If you are looking for a day trip or short break away with minimal impact on the environment, the Isle of Thanet and its coastal resorts of Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate could be just the ticket. Here are seven sustainable activities visitors can enjoy, which make the most of being outside in the fresh sea air and the Isle’s spectacular natural landscapes at any time of year
Hire a bike or don your walking shoes to discover the Viking Coastal Trail - one of the most attractive leisure cycling routes in Kent and Regional Route 15 of the National Cycle Network. The 32 mile (51.4 km) circular route is suitable for experienced cyclists or novices alike. The route takes in all of the Isle’s coastline - spectacular sandy beaches, stunning chalk cliffs, much along traffic-free promenades, before looping back through picturesque villages. The trail can be easily broken down into shorter stretches, and there are shorter themed routes to explore, all with plenty of places to stop for refreshments or a picnic en route.
Book a guided cycle ride with Col’s Kent Bike Tours and explore hidden gems as well as iconic sites. Listen to quirky stories and facts, discover history, culture and little-known secrets. Get insider tips on the best beaches and places to eat and drink to make the most of your stay. The Discover Margate Tour is a 2-hour easy ride at a leisurely pace, £25 per adult. The Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate tour is approximately 8 miles, medium difficulty, £39 per adult.
Bike hire, including electric bikes, is available at several outlets www.visitthanet.co.uk/cycling
If you’ve never done Nordic Walking (an enhanced walking technique that uses poles to work the upper body as well as the legs) why not book a training day from Margate, Broadstairs or Ramsgate railway stations for £50 per person (times by arrangement). Poles are provided for the 4-5 hours of Nordic Walking fun. A selection of options for refreshments and lunch is available if required. Book for a minimum of 2 people, maximum 6.
Fans of escape rooms will enjoy Captcha Code, an original game that brings together a treasure hunt and an escape room, exploring the timeless seaside town of Broadstairs.
Participants play the role of undercover agents who must complete an important mission to save the world. A briefing is given at the base, where agents are equipped with a custom-built, handheld spy device, a bag of tools and a map. To solve the puzzles agents must explore the town, interact with local businesses and uncover some of the town’s vast history.
The mission lasts 2-3 hours and covers just over one mile (1.7km). £50 per group, maximum of 5 players.
For just £5 (plus proof of ID), visitors can hire a Coastal Explorer Pack in Margate, Broadstairs or Ramsgate for at least half a day of coastal fun.
Discover Thanet’s rich heritage and natural coastal designations, learn how to make a sundial, identify clouds, play hopscotch and make sand art with finds from the beach. You’ll also learn how to identify the marine life found in rock pools - all equipment and information sheets on how to explore sustainably are included in the pack.
Make a splash
Walpole Bay Tidal Pool in Margate was built in 1937 and covers a vast four acres. It is suitable for those who regularly practise open water swimming as well as those who prefer to splash around on the water’s edge.
Kent Surf School at Viking Bay in Broadstairs runs an ‘Open Water Safety Course’ for those not used to swimming in the sea. The course is a mixture of theory training and practical training, lasts 6 hours and costs £60 per person.
The Isle boasts the closest surfing beaches to London and three great schools offering surf and/or Stand-Up Paddleboard lessons (SUP). Lessons can be booked for both and equipment hire is available. If you have previous experience you can book a guided SUP tour or sunrise safari. Kayak tours and canoe safaris are also available.
Joss Bay Surf School, Broadstairs
Kent Surf School, Broadstairs
Kite Pirates, Ramsgate
Active Ramsgate Sea Kayaking
Undertake your own Great British Beach Clean
The Marine Conservation Society’s run a national campaign, monitoring beach litter through their annual beach cleans and litter surveys.
Join the Thanet Coast Project or alternatively, you can organise your own 2-minute beach clean. There are 2-minute beach clean stations on the Isle’s main beaches, giving everyone a chance to join in on their own quick clean up!
Further information on how to enjoy a sustainable stay in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, including water refill stations, vegan and vegetarian restaurants, and other hospitality venues striving to reduce their carbon footprint, can be found at www.visitthanet.co.uk/greenthanet
The Isle of Thanet can be reached in just 75 minutes with Southeastern’s high speed railway service from London’s St. Pancras station. Rail travel is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel. To find out more visit the Southeastern Carbon Footprint Calculator