Raptures in Ramsgate on the open topper 69!

It’s back and in full swing! The Thanet 69 open topper from Ramsgate to Broadstairs and Stone Bay has returned for the summer months of 2024, offering bright and breezy unrivalled clifftop views over the English Channel in this enchanted and delightful corner of the Garden of England in Kent. Operated by super Stagecoach, the customer service is top notch and so too the scenery and places to visit – we’re showcasing a few of these over the coming weeks and first up is Ramsgate, a fab town that will have you in raptures!

A trip to Ramsgate really is the most charming of seaside sojourns, offering a perfect blend of historical intrigue, natural beauty, and modern delights. With its picturesque marina, stunning architecture, and a wealth of attractions, Ramsgate invites visitors to explore its unique character and enjoy the many pleasures it has to offer.

Regal Ramsgate’s rumbustious Royal Harbour

A visit to this fab place is not complete without a stroll along the Royal Harbour, the only Royal Harbour in the UK, granted its status by King George IV in 1821. The harbour is a hub of activity, with a vibrant mix of yachts, fishing boats, and pleasure craft. The nearby marina is the perfect place to start your exploration, offering splendid views and a selection of cafes and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by. For those who enjoy maritime history, the Ramsgate Maritime Museum provides fascinating insights into the town’s seafaring past.

Blissful beaches and beauty on the 69

Ramsgate’s beaches are another major draw. The main sands are perfect for families, with golden stretches of sand and safe, shallow waters ideal for swimming, along the route of the open topper 69. For a more secluded experience, head to Dumpton Gap or Pegwell Bay, where you can enjoy the natural beauty of the coastline and perhaps spot some of the local wildlife. Pegwell Bay, in particular, is a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts, with its diverse habitats and rich biodiversity. And of course, the 69 continues to the iconic Broadstairs with its famous sandy shores, voted as our favourite coastal resort among the Great Scenic Journeys management team here at our HQ!

Gothic and glasshouses

Exploring the town, you’ll find an array of architectural gems. The Italianate Greenhouse, built in the 19th century, is a stunning example of Victorian design and offers a peaceful retreat surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens. Another must-see is St. Augustine’s Church, founded by the famous architect Augustus Pugin, who also designed the interior of the Palace of Westminster. The church is a testament to Pugin’s Gothic Revival style and provides a tranquil spot to reflect and admire the intricate craftsmanship.

Coastal cultural melting pot

For those interested in the arts, Ramsgate has a thriving cultural scene. The town is home to numerous galleries, including the York Street Gallery, which showcases the work of local artists. Throughout the year, Ramsgate hosts various festivals and events, such as the Ramsgate Festival of Sound, which celebrates music, art, and community spirit. Live performances, street art, and interactive installations transform the town into a lively cultural hotspot.

Great gastro gourmet galore

Food lovers will find plenty to tantalize their taste buds in Ramsgate. The town boasts a diverse culinary scene, with a range of restaurants, cafes, and pubs catering to all tastes. For a fine dining experience, head to the Empire Room, located within the historic Royal Harbour Hotel. The restaurant offers a sophisticated menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and expertly crafted dishes. If you prefer something more casual, Miles Bar & Bistro on the harbour front is perfect for a relaxed meal with stunning sea views. For a taste of traditional British fare, the Queen Charlotte pub offers hearty meals in a cosy, welcoming atmosphere.

Chic boutiques and independent treasure troves

No visit to Ramsgate would be complete without indulging in some retail therapy. The town centre is home to a variety of shops, from well-known high street brands to independent boutiques. Pick up unique gifts and souvenirs at the Ramsgate Market, held every Friday and Saturday, where you can browse stalls selling everything from fresh produce to handmade crafts. For book lovers, the Albion Bookshop is a treasure trove of new and second-hand books, perfect for finding your next great read.

Don’t mention Margate to the Rams!

Sports fans will find plenty to keep them occupied in Ramsgate. The town has a strong sporting tradition, with a variety of clubs and facilities catering to different interests. Ramsgate Football Club, known as The Rams, is a key part of the local community, offering exciting matches and a chance to support the home team who play in the Isthmian League South Division and have just finished the season in 2nd place but lost to Chichester in the promotion play offs 0-1. It was a very good season, despite narrowly missing out on promotion and the locals are still in high spirits and ever hopeful of making it up next season – but just don’t mention Margate to Rams fans – as they are big rivals, unsurprisingly, given the proximity of both clubs!

The town also boasts excellent facilities for sailing, windsurfing, and kitesurfing, making the most of its coastal location. For golfers, the St. Augustine’s Golf Club offers a challenging course set against the backdrop of beautiful scenery.

Vince, Moses and evacuation

Ramsgate has also been home to a number of notable figures throughout history. Perhaps the most famous is Vincent van Gogh, who lived in Ramsgate for a short period in 1876 while working as a teacher. His time in the town is commemorated by a plaque at Spencer Square, where he once resided. Another significant figure associated with Ramsgate is Sir Moses Montefiore, a prominent philanthropist who made substantial contributions to the town, including the construction of the Montefiore Synagogue.

Delving into Ramsgate’s history reveals a wealth of quirky and obscure facts. During World War II, Ramsgate played a crucial role in the Dunkirk evacuation, with hundreds of small boats setting off from the harbour to rescue stranded soldiers. The town’s network of tunnels, originally built as an air-raid shelter, stretches for over three miles and provides a fascinating glimpse into life during the war. Today, you can take guided tours of the tunnels, learning about their history and hearing stories of the people who sought refuge there.

Cutting edge of innovation

In modern times, Ramsgate continues to thrive and evolve. The town has embraced a spirit of creativity and innovation, becoming a haven for artists, musicians, and entrepreneurs. The opening of the Ramsgate Micro Museum, dedicated to the history of computing, is a testament to this forward-thinking ethos. The museum showcases a vast collection of vintage computers and gaming consoles, offering a nostalgic trip down memory lane for tech enthusiasts.

Ramsgate certainly is a town that effortlessly combines the old with the new, offering visitors a rich tapestry of experiences. Whether you’re drawn by its historical charm, stunning natural landscapes, vibrant cultural scene, or simply the opportunity to relax by the sea, Ramsgate has something to offer everyone and is very much a seaside resort with a spring in its step! Its unique character and welcoming atmosphere make it a destination worth exploring, leaving folk with memories that will last long after your visit. It’s also easy to devour on a bright and breezy 69 stunning seaside open topper service whisking its way along the cliffs from Ramsgate to brilliant Broadstairs and superb Stone Bay. To plan your fab adventure, check out the fun-filled link below….

69 Ramsgate Royal Esplanade – Stone Bay