Ramsgate is the site for Kent's most important marina. Ramsgate Marina is on the up and up, hosting more international sailing and waterskiing competitions than ever, and offering a superb range of marina facilities. Ramsgate Main Sands beach has 250 metres of golden Quality Award winning sand with popular family holiday attraction Westcliff Leisure Park and Boating Pool situated south of the ferry port at Westcliff Bay.
Nature lovers and birdwatchers will head for Pegwell Bay's Nature reserve - a stunning area of unprotected cliffs, home to numerous birds throughout the year. A rather famous resident in Ramsgate's past was Augustus Pugin (1812-1852), renowned architect and designer. His home, The Grange, sits on St Augustine's Road in Ramsgate and was designed by the architect. The Landmark Trust have restored the property and it's open to the public on Wednesday afternoons.
Ramsgate's long Main Sands beach, stretching for 250 metres, is all golden sands framed by the Royal Harbour at one end and chalky white cliffs at the other. It's a lively affair down here in peak season, with numerous facilities and attractions on-site including donkey rides, lifeguards, toilets, beach cafe, kids amusements and promenade lining the beach. Main Sands is also a recent quality award winning beach.
To the south of Ramsgate, Pegwell Bay is a stunning natural haven for wildlife. A mecca for birdwatchers and nature lovers, the area is part of the Pegwell Nature Reserve (see Kent Wildlife Trust's webguide). Atop the Pegwell cliffs you'll find the reconstructed Viking Ship Hugin open all year round and free to enter.
South of the Ferry Port find Westcliff bay and Westcliff Leisure Park and boating pool - a popular family attraction particularly during the summer season. An art gallery, displaying the work of local artists, is on-site at Westcliff.
Ramsgate Tourist Information Centre, 17 Albert Court, York Street, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 9DN. Tel. 0870 264 6111.
Ramsgate Marina is seeing some exciting times at the moment, with its popularity as a base for international waterbased competitions ever increasing. Ramsgate's annual Regatta week in August is hosted by the Royal Temple Yacht Club based within the marina complex, and Ramsgate Royal Marina has played host to the European Water Ski Racing Championships.
Improved transport networks via the M2 into Ramsgate have certainly been a boast to the marina's growth. The sailing stretch of South Foreland around Ramsgate, plus easy access across the Channel to both French and Belgium Marinas makes Ramsgate a popular choice for yachts and sailing. On a particularly fine day you can actually see France from the harbour!
Ramsgate Harbour Office, Military Road, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 9LQ. Tel. 0044 (0) 1843 572100.
Royal Temple Yacht Club, 6 Westcliff Mansions, Ramsgate, CT11 9HY. Tel. 00 44 (0)1843 591766.
Ramsgate's spectacular Maritime clockhouse building overlooks Ramsgate Marina and was the unique site of the Ramsgate Meridian where meantime which was 5 minutes and 41 seconds ahead of Greenwich mean time was calculated. The Ramsgate Maritime Museum formally located within the clockhouse has unfortunately now closed and will hopefully reopen soon. This important historic building however remains to be admired and sits firmly within the maritime history of Britain.
The design for Ramsgate's clocktower dates from 1805, and by 1810 work had begun. The building itself dominates the harbour. Note above the main entrance door Ramsgate's own reference to its mean time - this in itself gives you a good idea of just how historically important this building is within Britain's maritime history. More indication comes from some of the names who oversaw the building of Ramsgate Harbour, including John Smeaton (1724-1792) who is best remembered for designing the third Eddystone Lighthouse and for actually inventing the term civil engineer. Smeaton oversaw much of the work and development of Ramsgate's harbour from 1774.
Sea Searcher Boat Trips provide boat services for sightseeing trips, seal and wildlife watching tours, sea angling and boat fishing charters, as well as boat chartering for film and television, safety boat, and work boat services. Located in Ramsgate's Royal Harbour, on the East Kent coast.
All trips meet at the marina entrance in Pier Yard, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate 15 minutes before departure. Also the ever popular Ramsgate Harbour sightseeing trips start from 1st April at weekends and daily during school holidays. Prices are still held for another year with Full boat discount by arrangement.
Details are via the Sea Searcher website link right or telephone 07837 562076 between 0800 and 1600. See also Sea Searcher Boat Trips for May for popular Seal Spootting Trips from Ramsgate Harbour. May Dates include Friday 22nd at 0830, Saturday 23rd at 0830, Sunday 24th at 0930, Monday 25th at 1000, Tuesday 26th at 1100, Saturday 30th at 1600 and Sunday 31st at 1630. All trips meet at the marina entrance in Pier Yard, Royal Harbour, Ramsgate 15 minutes before departure. See comprehensive details via www.seasearcher.co.uk or click the Sea Searcher weblink right.
South of Ramsgate's Royal Harbour on St Augustine's Road sits the famous home and adjacent church of renowned British architect Augustus Pugin (1812-1852). Pugin was credited with reviving the gothic architectural style, and his particular style was a considerable influence on Victorian design and architecture. The number of buildings across Britain Pugin worked on are astounding, including famous ones such as St Chad's in Birmingham which is still standing.
The Grange in Ramsgate with adjacent St Augustine's chapel was designed by Pugin and built in 1843. He described this building as the only one where his design was untouched by the influence of financiers, so Pugin fans will be particularly interested in the Grange as Pugin considered it the closest representaion of his style. Fortunately the Landmark Trust have restored the home and it's open to the public on Wednesday afternoons between 2pm and 4pm. Pugin is buried in a vault underneath the chapel.
The Landmark Trust also rents out the Grange to visitors. Check the Trust's webguide for details. A small number of open days are also held annually, with cartoon room and Pugin exhibit on-site.
The Grange, St Augustine's Road, Ramsgate, Kent, CT11 9NY. Tel. Landmark Trust at 01628 825925.
TransEuropa run four ferries now from Ramsgate Kent to Ostend (Oostende) Belgium. Take your car or motorhome across and explore the delights of Belgium including Brussels, the Flanders area and more. Ferry rates are extremely good. TransEuropa are the only ferry company operating out of Ramsgate.
Check the TransEuropa ferry webguids for details on ferry sailing times. The journey takes about 4 hours.
Transeuropa Ferries UK, Car ferry Terminal, Ramsgate New Port, CT11 9FT Ramsgate Kent. Tel. 00 44 (0)1843 595522.