When I think of British family beach destinations I’ve got to admit that Ramsgate is not the first place that springs to mind. We live in Sussex and have spent years dragging the kids right to the other side of the country to Devon and Cornwall to enjoy long sandy beaches and seaside towns….having just spent the most enjoyable, action packed weekend 2 hours down the road in Ramsgate I’m now asking myself why!?
I visited Ramsgate with my family for a weekend over the August Summer break. We were blown away by the range of activities available, the vibrant cafe culture, the gorgeous (and incredibly quiet!) beaches and the proximity to wildlife. From the moment we arrived, late on a Friday evening..to leaving on the Sunday afternoon we experienced all the best aspects of a good, British, seaside holiday including friendly and dynamic locals who are helping Ramsgate become a fantastic destination for active families. We were invited to try some of the range of activities that the town has on offer through their Active Ramsgate campaign supported by Visit Ramsgate and Ramsgate Town Council. As you’ll see we were kept busy from dawn to dusk through physical activities, enjoying great food and exploring the coastline. I’d love to share our adventures here to spread the word that Ramsgate is a fantastic destination for families of all ages.
Go2Sea offer boat trips from Ramsgate harbour allowing guests to explore the Kent coastline and visit local wildlife and seals. Our guide, Stuart was extremely knowledgeable and was able to show us a colony of over 70 seals on the River Stour during our trip. Be prepared to go fast, get wet and have a lot of fun!
The Ramsgate Tunnels were home to up to 60 000 people during air raids in WWII. A visit to this subterranean world allows history to be brought to life. We donned our hard hats, grabbed our torches and explored the vast expanse of tunnels that run right underneath many of the main routes throughout Ramsgate. The experience is incredibly informative thanks to passionate, volunteer tour guides who are able to recount numerous facts and stories about life in the tunnels.
Archive Homestores is a real find of a cafe tucked under the harbour arches with incredible views. This modern and stylish cafe has a great menu which caters for all dietary requirements including vegan. We loved the spacious seating area upstairs which offered beautiful views of the harbour as we tucked into a wholesome lunch and irresistible home baked cakes. We dined on delicious salmon gravadlax, avocado smash and chicken & avocado sandwiches…all served with generous portions of fresh salad on sourdough bread.
Ride Bike Hire offer a new concept in bike hire for the Kent coastline.
They have a bespoke fleet of stunning powder blue Pashley bikes available for hire allowing families the option of exploring further afield along the Viking coastal trail. In addition to the adult bikes they also provide bike buggies for toddlers and a fleet of Bobbin bikes for juniors. The bikes are all stunning, brand new and a dream to ride. Ride have their main hub at the Old Kent Market Place, but offer a number of pick up points along the Viking Trail allowing you to enjoy as much of the Coast line as you can manage. We found the service Ride provided absolutely flawless. We had bikes for our whole family delivered to us at our lunch venue and were told to contact the team to arrange a pick up point when we’d had enough. We were able to comfortably ride to Broadstairs and back even with a toddler and 7 year old in tow. A fantastic service allowing flexibility in arrangements which can be so important when exploring with a young family in tow.
We visited the beach a number of times throughout our stay. Main Sands beach is easily accessible for both the main shopping and harbour areas of the town. The beach is long, wide, sandy with shallow water particularly when the tide is high. It was the one place the children wanted to return to time and time again. Each time we visited we found the beach quiet despite it’s central location. The ultimate open space to let the kids burn off some energy..and it doesn’t cost a thing! Morning dip, lunchtime sand castles sessions or sunset wave jumping this beach is the perfect place for some family fun time.
We finished our perfect weekend with dinner at the Royal Harbour Brasserie. Located at the tip of the harbour arm this is the place to enjoy Ramsgate looking it’s finest as the sun sets over the town. The brassiere’s unique position offers panoramic views of the marina, the jetty and out to sea. The a la carte menu offers a range of locally sourced fish dishes cooked by head chef Adrian Mowl who trained at the Dorchester Hotel. We enjoyed an incredible feast of calamari, crab crevettes, haddock and hake. Each dish beautifully presented and a perfect blend of flavours. All this enjoyed in a laid back, Parisian style Brasserie with excellent service to boot.
We were really impressed by many aspects of Ramsgate. There’s a lot of love for the town from locals and this passion comes across in many of the services and activities on offer throughout the resort. Ramsgate surprised us and exceeded our expectations. We are certain we will be visiting again to explore more of the family friendly attractions and venues on offer…and maybe find some more hidden treasures!