15th December 2023

So it may not quite be ‘planes, trains and automobiles’ but here on the Isle of Thanet we are very close with the chance to marvel at items from the past, whilst taking a trip around the isle to get a different perspective. 

Those men and their magnificent flying machines

Manston is home to not one but two museums dedicated to the history of aircraft and the role the isle played in aviation history.

The Spitfire and Hurricane Museum is the permanent home of splendid examples of the two WWII fighter aircraft that served the RAF so well in so many areas of battle, both at home and overseas - the Spitfire and Hurricane.

Experience for yourself what it was like to fly a Spitfire with the museum’s simulator as you take to the controls.

New for 2024, is the chance to book a Lancaster Experience Flight, in an exact replica Avro Lancaster cockpit section. The experience includes the opportunity to sit in the pilot’s, navigator’s, flight engineers and radio operator’s stations and ‘fire-up’ the four Merlin engines, the sound of which will be piped into the cockpit.

Neighbouring RAF Manston History Museum is the place to view aircraft and artefacts from WWI to modern search and rescue operations and its move to civil aviation. Look out for ‘Open Cockpit’ weekends when you can take a closer look.

If you’re taking a stroll along St Mildred’s Bay, Westgate, scan the digital plaque telling the story of the Royal Air Service Station here and development of Manston Airfield.

Spitfire and Hurricane Museum, Manston

Take to two wheels

Get out and explore Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate where big skies beckon as you hop on your bike. Don't-miss the 32-mile (51.4km) Viking Coastal Trail cycling and walking route circling the Isle, past chalk cliffs and along quiet lanes. The route follows a similar path the to the newly opened The King Charles III England Coast Path

Challenge yourself to complete the whole route, or break it down into smaller chunks with plenty of places for refuelling breaks.

Join a guided tour to discover more learning about the isles history or art scene.


Cycling along Ramsgate's East Cliff

All at Sea

Ramsgate is home to the only Royal harbour in the country alongside a marina from where you can sit and pick out which boat you would like.

Cruise around the picturesque harbour getting up close to the boats and learning about its past or grab your nets and rod to venture out to catch your own dinner.

For something a bit more adventurous and to get a different view of the isle, jump aboard and ride the waves to go wildlife and seal watching, to see them in their natural habitat just along the coast


Boat Trip to see the Seals

Miniature Works

Who isn’t a big kid at heart and competitive when it comes to playing with Scalextric, Hornby, Airfix and Corgi. Delve into the world of these at The WonderWorks by Hornby Hobbies with miniature worlds, incredible exhibition pieces and layouts that cater to speed freaks, engine geeks, and car connoisseurs! Whether you're a model train enthusiast, a car aficionado, or just love innovative engineering, there will be something special for you.

Learn about the work of Thomas Russell Crampton, chiefly remembered as a designer of locomotives and of railways at the museum named after him Crampton Tower Museum, with model layouts celebrating buses, trams and railwayana.

Model Train Scenes at The WonderWorks by Hornby Hobbies

Top Class Views

From Easter to the end of September hop on and off the popular Open Top Bus service  connecting Ramsgate and Broadstairs. Enjoy coastal views and feel the fresh sea air on your face as your explore and learn, whilst getting a different view of the towns. 

Open Top Bus Tour

Let the train take the strain

For an added train fix, Southeastern’s High Speed service from London St Pancras connects with Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate in around 70 minutes or hop aboard a service from London Victoria.


Did you know, Southeastern has a series of podcasts entitled ‘Hop on Board’ which gives a unique view of some of the best things a region has to offer? In ‘Get Cultured’ with Miranda Sawyer you can discover more about Turner Contemporary before meeting Margate’s very own BritArt icon Tracey Emin

Southeastern High Speed Javelin Train