Guest blog: Exciting Developments at Dreamland!

Hi everyone, Nina here. I’m the Guest Services Team Leader at Dreamland.

We’re really excited about reopening and can’t wait to show you what we have in store. There will be lots of new additions and we’re re-landscaping the park. There will be new rides, contemporary dining, art installations and even more live music to bring you the best ever day out at the seaside!

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Our lovingly restored vintage rides will whizz you back in time. Go for a spin on the 1940s Waltzer, enjoy views of Margate from the dizzy heights of our Big Wheel and take a ride on the grade II* listed jewel of Dreamland and the UK’s oldest rollercoaster, the Scenic Railway. Little visitors to Dreamland will have a space just for them, with our brand new area, Teddy and Betty Land. Park mascots, Teddy and Betty, will welcome the little ones with daily stage shows and rides like Betty’s Beehive Coaster.

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 Mmm…tacos. We’re bringing Mexico to Margate! If you fancy a slice of the street food action, there’s going to be a great range of cuisines on offer. Whether you’re in the mood for wood-fired pizza, chicken, Asian or good old-fashioned fish and chips, take my advice and prepare for a feast. Don’t forget to save room for candy floss and ice cream too – it is tradition after all! On the seafront we’ll be opening up the revived Cinque Ports 1930s gastro pub and restaurant, but keep the heart-eyes emoji for your visit to our new rooftop bar; cocktails and those sunsets…need we say more?

The music lineup this year is the biggest yet. We’re putting on a whole range of festivals so whether you like punk, ska, indie or dance, you’ll find it at Dreamland! One of the great things about the park is that we’re able to have a bit of everything. The Twilight sessions are back, so Saturdays in the summer are sorted, and with bands like Gorillaz, The Kills and Slaves, our musical offerings are more than enough to save a London trip for concerts every time. And anyway – what could be cooler than a gig with the backdrop of an amusement park?

By The Sea Festival

Something really exciting is the introduction of our art installations. Margate has an amazing creative community and it’s important to us to be part of that. Our brilliant neighbour, Turner Contemporary, has inspired us to bring art to both ends of the beach, so there’ll be artworks throughout the site and some will be interactive!

Walking around the park is going to look and feel quite different, with more trees, grassy areas and spaces to relax. The new garden boardwalk will provide views of Dreamland as you’ve never seen it before and will guide you to the menagerie cages – an amazing piece of the park’s unique history, dating back to the 1870s.

There will be pop up street entertainers, sideshows, tea dances, circus acts, vintage markets and more! As Dreamland continues to develop, we’re focused on making it an entertainment park for all. 2017 is going to be a brilliant year; it’s a very exciting time and we’re all looking forward to welcoming you to the park!

Don’t forget to check our events page to see what’s coming up at Dreamland.

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#dreamlandmargate

Valentines Inspiration in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate: Sunsets & Sunrises

What’s more romantic than a beautiful sky rising or setting over the lapping waves? Nothing! Whether you’re alone or loved-up this V day, we can all appreciate a stunning sunset or sunrise now can’t we?

From the sun rise over Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour to the sunset over towards Minnis Bay in Birchington you can see both in one day in Thanet! It’s no secret that we’re known for our skies; JMW Turner remarked “The skies over Thanet are the loveliest in all Europe” and whilst on holiday in Italy, Charles Dickens pined for Broadstairs saying the town had “never so fine a sunset.” Clearly rave reviews, but is this true? YES! We’ve picked 14 of our favourite stunning sky photos and we hope you’ll agree they’re amazing, but definitely better in person!

Check out our website here to plan your visit!

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Stone Bay, Broadstairs
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The Shell Lady, Margate Harbour Arm
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Ramsgate Harbour
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Viking Bay, Broadstairs
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Viking Bay, Broadstairs
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Margate Main Sands
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Margate Main Sands
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Margate Harbour Arm
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Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs
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West Bay
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Botany Bay, Broadstairs
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Minnis Bay, Birchington
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St Lawrence, Ramsgate
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Ramsgate Harbour

Things to do: Get Active in Ramsgate

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Happy New Year!  2017 is already 2 weeks old and many of us have already let our resolutions fall by the wayside.  Or is that just me?  The good news is that January 1st isn’t the only date to make positive changes to our lives and in Ramsgate there is ample opportunity to get fit without even realising it!

