cheese world, hosted by Juliette.

Accompanied by beers, wines and ciders, salads and freshly-baked breads, there will be a Cheese Challenge prior to coffee and a preview of summer desserts.

The cost is £25, or £20 per head for groups of four or more. Places are limited and can be booked on 01304853176


From the 13 January 2016 by Emily Stotte.

Shepherd Neame takes over The Coastguard in St Margaret's Bay, Dover.

Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame has taken over historic seaside pub The Coastguard in St Margaret’s Bay.

Dating back more than 300 years, the "Coastguard" has panoramic sea views across the small bay, and is Britain’s nearest pub to France.

It was officially taken over by the brewery on Monday, January 11, and it will be closed for up to eight weeks for a £160,000 refurbishment to be carried out.

Tom and Karensa Miller 2016

Tom and Karensa Miller in front of the "Coastguard" at St Margaret's Bay.

Work will include repainting the pub inside and out, refurbishing the toilets, installing a new fireplace, and new lighting and decorations. An outside bar and barbecue will also be installed, as well as kitchen improvements.

Licensees Tom and Karensa Miller, who have run the "Zetland Arms" in Kingsdown since 2013, will be expanding their business by taking on the pub.

Mrs Miller, 36, said: “Before we took on the "Zetland Arms," Tom was working as a pipe fitter, so it was a complete change of lifestyle for us, but I had worked in pubs since I was 18 and Tom had grown up in them, so we decided to go for it.

"We never dreamed that we would have a second pub within three years, but when we saw the "Coastguard" was available, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

"It is in a fantastic location, and we already have a great relationship with Shepherd Neame.

Coastguard 2016

The Coastguard at St Margaret's Bay.

Coastguard licensees 2016

Tom and Karensa Miller at the Coastguard at St Margaret's Bay.

"We can see a lot of potential in the pub, particularly for events and functions as there is so much room.

“Everything has been going really well at the "Zetland Arms" and we love what we do, so we are really excited about expanding our business with the "Coastguard."”

The pair received the New Licensee of the Year Award at the 2014 Shepherd Neame Pub awards, and Wine Pub of the Year at the 2015 awards.

Mr Miller, 39, said: “We thought the "Zetland Arms" would be predominantly a summer pub, but we built a reputation for great food so we are busy all year round, and we hope to do the same with the "Coastguard." We can’t wait to get started.”

There will be freshly ground coffee, Shepherd Neame’s Kentish ales and wines, and a menu of light bites and main meals available.


From the Dover Express, 14 January, 2016.

£160k makeover of coastal pub under new bosses.

THE Coastguard pub in St Margaret’s Bay will receive a fresh lick of paint along with £160,000 worth of improvements.

Shepherd Neame took over the 300-year-old seaside drinking hotspot, which is well-known for being Britain’s nearest pub to France, on Monday.

The pub will shut down for eight weeks to make way for new toilets, a new fireplace, new lightning and decorations. Kitchen improvements, an outside bar and a barbeque will also be added.

Tom and Karensa Miller, who run the Zetland Arms in Kingsdown, will become the new licensees of The Coastguard.

Karensa said: “When we saw the pub was available it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. It is in a fantastic location, and we can see a lot of potential in the pub, particularly for events and functions as there is so much room.

“Everything has been going really well at the Zetland Arms and we love what we do, so we are really excited.”


From the Dover Mercury, 28 January 2016.

Bay’s Coastguard still going 300 years on.

Britain’s nearest pub to France, which is more than 300-years-old, has been taken over by Kent’s oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame.

The Coastguard in St Margaret’s Bay has survived two world wars (just), sitting as it does only yards away from the English Channel and directly in line with enemy shelling and bombing.

The official change in management went ahead on Monday, January 11.

The pub is shut for six weeks while a £160,000 refurbishment goes ahead that will include a repaint and complete internal refurbishment.

An outside bar and barbecue are also be installed, as well as kitchen improvements.

The pub was formerly known as The "Green Man" before the First World War and during the 1930s it sat alongside a cluster of houses at the far end of the bay.

