Strange Days

It is certainly a strange and unnerving time we all find ourselves in; not just in the UK but across the world as we struggle to come to terms with dealing with an invisible threat to our way of life.  I hope that everyone is coping as best they can and finding ways to keep safe and sane!

Following the most recent guidance from central government, people have been advised that they can now make car journeys to the coast and whilst we look forward to welcoming our visitors back to the Isle when it is completely safe to do so, please be aware that currently, public toilet facilities remain closed and of course all your favourite cafes, restaurants and shops!  There are also no lifeguards serving Ramsgate Main Sands and our Visitor Information Centre is unmanned for the foreseeable future.

Here in Ramsgate, we do consider ourselves lucky in some respects as we can enjoy the open spaces, parks and sandy beaches, all on our doorsteps.  Plus we have the scenic Viking Coastal Trail for people to cycle along and there are definitely more cyclists out there right now!   If you haven’t got a bike, fear not, Harbour Bikes is still open and renting bikes at Arch 20, operating at a safe, social distance of course.

Whilst most of our businesses and attractions are temporarily closed, many have found innovative ways to maintain some momentum as we move forward in this uncertain period of our lives.

Several restaurants have started delivery services and some of our shops including Nice Things and McGillan & Woodell have set up online shops.  You can still buy beautiful gifts via their websites.  McGillan & Woodell are offering a personalised printed greeting card service. Our bakeries and butchers remain open, operating under COVID 19 guidelines and are being well supported by the community.  Follow the Visit Ramsgate facebook page for more details on how our local businesses are trying to adapt during this time!

Some of our B&Bs and Hotels are providing accommodation for key workers and all our supermarkets and banks are striving to deliver a service under difficult circumstances.  Unfortunately, no accommodation provider can allow any other customers until further notice but hope that this notice will be lifted in early July if all goes well…

The majority of our businesses however, remain closed for the foreseeable future but are using social media platforms to put on ‘live gigs’ such as the Queen’s Head, and other artists are engaged in the ‘Artists Support Pledge’ Scheme or showing creative performances online.

Events have had to be cancelled or postponed with the hope that later on in the year, we can still have at least, small gatherings safely.  But one of our event organisers, Sylvie Bolioli, has come up with an innovative way to put on her Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival which will all be held online this year from June 11th to 14th.  With hundreds of film submissions for this year’s fourth festival, they could not disappoint the entrants and have found a way to showcase their productions.  Head on over to their website for more details and follow them on facebook for updates!

So, as you can see, here in Ramsgate, we are adapting as best we can and rest assured, when it is safe for our visitors to fully return, we will be here to welcome you with open arms and relieved smiles!   Wherever you may be in the world, we hope that you remain well and we look forward to being able to welcome you back to our wonderful seaside town when it is safe to do so.

Rebekah Smith, Ramsgate Town Promoter

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