Ramsgate is a coastal town boasting a stunning maritime history, amazing architecture and a wonderfully vibrant waterfront with a distinct cosmopolitan feel.
Ramsgate’s roots lie in fishing, boat building and farming - a history still reflected in the town’s passion for local produce and fish dishes.
The importance of the town’s long maritime history as a port and its fine hospitality, were recognised by King George IV when he awarded the harbour Royal status - a unique accolade in mainland Britain. He was particularly impressed by the harbour, the warm welcome and the hospitality he received when he set off from Ramsgate with the Royal Squadron for Hanover in 1821.
A 52ft high granite obelisk was erected and engraved to mark the occasion. This can be seen close to Royal Victoria Pavilion, now the largest Wetherspoons in the country.
Royal Harbour Bicentenary Celebrations
2021 marked the 200th anniversary of the harbour’s Royal status. To celebrate, events and activities took place around the harbour from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September.
These included a visit by TS Jack Petchy and some of the ‘Little Ships’, which played a part in helping to rescue British and French troops from the beaches at Dunkirk as part of Operation Dynamo during WWII.
A life-size image of the King George IV statue, made by late local sculptor Dominic Grant, was displayed alongside events including a ‘Big Top’ marquee Royal Harbour 200 Gala Variety Show and cabaret. Guided costumed walks, vintage vehicles, heritage talks, children's street party, a handmade fair and The Combined Bands of East Kent Sea Cadets, were also available
Ramsgate’s Maritime History - Did You Know?
Worthy of a visit
Ramsgate still provides a warm welcome to its visitors. Enjoy the thriving continental cafe culture along the waterfront, fine eateries serving local produce including seafoods, independent shops and quirky, small galleries, and the modern marina nestled next to an award winning beach.
The town is becoming increasingly well-known as a destination for an active break. Active Ramsgate showcases the attractive coastal location of Ramsgate through a range of inspiring walks, cycle routes, canoe and kayak trails, pickleball, tennis, golf and birdwatching tours.
Ramsgate boasts a variety of other guided and self-guided walks from which you can discover more about the town and its history. The darker side of the town’s past can be discovered on a guided Rotten Ramsgate Walk, or you can walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh with the ‘Following in the Footsteps of Vincent van Gogh’ leaflet. The artist stayed in a house in Spencer Square in 1876.
Historic England’s Heritage Action Zone in Ramsgate, in partnership with Ramsgate Festival of Sound and Ramsgate Radio, has just launched a podcast series uncovering the stories and lived experiences of the town and particularly its clifftop promenades and seafront. The podcasts are designed as ‘sonic trails / ‘sound walks’ with three episodes.
There’s plenty to see and do to justify a long weekend or short break and Ramsgate’s visitor accommodation ranges from stylish clifftop hotels with stunning sea views, quality guest houses and B&Bs, great value self-catering town-houses and cosy cottages to a family-run campsite. Find out more about quality places to stay in Ramsgate