The St Margaret’s Village Archive said that land under the cliff was “almost a separate community in its own right”.

It was given its new name The Coastguard after it was accidentally flattened by the Canadian Army on target practice during the Second World War.

It was rebuilt in 1951, and named in honour of the original coastguard station built in 1737, that housed six men and a boat.

By the millennium it was threatened with closure until it came under the new ownership of Nigel Wydymus and Sam Robinson-Wildman for more than a decade.

This newspaper reported that an application was made to Dover District Council to convert it into a dwelling.

The proposal stirred much opposition from locals and the Campaign for Real Ale.

This was rejected by Dover District Council in January 2001, and the couple were featured in the local press as trying to revive custom by bringing back village-wide traditions such as bread making.

Licensees Tom and Karensa Miller, who have run the "Zetland Arms" in Kingsdown since 2013, have expanded their business by taking on the pub.

It will soon serve Shepherd Neame’s Faversham ales along with wines, a menu of light bites and main meals and teas and coffees.


From the Dover Express, 7 April 2016.

A new pair on the lookout at the newly refurbished Coastguard pub.

THE landlords of the "Zetland Arms" at Kingsdown have expanded their business by taking over The "Coastguard" in nearby St Margaret’s Bay.

Tom & Karensa Miller

Tom and Karensa Miller, who have run the "Zetland Arms" since 2013, are now behind the bar at the "Coastguard" which reopened on Friday after a £200,000 refurbishment by new owners Shepherd Neame.


Karensa said: “When we saw the "Coastguard" was available, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.”

The Faversham-based brewer, Shepherd Neame, took over the pub in January

The refurbishment includes boat-shaped planters and life-buoys as decoration, an outside bar and barbecue along with outdoor feature ‘living room’ lamps.

A new fireplace has also been fitted inside.

Shepherd Neame’s chief executive Jonathan Neame said: “The Coastguard is in a spectacular seaside location, and we are confident that following our investment in the site, it will prove a popular destination for residents and visitors to the area.”

From the Dover Mercury, 19 May, 2016.

Pub looks shipshape after £250,000 refit.

A Dover charity benefited from a £500 donation at the official launch of The Coastguard pub after its £250,000 refurbishment.

Coastguard cheque 2016

Jamie Clark and his mother Sue of the Pegasus Playscheme hold the cheque with, from left, Coastguard licensees Tom and Karenza Miller, dad Thomas Clark and Jonathan Neame.

Dozens of guests turned up at the St Margaret’s Bay pub - said to be the UK’s closest watering hole to France.

The pub, dating back more than 300 years, was officially taken over by Kentish brewery Shepherd Neame in January.

In keeping with its seafront position, The Coastguard’s new look is inspired by maritime heritage, with red and white light-house-style pub fascia and sign-writing.

Coastguard 2016

It has been completed with boat-shaped planters and lifebuoys as decoration.

An outside bar and barbecue have also been installed.

A new menu has been devised by the licensees Karensa and Tom Miller.

The first pint of the night was pulled by Jamie Clark, 25, who has called St Margaret’s-at-Cliffe home all his life.

Mr Clark has Down’s Syndrome and is the ambassador for Pegasus Playscheme, the Mercury’s charity of the year.

It supports children with severe and complex disabilities and is run by his mother Sue Clark.

Shepherd Neame chief executive Jonathan Neame attended the launch event, and handed the check to the pair.

He also gave Jamie an engraved pewter tankard.

Mr Neame said: “The Coastguard is in a spectacular seaside location, and we are confident that following our investment in the site, it will prove a popular destination for residents and visitors to the area.”

For more information visit or call 01304 853051.


From the Dover Mercury, 11 Thursday, 2016.

Police appeal following raid at seafront pub.

Police have released an image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with a burglary at the Coastguard pub in St Margaret’s.

Coastguard burglar

Cash was stolen from staff accommodation at the pub in The Bay, between 11am and 6.46pm on Sunday, July 17.

Police would like to speak to a man in his 40s, of slim build, about 5ft 10in tall, with dark brown hair and a beard.

He was wearing a T-shirt and had a jumper tied around his waist.