Ramsgate really is an all-year-round destination where everything stays open to cater for the ‘off season’ visitor and January is a great month to visit.  At this time of year, we are lucky to have spectacular sunrises over the sea and in the afternoon, the sun goes down over our beautiful Royal Harbour, offering an ethereal light with great photo opportunities.  The climate remains relatively kind so walking and exploring is such an effortless delight, you won’t even notice you are burning calories and you’ll feel much better about that sumptuous meal at one of our many restaurants!

We are lucky to be surrounded by beautiful architecture, world renowned bays, award winning sandy beaches and stunning chalk cliffs so it’s almost impossible to not get out and enjoy what’s on offer!  We have dozens of trails- from The Contra Trail, that takes you from the hub of activity at the UK’s only Royal Harbour to the nature reserve out at Pegwell Bay, to The Beach Roamer Trail for those that like more of a hike and fancy the challenge of conquering a corner of England in one trek.  It’s a 7-8 mile walk along our stunning coastline from here at Ramsgate along to Margate, taking in all the unique, award winning sandy bays as you stride.  Get the tides right (3 hours after high tide should do it) and you can do the whole walk on the beach, arguably the only place in England where that’s possible.  There are plenty of pit stops en route in Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, all offering a welcome to walkers and a variety of refreshments to keep you on track.

Ramsgate knows what it has in abundance and that’s great trails full of delights to distract you from that lactic burn; so much so, we are the first town to receive the ‘We ❤ Walkers and Cyclists’ accolade from Explore Kent.  Look out for the logo at cafes, bars and eateries as they have all agreed to look after you!  They’ll let you recharge your devices, provide maps and trails and fill up your water bottles before you set off.

If you fancy a bit of water exploration, we also have canoe/kayak trails which you can do on your own or with a guide.  The guided, wildlife ‘canoe safari’ passes through Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve where you can see wetland birds and seals as nature intended. Bring your binoculars!

For a memorable, enjoyable and effortless way to discover that getting active needn’t be a chore, check out our Active Ramsgate page to find out what else we have to offer in this glorious corner of England.

Words by Rebekah Smith, Ramsgate Town Promoter and proprietor of The Glendevon B&B in Ramsgate. 

20 photos that’ll make you want to visit Margate, Broadstairs & Ramsgate in 2017

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Cycling the Viking Coastal Trail between Ramsgate and Broadstairs
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Dog walking on Kingsgate Bay, Broadstairs
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Minnis Bay, Birchington
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Minster Abbey
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Margate Harbour Arm
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Cycling the Viking Coastal Trail at Minnis Bay
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Panoramic image of Botany Bay chalk stacks, Broadstairs
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Sunset at Minnis Bay, Birchington
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Westbrook Bay, Margate
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Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour at twilight
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Sunset over Margate Harbour Arm
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Broadstairs Jetty
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Sunrise over Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour
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Farmland near North Foreland Lighthouse, Broadstairs
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Aerial view of Ramsgate Harbour and beach
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Dog walking in Broadstairs
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The Italianate Glasshouse, King George VI Park, Ramsgate
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Fish & Chips on sea defence steps, Margate
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Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate
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Dramatic waves in Broadstairs

Christmas Events in Thanet (part 2!)

img_1488Another day, another blog post about the fantastic events we’re lucky enough to have here in Thanet this festive season…..

We’ve just come back from a very exciting trip to Quex Park for ‘The Spirit of Christmas.’ This family-friendly event includes a real ice skating rink, (the only one in Thanet!) a small selection of stalls and refreshments and a fantastic ‘Elf Express’ ride that takes you to the magical Elf Tower to meet Father Christmas himself!

Here is what we thought…..

