Perhaps being so close to Europe helps infuse Ramsgate with a cosmopolitan vibe. Pavements cafes frame waterfront bars. A bustling harbour borders a yacht-packed marina. Awash with history and overflowing with continental charm, it’s a must-see historic port.
South-facing Ramsgate is proud of its status as England's only Royal Harbour. It also boasts its very own Meridian Line. Five minutes and 41 seconds ahead of GMT, you'll find it in the Maritime Museum, along with artefacts evoking the town's rich heritage of fishing, shipbuilding and shipwrecks.
Ramsgate's compelling past includes landings by Anglo-Saxons, Romans and Saints - it is also part of the historic Confederation of Cinque Ports. Fine architecture peppers the town. Look out for elegant Georgian terraces and impressive Regency villas - and visit The Grange, the first so-called 'modern' house. This Victorian Gothic confection was built by architect Augustus Pugin, who designed the interiors of the House of Parliament. Some of his and his sons' other works still dot the town - track them down on a self-guided tour. Don't miss St Augustine’s Church, next to The Grange; the 'ideal church' that Pugin built and designed.
In Ramsgate, the water is irresistible. Hop on a boat trip to spot seals on the Goodwin Sands, discover gorgeous beaches and bays, or view the Thanet Offshore Windfarm's 100 turbines. Back in town, get a nostalgia fix and flex your fingers on scores of vintage machines at the Pinball Parlour or bask in the warmth of the exquisitely restored, Georgian Italianate Greenhouse.
Superb walking trails lead from the bustling port to the exhilarating cliffs; walk the coast path to Broadstairs, or head south on the epic Saxon Shore Way to bird and wildlife-rich Pegwell Bay Country Park. What better way to discover the town then via one of the three walking routes - Active Ramsgate.
Ramsgate's acclaimed restaurants deserve a visit too. Age & Sons appeals with its cool cafe, smart cocktail bar and sleek restaurant serving modern British cuisine.
Each August Bank Holiday, the Summer Squall multi-arts festival serves up a feast of workshops, exhibitions, film, theatre and dance. While in July, Thanet at War brings the 1940s vividly to life.
And getting here is supremely simple too with high-speed train links to London. Ramsgate is perfectly placed for a cosmopolitan break.