Spring forward on the Isle – 7 ways to see in the new season
With the warmest February on record, we’ve already got a spring in our step, and no doubt you have too, so here’s how you can welcome in the new season in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate
Spring into action
Viking Coastal Trail North Foreland golf course. Photo VisitBritain
Fresh sea air, clear blue skies, the sun on our face… there’s nothing like being outdoors after the short winter days. Shake off hibernation mode with a stroll or cycle along our 32 miles (51.4km) of stunning sandy beaches boasting infinite views out to sea, chalk cliffs and pretty rural villages, via the circular Viking Coastal Trail. Get the heart pumping with a run along the seafronts at Margate, Broadstairs or Ramsgate, go for a hole in one at our many golf courses in Westgate and Birchington, North Foreland, St Augustine’s, Stonelees and Manston, or make it a family adventure at Lillyputt’s, Rascal Bay, Quex or Strokes’ and Lost Island mini golf.
Looking for something more serene? Try tai chi, yoga, pilates or even meditation in one of the many practices in each town. You can even go off mat and onto the beach, for a truly soul-enriching experience.
Walk in the footsteps of history
It’s easy to believe we’re all about beaches and bays on the Isle of Thanet, but there’s rich heritage to discover with every step you take. Our cliffs are 80 million (yes million!) years old and the Romans landed here. In the 18th century, the restorative seawalter bathing along our shores sparked the seaside holiday boom (Margate was the first place to have donkey rides and deckchairs ). Ramsgate sent ‘little ships’ to Dunkirk and welcomed 80,000 soldiers safely back from France during WWII. The Isle’s beauty has attracted some of the nation’s most-admired artists, architects and writers, including JMW Turner, Charles Dickens and Augustus Pugin. Make the past your present with our many self-guided walking trails, including the new Ramsgate Military and History Trail
Awaken your senses
Sunrise at Kingsgate Bay
They say seeing is believing, and you’ll find plenty of visual wonders to marvel at along our coastline. Experience the seasons change before your very eyes on the spring equinox (20 March) and witness our truly unbelievable sunsets and sunrises (if you don’t believe us, just check out our Instagram).
Katie Paterson Exhibition. Photo Stephen White Stagecoach’s Open Top Bus
At the world-class gallery Turner Contemporary, get up close to world-class art by visiting ‘A place that exists only in moonlight: Katie Paterson & JMW Turner’ (until 6 May) and Cornelia Parker’s ‘Perpetual Canon’ (closes 17 March). Across the Isle, witness live art spectacles during the Looping the Loop Festival (20 – 28 April).
Or take the ultimate scenic journey with a ride upon Stagecoach’s Open Top Bus. Take in the sensational views between Stone Bay, Broadstairs, and the Boating Pool in Ramsgate, you can even hop on and off to explore each place en route (starts 6 April on selected dates and you can travel in either direction).
Make moments last a lifetime
Botany Bay. Photo VisitBritain Ramsgate Harbour. Photo VisitBritain
A short break or day trip with your loved ones can guarantee much-needed quality family time. This Mother’s Day (31 March), why not treat the special lady/ladies in your life to a relaxing stroll on the beach, a spa session or say thank you with a gift from the many artists studios, galleries or shops or a delicious afternoon tea or meal at one of our many award-winning cafes and restaurants.
Go treasure hunting
Easter is a little later this year (19 – 21 April), so fingers crossed the weather will be glorious! Regardless, you can find indoor and outdoor treasures, from egg hunts, and digital geocaching hunts to gaming and theatrical treasure at The Micro Museum, Margate’s Theatre Royal The Jungle Book and Sarah Thorne Theatre’s Simple Simon Easter Special. Or hunt for historical knowledge together at Powell-Cotton Museum, Crampton Tower (reopens 19 April), Ramsgate Maritime Museum, Ramsgate Tunnels, Margate Museum, RAF Manston Spitfire and Hurricane Museum. Or try one of our Coastal Explorer packs – just £5 for a whole day’s fun.
Open spaces, open mind
Italianate Glasshouse Ellington Park and Nature Area
As a new season comes into bloom, our open spaces become a picture of colour, and peaceful havens. Take tea in the Italianate Glasshouse (reopens 1 April), a Grade II* listed historic monument in the grounds of King George VI Memorial Park, just a sea breeze from the water’s edge in Ramsgate . See what you can spot on Ellington Park’s nature trail, and find what wildlife and birds stir at Monkton Nature Reserve and Pegwell Bay.
Dare to do something different
Dreamland Joss Bay Surf School. Photo VisitBritain
Enjoy the thrill of the ride and free entry at Dreamland this spring (reopens 6 April), letting the fun last all day. Then ride the waves at beautiful Joss Bay with the Surf School (opens 6 April and choose from surfing or stand up paddle boarding, group or private lessons), and Kent Surf School (open from April).
However you choose to spend your Spring time, you won’t be disappointed when you visit Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate and the surrounding villages.