Make your own Olympic challenge in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate
If the Olympic Games in Rio are giving you a buzz and making you feel like you should get out, be active and challenge yourself, then check out all the Olympic activities available around the coastal resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
Come and conquer the south-eastern corner of Kent by bike and cycle the Viking Coastal Trail, a 32 mile circular route, much of which is along traffic free promenades. Enjoy stunning scenery and clifftop views, explore vibrant seaside towns and discover hidden gems on route. Tackle the complete 32 miles, or break it down into smaller chunks, or why not try one of the six themed routes, ‘The Six Churches Ride’, ‘History, Art and Architecture’, ‘Historic Broadstairs’, ‘The Path of St. Augustine’s’, ‘Smugglers’ Haunts Ride’ and ‘Beaches and Bays’. There’s no ‘gold’ for completing it in the fastest time, in fact the best rewards for this come from taking time to just enjoy the ride and discover the breathtaking sandy beaches and classic seaside heritage. And if you don’t own a bike, it’s not a problem; there are several good cycle hire shops in the area.
Beach Volleyball is one of the most popular events at Rio and whilst we can’t invite you to play at Copacabana Beach, we can invite you to come here, where we have more Blue Flag beaches than any other district in England, seven in total. Be sure to visit on 20 and 21 August when, for the fourth year running, the National Beach Volleyball Finals will take place on Margate’s golden Main Sands. It is a fantastic opportunity to sit in free grandstand seating to watch this elite sport. There is also a chance to get involved and try volleyball for yourself at the permanent Beach Sport Court here, operated by sponsor Motiv8 Sports.
Well Boxercise actually and on the beach instead of in a ring. Boxercise is a new fitness experience devised by England Boxing coaches. Participants gain all-over body conditioning whilst learning the techniques used by Olympic boxers to succeed in the ring. Classes incorporate pad-work, skipping, punch bags and shadow boxing, ensuring a great overall cardiovascular workout, developing core strength, co-ordination and fitness. Classes at 10am on Saturday mornings at Western Undercliff, Ramsgate until 10 September, all ages and abilities welcome. £3 per person
Not slalom or sprint, but two new trails just launched as part of Active Ramsgate, which aims to highlight activities in and around the town. There are two trails. ‘Beaches and Bays’ is a self-guided trail which goes from Ramsgate to Broadstairs (two miles, one way) and offers the chance to get close to nature and go wild exploring some of the most precious and dramatic landscapes in Kent. ‘Wildlife Canoe Safari’ is a guided trail from Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve, where you may just spot rare birdlife and seals in their natural habitat (approx. two to three hours).
Serious golfers love Thanet’s 18-hole, cliff-top and links courses, both for the challenge and the spectacular views. Westgate and Birchington Golf Club near Margate is situated on the cliff tops; St. Augustine’s Golf Club in Ramsgate has nine holes parkland and nine holes links, whilst North Foreland Golf Club at Broadstairs has an 18 hole open qualifying course and an 18 hole par three course.
Ok, so it’s not an Olympic sport, but it is a great way to be active and take in the fresh sea air. Broadstairs has the closest surfing beaches to London and is easily accessible in 85 minutes from St. Pancras International on Southeastern’s High Speed Service, perfect if you fancy a day ‘catching waves’. If it’s something you have always wanted to try, but never had the opportunity to, be sure to book a surf lesson at one of the excellent surf schools. Joss Bay Surf School is based at rural Joss Bay, whilst Kent Surf School operates at the resorts main beach, Viking Bay – they’ll both have you on the board in no time.