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!

Guestblog: Winter in Broadstairs- Family Things to Do

rainy-days-mondays-logoFor this blog, we’ve handed over to the amazing Josie Barker, blogger at Rainy Days and Mondays – a fantastic resource for all things families, play and sensory! Living in Broadstairs, we thought she might know a thing or two about how to enjoy our coast this winter! Over to you Josie…..

I love where I live and I love bringing up my family here.  Although sometimes, especially in the winter, it can be quite difficult to find things to do with them and to stop them from climbing up the walls!

So I’ve comprised a short list of things that we do to clear the cobwebs and burn some pent up energy in the winter months…..

 The best thing about Thanet is the beaches, by far! It’s a free thing to visit and there are so many things you can do there. Use the beaches to explore the rock pools. Pull on the wellies and get exploring! We went for a seashore safari in the summer with the Thanet Coast Project and had a fabulous time. But there’s nothing stopping you from doing this in the winter too. Broadstairs main sands have a great rock pool area in low tide, but all along the coast of Thanet there are some great rock pools on practically every beach.

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While you’re on the beach, get out the kites! The wintery weather lends itself to kite flying! It’s a large space and is so much fun! Or get out the binoculars and see what you can see out to sea, whether it’s boats or birds! You can make your own binoculars as well if you wanted to get the kids involved, see here.

What’s better to warm up after a winter visit to the beach? Broadstairs and Thanet itself are great for independent cafes, restaurants, bars and Ice Cream Parlours. But my favourite place to get a hot chocolate has to be Morelli’s. A fantastic spot to huddle up and watch the sea while warming up. This 50’s style ice-cream shop has been a staple in Broadstairs for my whole life and is now being a regular occurrence in my little family’s life too! If you’re not too cold, then they do some amazing ice-cream too!

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Once you’re full up on yummy hot chocolate, take a visit to the arcades along the cliff top and have some fun with the 2p slot machines or grab a soft toy with the claw machine! All within a small walk of each other and perfect distance for little legs too.

If arcades aren’t your thing, then the Palace Cinema in Broadstairs  is a great family-friendly and small cinema that you can catch a great family movie and warm up out of the cold for a few hours.

One last thing I wanted to mention as it is a firm family favourite, but  you have to venture outside of central Broadstairs…. I would highly recommend visiting the donkeys at  Elmwood Farm Stables, just at the end of Reading Street in St Peters, up from Joss Bay (another great beach for rock pools). If you take up some carrots or apples, (please don’t feed them anything else, it can spoil their diet!)  then you can feed the donkeys and give them a stroke; they love the attention! They don’t usually bite but be cautious as they can get a bit excited and give you a nip!

rainy-days-collage Many Thanks for reading! Josie

Keep up to date with Josie and all her fantastic family activities and ideas on Facebook and Instagram, plus you can follow her blog here .