Believe us- they’re real. Tropical plants, clear water and outrageously beautiful sunsets?! Yes- we have all this and more. We’ve picked some outstanding images we think you’ll love, and some even look like they could be far, far away! Don’t forget to share your own pics with us using the hashtag #visitthanet.
A tropical plant, crossed with powdery sand, turquoise sea and a California-coast style Lifeguard Hut- yes this is Margate!
The dreamy candyfloss skies over Broadstairs are so unbelievably beautiful you’d be mistaken for thinking you were in paradise itself.
You’d be forgiven for thinking this chalky reef and clear sea was on the coast of Greece or certainly not in Britain, but we took this along the west side of Ramsgate, just beyond the Port.
Where are some of the best sea caves in the country? Right here at Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs! Just watch the tides on this beach as nooks and crannies can easily cut you off.
Where do you think has the longest continual stretch of Coastal Chalk in Europe? It’s right here- in Thanet! From towering cliffs to solitary chalk stacks and all the charming little cliffy nooks in between, if it’s coastal geology you’re after we’ve got more than you’d think.
It’s no secret our sunsets are to die for, but even after seeing thousands of sunsets on our coast, sometimes even we can’t quite believe our eyes!
Marseille? Could be! The Old Port in this French town looks strikingly similar to our own Royal Harbour!
What’s better than a picnic? Probably a buffet!….But an outdoor spread is a spring/summer must-do activity! From parks covered in lush greenery to sandy nooks at Blue Flag beaches, there’s some great places to tuck into something tasty….(and please remember to dispose or recycle your litter!)
In no particular order….
Margate Sea Defence Steps- This huge space is not only an excellent sea defence that protects our charming Old Town, but arguable one of the best spots to sit and enjoy your sandwiches, ice cream or fish n chips. Just watch out for the gulls! Especially beautiful when the tide is in.
2. King George VI Park, Ramsgate- A large, green park with children’s playground, small kiosk serving light snacks and teas and coffees and the charming Itialianate Glasshouse tea garden. Just a stone’s throw from the seafront right in the middle of Broadstairs and Ramsgate there is loads of green spaces to sit and enjoy your picnic.
3. Botany Bay, Broadstairs- one of our most picturesque bays. Sit beside the Chalk Stacks or on a grassy verge and lap up the sunshine!
4. Monkton Nature Reserve– A 16 acre wildlife oasis reclaimed from a former chalk quarry. Enjoy your lunch in the company of over 350 species of flowering plant, including 9 species of orchid, and 25 species of butterfly. Several picnic areas and benches throughout the site.
5. Broadstairs Promenade- Where to start?! Rows of benches set amongst quaint Victorian Gardens, densely populated with flowers. Sit by the Bandstand and watch a concert, or in the Clocktower seating area, wherever you go you’ll be overlooking the marvellous crescent-shaped Viking Bay.
6. Palm Bay- A vast green space with ample free parking bays nearby. Overlooks the beach.
7. Minnis Bay- A long stretch of sand with grassy verge. Great sunset picnic spot.
8.Ellington Park, Ramsgate.Huge, towering trees, a nature area and close proximity to Ramsgate Rail Station make this an excellent stop before you explore the rest of the town.
9. Quex Park, Birchington-A visit to the Powell Cotton Museum and stately home Quex House and Gardens is made even better by their charming picnic areas. Rest under the cool shade of the mature trees or next to the refreshing sound of the water fountain (entry fee applies). During the summer months you can also picnic near the Maize Maze.
10.Sandwich and Pegwell Bay Nature Reserve-Great for a family day out, this reserve is also a haven for nature lovers. Made up of a complex mosaic of habitats: inter-tidal mudflats, saltmarsh, shingle beach, sand dunes, ancient dune pastures, chalk cliffs, wave cut platform and coastal scrubland; there’s always more to discover on each visit.
January is finally over, (the month felt like a whole year to us!) celebrate by getting out and exploring this Half Term… Here’s a few of our suggestions:
Get your game on…. at GEEK, Dreamland’s huge festival of play and gaming, back this half term. There will be hundreds of games, from old favourites spanning the generations to virtual reality experiences, there’ll be something for everyone to enjoy and get involved in. This year’s theme is space and the team will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the arcade classic, Space Invaders! Various prices, 16th-18th Feb. If you’re into gaming you also might like to try one of our 3 Escape Games attractions too! Click here
Skate & Scoot….The award-winning team at Revolution Skatepark are here to teach your little ones how to get confidence on two wheels. Learn the basics with skilled instructors and brush up on your extreme sports skills! Must be booked in advance. £10 plus equipment hire. 11th, 12th,14th,16th,18th Feb.
Go underground….At Ramsgate Tunnels. The Tunnels are a true TripAdvisor favourite, consistently scoring excellent reviews and are suitable for all the family. Just pre-warn the kids it can get quite dark! Grab your hard hat and torch and enjoy a guided walk of the UK’s largest network of civilian wartime tunnels. Booking advised. Closed Mon & Tue.