First up, we took a ride of the Elf Express and was greeted by a really fun elf named Spruce who likes syrup on his spaghetti. (Ew!) On the way to the tower he told us all about the three Elf rules and we even sung a Christmas song which the kids loved! Here were the rules we learnt:

  1. Treat everyday like Christmas
  2. A tidy elf is a good Elf
  3. The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all the hear 

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After taking a trip through the beautiful leafy grounds of Quex Park, we arrived at the tower and were greeted by two more fantastic elves- Snaps and Stax who guided us through the elf rules to make sure we were good enough to pass our elf exams! We climbed all the way to the top of the tower to meet Father Christmas and every child got an ‘Elf School’ Certificate and a present to unwrap!

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After hopping back on the Elf Express we had a go at ice skating which was tricky at first but once we got the hang of it, it was really great fun. The kids were able to use a little penguin to hold onto and skate around the ice. One thing that was particularly impressive was the special strap-on skates for really tiny people that allowed them to be able to shuffle along the ice without the need for balancing.

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All the characters and general staff are extremely professional, especially the elves which did an amazing job of entertaining everyone, particularly the children. The decor is very festive with real trees all over the place and the tower itself looks particularly magical.

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What a morning we had! There is also the opportunity for kids to enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner with Santa too. The Spirit of Christmas is on until 2nd January, for more information and to book click here.  Make sure you don’t miss it!

We are so lucky to have a range of festive fun at the seaside this December & beyond. Why not check out our previous blog post all about ‘The Frosted Fairground’ at Dreamland, and here you’ll find a whole list of Christmas events in Thanet, including when you can see Father Christmas in Broadstairs and how long the Ramsgate Illuminations will be on for. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #CoastalChristmas on social media if you’re out enjoying anything festive in Thanet this winter….we’d love to see your pics!

Christmas Events in Thanet

We’ve just come back from a preview of The Frosted Fairground at Dreamland, Margate and found it perfect inspiration for telling you all about this and other festive events in Thanet!

So let’s start with the Frosted Fairground…What is it? Well, it’s a magical winter experience with Father Christmas’s Grotto, elves, carols, live music and loads more! All this plus the usual mix of rides spanning the decades, and two new additions- The Waltzer and The Austin Car Ride, both of which are stunningly restored and fantastic additions to Dreamland’s ride inventory.

We especially enjoyed the nostalgic range of Christmassy music throughout the park and meeting the cheeky elves, something the kids might like if they’re a fan of the ‘Elf on the Shelf!’ 

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The Frosted Fairground is on weekends and holidays from 3rd December until 2nd January. A perfect Christmas experience right by the seaside. So wrap up warm, enjoy the rides and get into the festive spirit! Yule be a fool to miss it! Better yet it’s free to enter and pay per ride, or you can buy one of Dreamland’s great value wristbands on the day or in advance to get unlimited use of the rides. There’s a 10% discount off all wristbands for the first 2 weekends (4/10/11 December)

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Let’s move onto beautiful Broadstairs- One highlight has got to be the annual Grotto experience at Crampton Tower Museum where kids can journey to the top of Crampton Tower, through the elves’ workshop, to visit Father Christmas in his grotto. If the weather allows they can even ride on the museum’s 5 inch gauge miniature railway!

Ramsgate’s massive draw is definitely the #RamsgateIlluminations! Just one search on twitter for this very hashtag will bring up a myriad of photos of yachts and boats all festively-lit in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour. Thousands of lights adorn the whole area- including the bars, restaurants and other businesses along the Arches too. Catch them during the evenings everyday in December.

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Fancy skating around a real ice rink this winter? Then head to Quex Park for their ‘Spirit of Christmas’ event. There’s loads more to see and do too including breakfast, lunch or dinner with the Man of the Moment himself- Father Christmas!

We couldn’t possibly list everything going on this season here on the blog, but lucky for you we have compiled a list of events over on our website- click here for full listings. Want to get involved? Use the hashtag #CoastalChristmas on Twitter and share all your photos and experiences with us this Winter!