Pegwell Bay is a shallow inlet in the English Channel coast astride the estuary of the River Stour north of Sandwich bay, between Ramsgate and Sandwich in Kent. Part of the bay is a nature reserve, with seashore habitats including mudflats and salt marsh with migrating waders and wildfowl. The public can access the nature reserve via Pegwell Bay Country Park, which is off the A256 Ramsgate to Dover road.
Archaeologists suggest that Pegwell Bay was the site of both the Roman invasions of Britain by Julius Caesar. In 2017 the University of Leicester excavated a large fort dating from 54 BC; it was the previous lack of such evidence that had prevented historians from fixing the exact site of Caesar's landing.
Pegwell Bay as it was in 1858 is recorded in a much-reproduced landscape painting by William Dyce, now in the Tate Gallery: Pegwell Bay, Kent – a Recollection of October 5th 1858.
A pleasure pier was built in the 19th century in an effort to establish a seaside resort to rival nearby Ramsgate. This was not a success however, and was dismantled before the end of the century.
A full-size replica Scandinavian longboat complete with shields is situated by the main road on the low clifftops above Pegwell Bay to commemorate the first Anglo-Saxon landings in England hereabouts. The replica, named Hugin, sailed from Denmark to Thanet in 1949 to celebrate the 1,500th anniversary of the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain, the traditional landing of Hengist and Horsa, and the betrothal of Hengist's daughter, Rowena, to King Vortigern of Kent. Out of 53 crewmen only the navigator, Peter Jensen, was a professional seaman. Historic conditions were faithfully observed but with the addition of a sextant. The Hugin was offered as a gift to Ramsgate and Broadstairs by the Daily Mail in order for it to be preserved for centuries. The ship underwent extensive restoration in 2004–5.
The Bay has treacherous bogs at low tide amongst the otherwise firm sands. These are used as plot points in Dennis Wheatley's 1938 thriller, Contraband. The attached map of Kent in the book shows two of the heroes in difficulties at Pegwell Bay.
July 1986. Pegwell Bay Hoverport, Ramsgate. Hoverlloyd hovercraft 'The Prince of Wales' prior to boarding of vehicles and passengers for the flight to Calais, France.
Cliff Tops and Foreshore at Pegwell. Views of Pegwell Bay and the now decommissioned Richborough Power Station.
Off-road cycle track at Pegwell Bay. Part of Regional Cycle Route 15 or Viking Coastal Trail, about halfway between Sandwich and Ramsgate.