Ramsgate is a pleasant little coastal town rivalling that of Margate. Although it has the look and feel of a small fishing port, it is actually a major yachting centre, port and marina.

Ramsgate Harbour © Oast House Archive (CC2)

One of Kent's major holiday resorts, Ramsgate gained importance after the nearby port of Sandwich silted up. It became a fashionable resort after George IV visited in 1827. The town has many splendid Regency squares with central courtyards and tranquil gardens. Much fine Victorian architecture can also be seen, especially near the seafront.

The resort has fine sandy, sheltered, south-facing beaches that have attracted visitors for over 200 years. Lining the Esplanade are funfair rides, amusement arcades and a pavilion. The seafront also boasts a large open air swimming pool (Marina Pool) and various ballrooms and music halls.

The town is famous for its colourful illuminations, which stretch from one end of the town to the other. The shopping centre has a mix of national stores and individual shops. Street markets are held on Fridays and Saturdays.

Ramsgate is still an important port. The inner harbour is home to a variety of pleasure boats, sail and power vessels. A ferry service runs between England and the continent. From the harbour, you can also take an thrilling boat ride to the seal colonies on the sandbanks out at sea.

This area is also famous as the landing point of St Augustine in AD 597 - sent from Rome to bring Christianity to the pagan Anglo-Saxons. A Celtic cross on Minster Road commemorates his landfall. St Augustine Church, in St Augustine Road, was dedicated in 1851. The work of Augustus Welby Pugin, who designed the interior of the Houses of Parliament. Augustus Pugin's house, The Grange, stands on West Cliff nearby.

Another famous landing is celebrated on the clifftop at Pegwell Bay. Where stands the replica of a Viking longship called Hugin, which sailed from Denmark in 1949. It was dedicated to Danish leaders Hengist and Horsa, who landed near Ramsgate, at Ebbsfleet, in AD 449. The longship is adorned with colourful Viking shields and oars.

The 17th-c flint and red brick Queen's Court, in Cavendish Place, is believed to be the oldest house in Ramsgate. The parish church of St George (circa 1827) has a stained-glass window commemorating the 1940 Dunkirk evacuation.

Places of Interest in Ramsgate

Ramsgate Maritime Museum

The Clock House, which sits at the eastern end of the harbour, was built in 1817 to provide maritime time for almost 30 years, until Greenwich took over the role in 1848. It opened as a maritime museum in 1984. On display are navigational instruments from 1700 onwards, lifeboat models and artefacts from shipwrecks.

Opening times: see website for details - Admission Charge
Location: Royal Hbr Approach, Ramsgate CT11 8LS
Tel: 01843 570622
Website: visitkent.co.uk

Ramsgate Motor Museum

Located on Westcliff Promenade, the museum exhibits a range of road transport from the Ford Model T to bicycles.

Opening times: currently closed
Location: Paragon Mansions, 20-21 Paragon, Ramsgate CT11 9JY

Map of Ramsgate


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