Ahead of the release of the new Ramsgate Trail, we asked the Quiz Trail team to tell us a bit about themselves and find out more about their trails…
Who’s behind Quiz Trails?
We are a Kent based mum and daughters’ team, Liz, Becky and Laura, and we started making the trails a couple of years ago as we all love history and exploring. We’d visit places as a family over the years and stroll around the middle popular bit and have a great day out – but go home not knowing much about the history and the people who’d lived there. It’s fascinating once you start to look deeper into the past – when you discover things such as Ramsgate visitor Daniel Defoe was christened Daniel Foe but added De at the front to sound more aristocratic!
What is the Ramsgate Quiz Trail and how do people take part?
We put together trails which pick up the highlights – we point you to look up, look down and all around as you follow the circular trail. The clues are set from interesting features around the town so you really get to see lots of things you might have missed if you just walk around. Alongside, there are lots of pages of local history and stories, all in short articles, so you can take the trail home and have a good read through. We focus on the people and their stories rather than the buildings – that might be a sign that we’re nosy!
We aim our trails for visitors to really see everything during their time here and have a take-home souvenir but they are also great for residents to re-look at their hometown in a fresh new way.
We think just over a mile, and one to two hours, is enough for any day out so we keep them to that distance – everyone needs time to enjoy the pubs and café’s too!
We have them for sale on our website www.quiztrail.co.uk and also at local stockists – including the Visitor Information Centre and Ramsgate Tunnels. One copy, for only £4, is all that’s needed as they can be shared by a family or small group – so it’s great value as an activity all can enjoy.
Are the walks accessible to all ages and abilities?
We have adult questions and don’t make them too cryptic and difficult – we keep in mind that it is for leisure and nobody wants a Mensa test! We felt it was really important also to add separate questions for children as well so that they could have fun too and not just follow the adults round – plus there’s pleasure in all working together if they get stuck on anything.
It’s an activity that can be shared by all ages together and we’ve had couples in their 80’s enjoying them as well as young families. Although we include children’s questions, the trails are for grown-ups really so you don’t need children with you. We’re really careful to make sure all our trails are accessible and where there might be an issue, such as steps, we always give an alternative detour. Due to the hilly nature of Ramsgate this couldn’t be avoided so we’ve made a separate Step-Free different edition for wheelchair users and pushchair users which avoids the hills – but is every bit as interesting!
What are interesting points on the Ramsgate Quiz Trail?
Without giving the route away, one of the favourite things to admire is Jacob’s Ladder on Military Road. The huge concrete steps that bring the top and bottom together. It originated as a wooden stairway and its things like that where you stop and ponder – can you imagine how nerve racking it must have been climbing up and down wooden steps in the great gales that can sometimes hit this coastline in winter?! It goes without saying that the connection to Van Gogh is very interesting – especially when you discover he used to walk to his sister’s house in London to visit her on occasional weekends – and walk back again! Some 80 miles each way! Ramsgate Tunnels is a must-do experience – the tours are so well presented and it’s done in such a way as to make you really appreciate the number of lives that were saved in World War Two because of them. It also opens your eyes to the conditions the locals lived through (endured!) underground.
Outside the Royal Pavilion … Ramsgate has a really rare post box! Edward VIII was the shortest reigning King ever but abdicated in 1936 to marry Wallis Simpson. He was King for only 326 days and in that time this post box was put here – there are only 171 in the whole country. It might not excite everyone but it excited us!
Are kids enjoying the trails?
We’ve been so pleased with the response we’ve had to the trails. It’s lovely to have had emails and comments such ‘we’ve lived here 30 years and still learnt some things we never knew’. It’s all been very positive and people say they’ve had a good laugh with their friends doing them – especially when the adults do the children’s clues as well as their own. People who have done the trails with children have told us their children have engaged, enjoyed the trails and learnt more about their local area. It’s a great way to teach kids local history and to plant a seed of interest in history, alongside what they learn at school. Children who grow up in Ramsgate can be very proud of the fantastic town it is and the important place it holds in the history of the UK.
Liz, Becky and Laura
The Quiz Trail Team