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Ramsgate to Margate walk: Viking Coastal Trail (2023)

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One of the best and most accessible walks on the southeast UK coast is the Viking Coastal Trail – a walk from Ramsgate to Margate (or vice versa).

The Viking Coastal Trail is approx 7 miles, which is around 3 to 4 hours long (excluding time for stops like fish and chips or ice-cream) and takes in several scenic bays, beautiful beaches and numerous views and vantage points.

From the majestic Broadstairs beach and cobbled streets, through to the white and sandy beach at Botany Bay, this is one of the most beautiful coastal walks (and most accessible) in the UK.

The Viking Coastal Trail can easily be done in a half day but if you are making lots of stops along the way like we did, we’d recommend making a day of it.

Here is guide to all the best beachside stops along the Viking Coastal Trail (the Ramsgate to Margate walk / Margate to Ramsgate Walk):

Ramsgate to Margate walk / Viking Coastal Trail Map

Ramsgate to Margate walk (note this can also easily be done as a Margate to Ramsgate walk)


We started our Viking Coastal Trail walk at the main sands in Ramsgate after getting up early and exploring the marina and harbour area.

If you want to fill up before your Ramsgate to Margate Walk, there are lots of little cafes on Ramsgate right next to the beach. We opted for a full english at the Royal Victoria Pavilion pub (a Wetherspoons chain pub) as it has a big outdoor area overlooking the sandy beach and is located right at the very start of the Viking coastal trail path (bonus!).

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Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail
Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail
Royal Victoria Pavilion pub

Leaving Ramsgate

At the start of the Viking Coast Trail as you leave Ramsgate towards Dumpton Gap, you’ll see the entrance to Ramsgate Tunnels on your left, a huge and cavernous subterranean world of underground tunnels that were built to hide people during the blitz in World War II.

If you are starting this Ramsgate to Margate walk in the morning or early afternoon (we started around noon), it is possible to walk to Broadstairs all the way along the beach at low tide.

Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail
Ramsgate Tunnels

Dumpton Gap

Just over a mile and half of walking along the beach and pebbles past chalky white cliffs brings you to Dumpton Gap, a popular sunbathing spot dotted with beach-huts and a friendly beachside diner called Sam’s Bar.

Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail
Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail

As we did this Margate to Broadstairs walk most recently in the off peak season, we found that this was the last beachside shop / cafe open until Broadstairs so you may want to grab a couple of bottled drinks here if you don’t have your own supplies already.

Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail

Like this? Read our things to do at Littlehampton Beach in Sussex guide >

Ramsgate to Broadstairs walk

Broadstairs / Viking Bay

One of our favourite seaside resorts in the whole of England, Broadstairs is a cute and charming coastal town with incredible hilltop views overlooking Viking Bay.

Always popular, this is a quintessentially British beachside spot oozing charm, with several bars and restaurants overlooking the bay, a busy harbour arm and loads of traditional favourites like fish and chip kiosks and ice cream stalls.

Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail

Whilst visiting Broadstairs, you can visit the Charles Dickens Museum which showcases Dickens links to the Broadstairs region, housed in the cottage that was said to be the inspiration for Betsey Trotwood’s house in his famous David Copperfield novel.

There are also lots of beachside attractions here like activities for the kids and on a warm summer’s day, you’ll marvel at a sea of beach towels and sunbathers, with hardly any sight of sand left – it really is a popular place.

Ramsgate to Margate walk - the Viking Coastal Trail

Viking Coast Trail lunch stop at Broadstairs

Fish and Chips

Finally, as with every picturesque English coastal resort, it is (almost) the law that you try fish and chips (or nearest battered veggie equivalent) on the beach at Broadstairs.

A culinary rite of passage, to enjoy fresh battered fish and chips on the beach has to be one of the best things to do in Broadstairs (and tastiest!).

And if you don’t like fish, simply get a cone of chips – a small cone generally costs between £1 and £2 – cheap as chips (literally).

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If you don’t fancy walking all the way along the Viking Coastal Trail to Margate, the Ramsgate to Broadstairs walk is around 8km in length, a nice trail and quite accessible.

Allow two to three hours to complete this Ramsgate to Broadstairs walk.

Stone Bay

The coastal path along the Viking Coastal trail from Broadstairs brings you the sublime Stone Bay, less than a mile’s walk along the bay. Stone Bay is a nice swimming beach and popular with local families, many of whom own or rent one of the colourful beach huts you’ll also see lined up along the path here.

After you’ve enjoyed Stone Bay, keep walking to the end of the beach and then head left up the hill via the pavement that leads into some parkland and then onto the main road.

Turn right and then follow this road (North Foreland Road) for about 20 minutes as you head towards your next stop, Joss Bay.

On the way along this stretch of the Viking Coastal Trail walk, look out for the North Foreland Lighthouse. This local historical landmark was originally built in 1691 and has had many uses over the years including as a maritime hospital (although it looks to have been renovated or rebuilt since).