Dragon hunting….Join Half-Term favourite Simple Simon on this panto-style adventure story with songs, comedy, joining in and small prizes at Margate Winter Gardens. 13th Feb. £7.50 per person. There’s also Children’s Showtime on 15th-17th Feb & popular Police Panto Cinder-Ella at Theatre Royal too (also 15th-17th Feb)
Pancake flipping….There’s a traditional pancake race in Station Road, Wesgate-On-Sea and this has been held annually off and on for years! Check out this photo we think is from around the late 1950’s! Get involved or get down there just to spectate or run alongside the participants. 13th Feb. 10am.
Get creative….at Pick ‘n’ Paint a Pot, Cliftonville. Their half-term workshops are themed and allow children to get stuck into something creative. 14-16th Feb. Booking advised.
Time for a walk….Should the weather be kind to us, enjoy an Active Ramsgate walk, cycle trail or even a bit of geocaching. Ramsgate is a friendly Harbour town with stunning coastal scenery- perfect for some fresh air.
Dare we suggest beaches?….Broadstairs has 7 of them! While we’re being hopeful about the weather, why not wrap up warm, grab some fish & chips and play on the sand. You’ll be surprised how many other families brave it this time of year!
Family Magic….Houdini’s Magic Bar in Broadstairs present their fantastic children’s magic shows with Magician Lucky Lee in their Magic Lounge!
Family cocktail/mocktail menus plus board and Card Games available to play. No booking necessary. Advise early arrival to avoid disappointment. One child free entry into the magic shows for every adult drink purchased. 11th Feb 1pm-4pm.
Easy Holidays/Easy Sundays….Get creative at Turner Contemporary with one of their popular family workshops on Sundays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the holidays. Various prices.
Inspired by Craft and Travel’s blog on daytripping to Dreamland in Winter we thought we’d share some of our favourite pics and must-do’s for the chilly season! Make sure you check out her blog all about visiting the park in the winter here….Okay, onto some other suggestions….
Walking We love to see our beaches busy in the height of summer but who can say no to a whole beach to yourself in the winter? Wrap up warm and enjoy some invigorating sea air! We have 15 beaches & bays to choose from, each with its own distinct coastal features and charm but for the largest variety, head to Broadstairs where you’ll have 7 to choose from. You could also try any of the ActiveRamsgate series of walks trails or energetic coastal activities or if you’re feeling adventurous opt for cycling or walking the circular 32 mile Viking Coastal Trail, (or break it up into smaller parts!) it has some of the best coastal views around.
Food We’re just going to be honest here and say eating is our number 1 thing to do! We’ve got stacks of award-winning restaurants, cafes, micropubs dotted around our towns and villages. Some say we have the highest concentration of micropubs in the country and these cosy little places are perfect for winter! If you’re visiting Margate this winter, check out megofmargate’s winter foodie suggestions here. Also read Betty Magazine’s blog here for more food, indie shopping and things to do in winter.
Sunsets For some reason, we’re certain these are at their best during winter! We have no scientific explanation for these, but there probably is one (?!) If you can’t get enough of ’em view our dedicated sunset blog post here. For viewing tips, try anywhere towards Margate or Birchington and remember that a cloudy day does not always mean a lack of a beautiful sunset.
Outdoor Adventures If you’re okay whatever the weather, our Coastal Explorers bags are perfect! These expedition-style bags are crammed full of equipment and activities to use to really explore our beaches. Fishing nets, marine identification charts, collecting pots and 12 activities will keep you busy….just wrap up warm! for more info on these exciting bags, click here.
Hopefully that’ll keep you going until summer shows! Let us know what you like to do in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate in winter on Twitter,Instagram or Facebook.
JMW Turner once remarked that ‘the skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe.’ Charles Dickens loved Broadstairs and said it had ‘never so fine a sunset’ and was ‘the freshest, freest place.’ Visitors are often outside our Information Centre in Margate eagerly snapping away at golden sunsets that fill the sky; ‘these are some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen!’
Of course, we think we have some of the best sunrises and sunsets in the world and we’ve chosen our favourite photos to prove it. Once more, the skies are bigger and even more beautiful in Autumn and Winter and you’re more likely to have vast stretches of sand all to yourself.
Think the coast is just for summer? Definitely not! Crisp mornings, quieter beaches and an excuse to wile away the time in a seafront pub or eaterie- what more could you want?! It’s also a fantastic time to enjoy our parks and open spaces, some of which are just a short walk from the coast itself- the best of both worlds. We’ve picked some of our favourite autumn images to tempt you to the Isle of Thanet this season….
We hope you agree we’ve got a range of autumnal views to enjoy and many a great photo opportunity this time of year! We’d love to see your pics! Share them with us using #visitthanet.