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Useful information and guidelines for groups planning a visit to the award-winning coastline of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate

Welcome to the seaside resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate located on the north-eastern coast of Kent and easily reached from London with good road and rail links.

Discover stunning sandy beaches and sea-carved chalk cliffs, activity havens and resort bays. Re-energising and relaxing, our coast is a giant, free-to-use, year-round, outdoor spa

It’s important to remember to stay safe and take care when visiting our beaches. Read our 'Sun, Sea, Sand and Safety blog from the RNLI

If you are a group planning a trip to our award-winning coastline, here is some useful information and guidelines to make your visit a success. To enjoy your experience at our beaches and bays, please check the Beach Byelaws

  • Our Unique Coastline

    Our award-winning 16 sandy beaches and bays offer something different. From Joss Bay a surfers' paradise, traditional family fun at Margate Main Sands, Broadstairs Viking Bay and Ramsgate Main Sands, get away from it spots Stone Bay and Dumpton Gap, while West Bay, St. Mildred’s Bay and Minnis Bay offer beaches with a village-life feel.

    The Thanet Coast’s unique coastline has fascinating marine and bird life that is associated with its sandy beaches, chalk cliffs, reefs and sea caves.

    North East Kent Marine Protected Area - The whole of our coastline is covered by international and national designations for its marine and bird life. The Thanet coastline represents 20% of the UK’s and 12% of Europe’s coastal chalk and it is the longest continuous stretch of chalk coast in Britain.

  • Notification

    When planning your visit to our award winning coastline, we ask any group (20 people or over) to notify us of your intended visit – the date, which beach, how many people and an idea of what they will be doing during the visit.

    This information is required for health and safety so that we can notify the relevant parties – RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution), Bay Inspectors, Beach Cleansing and Beach Concessionaires.

    Please complete the online notification form 

  • Parking

    Coach parking provision and drop-off points are available at the following locations:

    • Minnis Bay, Birchington - Drop off The Parade/Car Park and Parking at Car Park (CT7 9QR)
    • West Bay, Westgate - Drop off and Parking Sea Road (CT8 8QG)
    • St Mildred's Bay, Westgate - Drop off Sea Road (CT8 8SB) and Parking Sea Road/Royal Esplanade (CT8 5ET)
    • Westbrook Bay - Drop off Royal Esplanade (CT9 5QE) and Parking Dreamland Car Park (CT9 1XG)
    • Margate Main Sands - Drop off Marine Drive (CT9 1EY) and Parking Dreamland Car Park (CT9 1XG)
    • Walpole Bay - Drop off Eastern Esplanade and Parking Lido Car Park (CT9 1RX)

    • Joss Bay - Drop off and Parking Joss Bay (CT10 3PG)
    • Stone Bay - Drop off Eastern Esplanade and Parking Eastern Esplanade until 6pm only (CT10 1DR)
    • Viking Bay - Drop off Victoria Parade (CT10 1QL) and Parking Vere Road (CT10 1JF)
    • Louisa Bay - Drop off 'Victoria Parade (CT10 1QL)' and Parking Vere Road (CT10 1JF)
    • Dumpton Gap - Drop off South Cliff Parade/Western Esplanade and Parking South Cliff Parade/Western Esplanade until 6pm only (CT10 1TD) 

    Please note there is no coach parking at Botany Bay, Broadstairs CT10 3LG only drop off at the top of Botany Road, Percy Avenue and Kingsgate Avenue 

    • Ramsgate Main Sands - Drop off Marina Esplanade/Harbour Parade and Parking Victoria Parade/Royal Esplanade. Port of Ramsgate (CT11 9FT) accessed by Royal Harbour Approach (Tunnel) – £22 per 24 hours with prior arrangement with Port Security tel 01843 587661

    Please click here for further details

  • Public Conveniences

    Public conveniences at our beaches and bays are predominately open throughout the year with some seasonality.

    For full information please click here

  • Lifeguards

    RNLI Lifeguards (Royal National Lifeboat Institute), patrol our beaches and bays throughout the summer season.

    There will be RNLI lifeguard cover at the following beaches 10am - 6pm (2024)

    *Weekends and Bank Holidays Saturday 25th May - Friday 12th July 
    Minnis Bay Birchington, Westbrook Bay Margate, Stone Bay Broadstairs and Ramsgate Main Sands

    *Daily Saturday 25th May - Sunday 1st September 
    Margate Main Sands, Botany Bay Broadstairs, Joss Bay Broadstairs and Viking Bay Broadstairs

    *Daily Saturday 13th July - Sunday 1st  September 
    Minnis Bay Birchington, West Bay Westgate, St Mildred’s Bay Westgate, Westbrook Bay Margate, Margate Main Sands, Botany Bay, Joss Bay, Stone Bay, Viking Bay Broadstairs and Ramsgate Main Sands

    *Weekends only Saturday 7th - Sunday 29th September 
    Margate Main Sands  

    Please remember to stay safe at our beaches and follow the advice of the RNLI, if using them to undertake your daily exercise and consider the tides.

  • Litter

    All our beaches and bays are beautiful and we are proud of them, please help us to keep them that way. Take your litter away with you or put it in the bins provided.  Leave only footprints in the sand.

    Help keep our beaches clean with a '2 Minute Beach Clean'.

  • Watch the Tides

    The idea of walking from one bay to another may be appealing, but ensure you don’t get cut off by the tide. High and low tide information is often written at each beach by the Bay Inspector.

    Local tide tables are available from our Visitor Information Centre or visit Ramsgate Harbour website.

  • Know your Flags

    Red and yellow flag – lifeguard-patrolled bathing area. Always swim between the flags and within the buoys on all beaches
    Red flag – do not bathe when red flag is flying
    Black and white quartered flag – Surfing Area
    • White cross on green flag – First Aid

    Further information can be found on the RNLI website. 

  • Coastal Codes

    The Thanet Coast is a valued open space used by many people for recreational activities and is highly valued for its plants, animals and birds. Please help by following these simple voluntary codes to help local wildlife and show respect for other beach users.

    • Respect our coastal wildlife – try to leave everything as you find it, or would like to find it
    • Consider our coastline and other users – take your rubbish home, report hazards; and respect the rights of other users.
    • Stay safe – be careful on slippery rocks, of the in-coming tide, and follow bay safety signs
    • Be Environmentally friendly – buy postcards or take photos of marine creatures, instead of taking marine curious

    Learn more about our coastal codes with the Thanet Coast Project.

  • Beach BBQs

    Individual barbecues are permitted on all beaches and bays after 6pm. Please click here for further information.

  • Group Eateries

    At many of our beaches you will find food concessionaires that will happily be able to provide your group with snacks and drinks.

  • Coastal Events

    Throughout the year there are a series of events that take place along and on our coastline 

    For information on events taking place at our beaches and bays please click here.

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Contact Us
Visitor Information Centre
The Droit House
Stone Pier
Kent CT9 1JD
Te: 01843 577577
Official website of Visit Thanet, Thanet District Council.