Note that the North Foreland Lighthouse isn’t currently open to the public but you can get some nice snaps from the perimeter fence.

Viking Coastal Trail – Joss Bay

Just over a 5 minute walk from the lighthouse down the hill, your next stop is Joss Bay, a favourite beach for surfers and great for swimming, having consistently been awarded a Blue Flag status (for the good water quality) in recent years.

One of the most popular beaches on the Thanet coast and along the Margate to Ramsgate walk, families often make a day of visiting Joss Bay, as there is a cafe, toilets and beach hire facilities here.

Like this? Check out things to do in Hastings, UK guide >

Kingsgate Bay

The next bay along the Viking Coastal Trail is the Kingsgate Bay – a sheltered sandy cove backed by high white chalk cliffs, known for its sea caves.

At the top of the cliff here, you’ll also find the Captain Digby, a historic pub overlooking the bay with a massive beer garden looking directly over the beach – the pub exterior wouldn’t look out of place in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie!

Captain Digby pub

At Kingsgate Bay, you’ll also see what looks like an incredible castle but it is in fact private apartments – this must be one of the most desirable places to live in the area. Who wouldn’t want to reside in a beachfront castle?!

Resuming your walk from Broadstairs to Margate and heading towards Botany Bay, watch out for golf balls from the nearby North Foreland Golf Course (‘Fore’ real) and you can also walk around the perimeter of Neptune’s Tower, a derelict folly dating back to the 18th century.

Neptune’s Tower

Botany Bay

A gorgeous gem of a beach, beautiful Botany Bay is one of the jewels of this entire Ramsgate to Margate walk along the Viking Coastal Trail.

Botany Bay is a popular setting for movies and television period dramas (as the white cliff cove is a stunning backdrop).

At low tide, several significant fossil discoveries have been made here over the years and as with Joss Bay, the beach here has been awarded a Blue Flag status meaning it is safe to swim here, in terms of the water quality.

If you are looking to do only a couple of stops along this entire Margate to Broadstairs / Ramsgate walk, we’d definitely recommend this and Broadstairs as your main places to relax and soak in the sea air before resuming your journey towards Margate.

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Palm Bay and Walpole Bay

After Botany Bay, the Viking Coastal Trail walk gets a little more nondescript as you head up onto the coastal path, past such landmarks as the ‘Margate Wastewater Pumping Station’ (!) and various derelict shelters.

To be honest, this is the least interesting section of the Ramsgate / Margate coastal walk.

That said, the coastal views are still quite inspiring and after about five minutes, you see a downhill cut through path that brings you out onto a concrete coastal path that takes you to Palm Bay.

The remaining walk to Margate takes you past several inland beaches and bays such as Walpole Bay and Palm Bay.

These seem to be popular with locals as after work or after school places to swim or walk their dogs. The walk from Palm Bay to Margate can get a little samey after a while, as you start to approach the town centre.


Your final destination of the Viking Coastal Trail and end point on this seven mile walk from Ramsgate is Margate, a gentrified and once grimy coastal town that is often referred to as ‘London on Sea’.

Now one of Britain’s most popular beachside resorts and less than an hour away from London by train, Margate is a joyous mix of amusements, arts and an awesome sandy beach.

Margate has become increasingly popular in recent years with both day trippers and people relocating to the area to escape the city ‘rat-race’.

There are so many things to do in Margate – from modern art at Turner Contemporary Gallery to the Bansky mural at Dreamland or cheap as fish and chips on the beach, there is something to suit all tastes and budgets in Margate.

We also really like all the restaurants and bars along the Margate Harbour Arm – talk about brews with views!

This is also a really nice way to reward yourself after completing the Viking Coastal Trail if starting all the way from Ramsgate.

See our full guide to things to do in Margate here >

We timed our Ramsgate to Margate walk along the Viking Coastal trail to see sunset over the main sands at Margate before getting an early evening train back to St. Pancras station in King’s Cross London.

However, there is lots of accommodation here so a night on the coast may also be a suitable reward after completing this charming, coastal walk – Vitamin Sea indeed.

Highly rated hotels in Margate

The Crescent Victoria Hotel
Stylish hotel just a 5-minute walk from the beach with garden, a terrace and a bar. Check out prices and availability for The Crescent Victoria hotel

The Penthouse Margate
Modern penthouse apartment with sea facing balcony, living room and a fully equipped kitchen. Check out prices and availability for The Penthouse Margate

The Sands Hotel
Boutique hotel just 4 minutes’ walk from the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery with waterfront terrace and views of the beach. Check out prices and availability for The Sands Hotel

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Did you enjoy our Viking Coastal Trail Ramsgate to Margate blog? Let us know of any bits we missed along the coastal walk in the comments section below.

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