It is thought to be connected to two other burglaries at a pub in Herne Bay where the thieves made off empty-handed.

Also, three men were reported to have been seen breaking into a pub in Margate Road, Herne Bay, between 1.58am and 2.06am on Monday, July 18, just eight days after intruders were spotted at the premises before.

The men, who were all wearing dark trousers, dark hoodies and balaclavas, are believed to have got into the pub via a flat roof but made off empty-handed when they triggered the alarm.

Acting Det Sgt Richard Allen said: “We are keeping an open mind as to whether or not the incidents are linked and are following a number of lines of inquiry.

“We are keen to hear from anyone who recognises the man or who was in either area at the relevant times and might have seen any suspicious activity.”

If you know who or where he is, call 01843 222289 quoting reference ZY/24289/16.

Alternatively, contact Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


From the By Lauren MacDougall, 6 November 2019.

Kent’s cosiest pubs with gorgeous log fires that will shield you from the cold.

These stunning pubs come with crackling fires, beautiful interiors and tasty food.

Is there anything better than curling up next a toasty log fire, pint in hand?

With the winter months drawing in and November predicted to be one of the coldest ever, knowing your local cosy pub with a gorgeous log fire is more important than ever.

Whether you're looking for a tipple after a brisk walk or just after a warm afternoon out, there's plenty of choice.

These stunning pubs come with crackling fires, beautiful interiors and tasty food.

Some of them even have more than one wood burner, so you won't be fighting for the coveted space in front of the flickering flames.

If you're looking for some inspiration, check out our list below.

The Coastguard.

Coastguard inside 2019

The Coastguard.

Where : St Margaret's Rd, St Margaret's Bay, Dover CT15 6DY.

What : Dating back more than 300 years, The Coastguard has panoramic sea views across the small bay, and is Britain's nearest pub to France.

In winter, the pub offers a haven for those enjoying a bracing walk along Dover’s famed White Cliffs.

There's a wonderful open fire burner and a cosy snug for you to hide away from the elements.

Inside, the nautical theme continues, with a warm and welcome offered to all who come aboard.

The kitchen serves up a varied menu of light bites and traditional main meals - with seafood naturally something of a speciality - while everything from fresh ground coffee to Kentish ales and world wines are available at the bar.


From the Dover Mercury, Wednesday, 18 March, 2020. By Beth Robson.

Seaside pub's quiz backs RNLI in Dover and Walmer.

Staff and drinkers of a seaside eaterie put on their own Pub Aid World’s biggest pub quiz in aid of the RNLI.

The "Coastguard" at St Margaret’s Bay is now holding regular quizzes and this month they decided to support the sea rescue charity.

General manager Charlotte Hogben said: "The idea behind the scheme is to bring the UK Pub industry together to raise money for good causes.

"The RNLI is obviously very close to our heart at the "Coastguard" considering our location.

"As we are placed half way between Dover and Walmer we decided to split all the money raised between the two lifeboat stations."

The quiz, held on Wednesday, March 11, was a sell out with two extra tables representing the two local RNLI teams.

The winning team won vouchers for Beach Street Restaurants, the company that owns the "Coastguard," 81 Beach Street in Deal & the "Granville" just outside Canterbury.

But the losing team didn’t lose out completely. They received an RNLI pencil and yellow wellies key ring.

The event raised just over £250 which included a raffle with a mischievous twist - picking or stealing raffle prizes from previous winners.

The "Coastguard" has become avid supporters of the RNLI since becoming the first place in the area to have the Betty’s 5p pots on their tables. Since then, they have hosted many events to support the charity.

Coastguard Lifeboat Teams

Walmer and Dover lifeboat teams joined the Coastguard pub's quiz. They are pictured with management team Charlotte Hogben, Ben Foreman and Maria Anderson.



GRIGGS Mike 1971-72

BOOMER Larry Next pub licensee had 1972-73

STEVENS P J & MAIN/MAIR R 1974+ Library archives 1974 Charrington & Co

WYDYMUS Nigel 2001-10+ &


MILLER Tom and Kerensa Jan/2016+


Library archives 1974Library archives 1974


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