Introduction

The Pines Garden, Tea Room and Museum are located on the East Kent coast, in an area of outstanding natural beauty, just 100 metres from the beach and less than a kilometre from the village of St.Margaret’s-at-Cliffe. The site is situated on a cliff, with sections of the garden having a gradual slope. The garden, Tea Room and Museum are all at ground level and all have disabled access, with the Tea Room/Museum having a disabled WC. These facilities are a member of the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS) and received the “hidden gem” accolade for 2014 from VAQAS.

Pre-Arrival

  • The site is located 4 kilometres from the train station of the neighbouring village, Martin Mill
  • The trust does not currently provide a collection service for visitors, however accessible taxis are available and the train station has a pay phone.
  • The No.15 bus operates between Deal and Dover (via St. Margaret’s) on an hourly basis, from 7am until 6pm, with virtually every bus having disabled access.
  • Visitors can alight at the “Bay Hill” bus stop, which is the closest to the garden, being approximately 300 metres away.
  • The main road, public footpath and steps leading down to the attraction are very steep.
  • Visitors can plan their journey ahead by car or public transport using a journey planning website, simply by entering their postcode and the trust’s postcode, which is CT15 6DZ to get directions
  • Other information regarding the Pines Garden, Tea Room and Museum can be accessed via our website: www.baytrust.org.uk

Car Parking and Arrival

  • The Pines Garden provides free parking for 25+ vehicles on the trust site, close to the main garden entrance.
  • There is 1 disabled bay located directly outside the Tea Room and Museum; this space is just a few metres from the main entrance to the garden.
  • There is a level drop-off point for visitors by the disabled bay, with even and direct wheelchair access to the Tea Room and Museum via a 4-metre ramp with a gradual slope and handrails on both sides.
  • There is level access to the garden and a 1150mm (45 inch) wide entrance.
  • The Tea Room and Museum are accessed through a 1100mm (43 inch) outward-opening double door, with staff on-hand to assist if required.

 

Main entrance, reception and ticketing area:

  • The garden is entered via a large courtyard area, is at ground level and has a stone bench, information kiosk and donation box on the short Yorkstone path leading to it.
  • There is also a large events/information board and garden plan located in the entrance area.
  • Although the information kiosk is not accessible, information pamphlets are available in the Tea Room and Museum.

 

Attraction (displays, exhibits, rides etc.)

  • As the Museum is centred around local history during World War 2, there is sometimes quiet music of the era playing in the background.
  • Other features of the Museum include exhibits on former local residents, like Noel Coward and Henry Royce
  • It also has information relating to Rippledown House, which is a trust-owned environmental education centre located in the neighbouring village of Ringwould
  • There are numerous interpretation boards located around the small museum, all with large print.
  • The museum has short pile carpet throughout, no flashing lights and features two Morrison shelters (large metal tables), as well as other tables available to visitors.
  • There are historical articles displayed in wooden cabinets, with glass tops that sit at a height of 780mm (30 inches). Some of these display items may be difficult to read, as they are original World War 2 hand written pieces
  • At present, there is no hearing loop or braille in the Museum.
  • The Museum has a mannequin of Winston Churchill that includes a recording of his famous “beaches” speech, which can be activated by pressing a button on the desk in front of him.
  • The Museum has information pamphlets and donation box by the entrance

Public toilets

  • The public WCs are located in the Tea Room and Museum, with a single WC in the Tea Room and an accessible WC set on the same level in the Museum. Both can be easily accessed from the main entrance.
  • The accessible WC has a 1100mm (43 inches) wide easy open door, can be locked from the inside and has a mechanism allowing it to be unlocked from the outside (there is no assistance cord at present).
  • There is a 875mm (34 inches) wheelchair space to the left of the toilet (when facing the toilet) and the seat sits 460mm (18 inches) from the ground.
  • The taps can be operated by way of an on/off lever.
  • There are grab handles directly around the seat, with one support rail disabled visitors can lower and lift.
  • Both WCs have industrial non-slip flooring and 2 fluorescent ceiling lights.

Catering

  • The Tea Room is positioned opposite the garden, has a 1100mm (43 inches) outward-opening double door entrance and can be accessed via stairs or a short ramp (from the disabled parking bay).
  • The Tea Room is level throughout, with ample space between tables for wheelchair users.There are 5 tables for visitors to sit at and 2 low easy chairs; all tabletops sit 670mm (26 inches) from ground level and have chairs without arms.
  • There is also wooden bench and plastic seating in the area in front of the Tea Room, which is not accessible to wheelchair users, as customers must use steps to utilise this area.
  • The Tea Room is well lit, with evenly spaced ceiling lighting and has industrial non-slip flooring.
  • The catering staff are able to cater for varied dietary requirements and are fully compliant with present regulations; visitors are also able to phone ahead of their visit with specific dietary requirements e.g. gluten-free, dairy-free etc.
  • Tea Room customers order their food from the main counter and have it served to them at their table; disabled customers enjoy full table service.
  • There is a main menu, which is set across 2 blackboards located on the wall; lettering is in large font and Tea Room staff can read the items out, if required to do so.
  • The crockery used in the Tea Room is mostly white, which contrasts with the green table clothes.
  • There is a WC in the Tea Room, with an accessible WC in the adjoining Museum, which is easily accessible by wheelchair.

Shop

  • At present, the Pines Garden does not have a shop, however there is a vegetable, plant and fruit sales area directly outside the Tea Room entrance.

Grounds and garden

  • The 6 acre organically managed, landscaped Pines Garden is accessed via a large courtyard area, with ornaments, a waterfall and a fishpond.
  • A 1200mm (47 inch) even Yorkstone path leads up a slight incline towards the Pines Calyx Conference Centre and on to the main garden, where visitors will find grassed and meadow areas and a large pond with 2 wooden benches located alongside.
  • There is a 1200mm (47 inch) wooden causeway across one side of the pond and large 4-part waterfall cascade to the other.
  • The path leads on to the Sir Winston Churchill monument, after which there is level, undulating grass progressing to raised organic vegetable and fruit beds, greenhouses and nursery area, a story-telling hut, reed beds and bee hives.
  • There is wooden bench seating around the garden at regular intervals, where visitors can sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility, as well as the beautiful variety of plant and wild animal life.

Additional Information

  • As the Tea Room and Museum cover a relatively small area (<160m2), should there be an emergency, staff are aware of our procedures and can escort customers and visitors out of the building to our assembly area. Smoke alarms are fitted throughout the Tea Room and Museum.
  • Dogs are welcome in the Tea Room, Museum and garden, as long as they are kept on a leash at all times and there are always 2 water bowls outside the Tea Room.
  • All signage in and around the grounds of the Pines Garden is in green font (varied size), with white background; access signage for disabled visitors is in large pictogram format.
  • Mobility scooters and battery-powered wheelchairs with domestic plug fittings can be charged in the Tea Room and Museum.

Future Plans

  • The trust has a programme of projects it is undertaking, many of which will address the current access and assistance issues.
  • These include: improved wheelchair access in the main garden and additional disabled parking bays.
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