Ramsgate is famous for being one of Britain’s original seaside resorts. With a gorgeous expanse of sand that’s prime for sunbathing, easy seas for swimming, and excellent attractions and activities just a stone’s throw from the deck chairs, the staycation appeal is obvious. Tick off some of our favourite things to do in town while you’re here.
Activities in Ramsgate
Ramsgate Main Sands
Holidaymakers have been flocking to the golden Ramsgate Main Sands beach since the 19th century. It’s undoubtedly the town’s main attraction, shaping Ramsgate as one of Britain’s best and most popular seaside resorts. It’s adjacent to the Royal Harbour, backed up by an esplanade full of arcades, and boasts plenty of our favourite places to eat in Ramsgate nearby should you build up an appetite from the hard work of topping up your tan.
During the holiday season, the beach is manned with lifeguards so you can feel safe going for a swim. There’s also the opportunity to hire deck chairs and all the public amenities you could ask for, such as convenient parking and public toilets. For those wondering whether Ramsgate Main Sands is a dog-friendly beach, you can walk your four-legged friend east of the iconic Rainbow Steps all year-round. However, the rest of the beach is off limit for dogs during the summer holiday season.
Ramsgate Main Sands
Dickens House Museum
The Ramsgate Tunnels are one of the town’s most popular attractions. The entrance is situated just off Ramsgate Main Sands beach and leads you into the former railway tunnels of the town’s former railway tunnels, which unwittingly became the UK’s largest network of civilian wartime tunnels. The population of Ramsgate would retreat to these subterranean tunnels in fear of enemy bombers during WW2. Thus, an underground town was formed beneath the seaside resort.
The tunnels are now open to the public, and tours are provided by an incredible team of volunteers who do an unbelievable job of bringing their story to life and to offer insight into the state of the nation during such terrible times. In total, the tour lasts for around an hour and a half. You’ll walk just under a mile and are required to wear a hard hat, as the tunnels aren’t exactly made for comfort.
Bleak House and Dickens House Museum
Charles Dickens, England’s greatest author, lived in the nearby town of Broadstairs. The seaside resort has become a pilgrimage site for literature lovers. Anyone wanting to follow in the great man’s footsteps should visit two fascinating museums in Broadstairs.
The first is Bleak House, the former residence of Dickens himself, which overlooks the North Foreland and enjoys beautiful views of Viking Bay. It’s here where he wrote David Copperfield and began writing Bleak House, which the residence is now named after.
Your other option is the Dickens House Museum, which is housed in the beautiful former home of Mary Pearson Strong. She was a close friend of Dickens and is seen as the inspiration for the character of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield. It’s not the biggest museum in the world, but it’s full of exhibitions for Dickens fans.
Our tip, if you’re planning on making the Charles Dickens pilgrimage, tie up both museums with a fascinating day trip to Broadstairs, which is roughly a 20-minute drive from our Ramsgate hotel.
The Micro Museum
In the shadow of St George’s Church, you’ll find one of Kent’s most niche attractions. The Micro Museum is a vast treasure trove of vintage personal computers, calculators, games consoles and everything else that contains a microchip of some sort. It’s the personal collection of a local couple from here in Kent. They’ve built up their museum over the course of nearly half a century. Pay a visit, and you’ll get to meet them. They’re hugely knowledgeable and passionate about The Micro Museum. For fans of vintage electronics, you won’t find a better day out.
Ramsgate Boat Trips
Ramsgate is home to the only Royal Harbour in the UK, and you better believe you can take one of those beautiful boats for a trip out on the open sea for a fishing trip or a tour of the coast. There are several Ramsgate boat trips you can choose from, not to mention many tour operators. A couple of trusted options are Sea Searcher and Go2Sea.
Among the most popular boat trips available are the seal tours, which will take you down the River Stour estuary to see as many as 150 seals basking on the sand at the water’s edge. The briefest boat trip available is a 20-minute tour of the harbour. You can also see the nearby beaches and bays along the famous Thanet coastline, or enjoy a spectacular three-hour trip to the offshore wind farm, which is one of the biggest in the world.
A word to the wise, Bodenham Arboretum is not free, and the price of tickets changes with the seasons of the year but at roughly a few pounds for adults it's worth it for a peaceful afternoon outdoors.