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"The world is a great book; he who never stirs from home, reads only a page."
St. Augustine

The largest of the seaside towns on the Isle of Thanet, Ramsgate immediately appeals to the eye. The seafront is lined by stately, red-brick Victorian and Georgian buildings looking over the harbour. The only Royal Harbour in the country, Ramsgate was favoured by King George IV when he received a grand welcome here in 1821 on his visit with the Royal Yacht Squadron. A stroll along the marina with its variety of working, historic and pleasure vessels is a pleasure in itself. Further along the promenade, you'll come to Ramsgate's famous rich golden sands with huge, bouncy, play castles for the kids, deckchairs, icecream and all the other trappings of a typical British seaside resort. One major port of call for tourists is the Viking Ship, Hugin which made an epic journey to Kent in 1949. Other visitors come here to visit the Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. Many of those who come here are pilgrims who come to the see the site which marks the beginning of Christianity in England in 597. This is the St Augustine Cross which marks the spot where the young, mark disembarked and began his important mission in England. By Christmas of the same year, King Ethelbert, King of Kent and 10,000 of his subject had been baptised into the Roman Catholic Church.

Ramsgate Harbour
With origins dating to the time when the Wantsum Chanel separated the Isle of Thanet from the rest of Britain, Ramsgate's first harbour was built by fisherman, who steadily improved the protection given by natural features. By the early 18th century, small merchantmen could find shelter here. Many lives and ships were lost on the Goodwin Sands in ferocious storms in 1703 and 1748 so parliament ordered a 'harbour of refuge' to be built. Work commenced in 1750 supervised by a succession of famous engineers, including John Smeaton. The harbour has witnessed some momentous events, troops embarking for the Napoleonic Wars, visits by royalty George IV granted the harbour its unique Royal status, the miracle of the Dunkirk little ships and the world's first international hovercraft service. While the Georgian harbour remains virtually unchanged, a new ferry port has been added and floating marinas encourage visits from a fascination range of vessels.

  1. Attractions
  2. Accommodation
  3. Photos
  5. Transport

Ramsgate : Sightseeing and Attractions

The Mary of Colchester
The Mary of Colchester is the oldest vessel docked in the marina. Dating from 1844 she has been fully rebuilt at least twice. Most recently in Maldon, Essex using all British timber and materials by shipwrights, Brian Kennell and Shaun White. She is the last, Lute Sterned East Kent Sailing Smack still in use. Built as a fishing boat she was used for trawling and oyster dredging, operated by a crew of 2 or 3 men and a boy.

Hugin - Replica Viking Ship
The replica ship 'Hugin' was sailed from Denmark in 1949 by 53 Danes to commemorate the 1500th arrival of the legendary Hengist and his brother Horsa, two Saxon chieftains, who landed at nearby Ebbsfleet. The 'Hugin' first landed at Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Kent before being placed on permanent display just off the main road to the west of Pegwell Bay. There is little evidence of Viking ships in the 5th century and Hugin is based on a later Viking design of a longship.

On the foreshore, more recent invaders would have arrived in giant SRN4 Hovercraft at the Internation Hoverport which was officially opened in 1969. In its later versions the massive SRN4 could carry over 400 passengers and 55 cars at approximately 60mph, rountinely crossing the Channel in 40 minutes. In 1982 the service from Pegwell Bay ceased when the two rivals Seaspeed and Hoverlloyd merged.

Ramsgate Maritime Museum
Specialising in maritime heritage in East Kent, the museum pays particular attention to Ramsgae's role in the area. Located in a fine 19th century building within the Royal Harbour itself, this museum will please anyone with a nautical interest. Permanent exhibitions include displays on shipwrecks, the history of the harbour, navigation, fishing and lifeboats. You'll also be able to see some of the artefacts raised from the wreck of Stirling Castle, a 17th century Man of War which was discovered in the nearby Goodwin Sands.
Admission: £1.50 Adults
Address: Clock House, Pier Yard, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate, Kent
Postcode: CT11 8LS Street Map
Contact: PH (44) 01843 587765

Info CentreRamsgate Tourist Information Centre
You'll be able to get more information on visits to the Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve, book local tours, transport and accommodation.
Address: 17 Albert Court, Ramsgate, Kent
Postcode: CT11 9DN Street Map
Contact: PH 0870 264 6111

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Ramsgate Photos (10)

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