I’ll admit, prior to visiting Ramsgate, all I knew about it was that Vincent Van Gogh lived there (circa 1876) for a bit AND it was featured in Netflix’s series 2 Top Boy. We visited on the Thursday of the Platinum Jubilee and it was a vibe. Although, we didn’t have time to explore all of its charms, I can say, that Ramsgate is definitely worth a visit. The architecture and sea views are sure to charm you. I hope to revisit in the not too distant future to discover its regency heritage. If you are a beach lover like us you must check out Ramsgate Main Sands!
Ramsgate is one of three towns (inclu. Margate and Broadstairs) that make up Isle of Thanet. Once a fishing and farming hamlet. It dates back to the Middle Ages. During that period the first Anglo-Saxons landed near by lead by the mercenary brothers Hengest and Horsa. Later in 597, Christian missionary St. Augustine landed in Ramsgate this reinstated the link between England and the Christian church in Rome.
The town has a history of being a safe haven in times of war and bad weather for those in the locality. The Ramsgate Tunnels, originally commissioned to be unground bomb shelters still exist and is open to the public.
Today, the town is becoming recognised for its abundance of good Regency, Georgian and Victorian properties set around a variety of their own squares. It’s upbeat and lively town, with a growing café culture.
Main Sands Beach
I was a unsure about swimming because it’s close to the Royal Marina, but on a rating of 5 being the highest Ramsgate Main Sands water quality is 3 ⭐ It’s a bucket and spade beach good for swimming and water sports. There’s a life guard service. They were out on the day we visited, Baywatch style, jeep and all. Toilets are located to the side of the Royal Victoria Pavilion. The pavilion itself is the pavilion is a part of the JD Wetherspoons chain . It was designed by architect Stanley Davenport; built to be a concert hall/assembly rooms Davenport Adshead. The design was based on the style of a Robert Adam orangery.
Attractions near the beach include; arcade games as well as outdoor thrill experiences like trampolining.
There’s parking near beach but on busy days it may be best to use an app like Just Park to avoid disappointment.
Where To Eat
We didn’t eat in Ramsgate, we planned to return to our favourite fish and chip restaurant in Broadstairs. However, in near the marina, there is a selection of restaurants. You can get pub food, Turkish food, as well as traditional English fish and chips. While up on the high street where the shops are you can get Caribbean and other cuisines.
Attractions Around Ramsgate
If you enjoy walking you can try the Viking Coastal Trail see Visit Thanet website details. Take a pause in between your walking sojourn and enjoy a cuppa in style at The Italianate Glasshouse. It’s a Grade II historical monument. Located in King George VI Memorial Park. The park was once part of the 22acre estate of Sir Moses Montefiore, a British financier and former Sheriff of London, in the 1830’s. The house is gone but you can still enjoy your brew on a summers day in the glasshouse.
Fan of regency period, think Bridgeton vibes. Stroll along the East Cliff area and you pass Regency and Victorian buildings, including Wellington Crescent which was built after the Napoleonic Wars at the time Ramsgate was a garrison town.
I mentioned Van Gogh earlier, you can even do a walking trail based on his time in the town.
To observe nature by sea jump on a boat at the marina to see the seals and bird life. On land visit Monkton Nature Reserve. The reserve is on 16 acres of abandoned chalk quarry. There are over 350 species of flowering plant, including 8 species of orchid, and 25 species of butterfly have been recorded, along with wide variety of insect, mammal and bird-life. If you plan on a longer getaway in Kent, do visit St Margaret’s Bay as well, take a scavenger hunt sheet with you. Never know what you might mind along the way. It’s fun for the kids.
Have you ever been to Ramsgate? Where’s your special place there located. Where you recommend we to next time we visit? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
(update July 13th 2022)
(update 12th Nov 2022)