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A charming coastal town in Kent, Ramsgate was named in 2023 as one of the ‘coolest places in Kent’ by The Times newspaper. Just over an hour from London by train (from St Pancras), there are plenty of seaside things to do in Ramsgate.
Boasting the spectacular Royal Harbour and Marina, incredible hilltop views and walks, Ramsgate is perfect for a spot of rest and recreation.
Ramsgate also has dozens of pubs overlooking the water primed for a perfect sunset pint accompanied with the freshest fish and chips.
Here is our 2023 guide to the best things to do in Ramsgate, Kent
Things to do in Ramsgate
1. Pegwell / Ramsgate Village
If you’re getting the train to Ramsgate for a day trip or brief overnight stay, we’d recommend you start your trip via Pegwell Village. This is around a 20 minute walk from Ramsgate station and means you can arrive into the main town via some stunning coastal walks and scenery rather than a mundane high street.
Pegwell Bay is home to two of the best clifftop pubs we’ve encountered in England for quite some time.
We started our weekend in Ramsgate by taking in lunch at the Sir Stanley Gray tavern in Pegwell Village, with a prime spot on the balcony. We indulged in fish and chips (some of the most delicious we’ve ever had) plus a huge pot of mussels, the likes of which we’ve never seen before outside of New Zealand. And as for the sea views….!
Next door to the Sir Stanley Gray pub is the Belle Vue Tavern, which has a beer garden directly overlooking the bay on top of a cliff with panoramic views of the coast. If only all coastal resorts had pubs with views as good as this!
Incidentally, nearby to Pegwell Bay, you can visit the Ramsgate Viking Ship ‘Hugin’, a huge replica of a viking ship where you can practice Norse code (probably).
Sir Stanley Gray, Thorley Taverns, 81 Pegwell Road, Village, CT11 0NJ
The Belle Vue Tavern, Pegwell Road, CT11 0NJ
2. Fish and Chips
Fish and chips always taste better by the beach – fact (as long as you don’t let the seagulls get to them first). Peter’s Fish Factory is a Kent institution with branches in both Ramsgate and Margate.
Peter’s Fish Factory is easy to find due to their bright green branding and a very long queue coming out of the doors (always a good sign).
Depending on your taste, try to add salt and vinegar to your fish and chips plus we’d recommend you try ‘mushy peas’ as a side (just keep them separate if you don’t like them) – and remember to watch out for those pesky chip pinching seagulls.
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 Ramsgate (and tastiest!).
Address: Peter’s Fish Factory, 96 Harbour Parade, CT11 8LP
3. Ramsgate Beaches – Main Sands and Western Undercliff Beach
Whilst most of Ramsgate seafront is taken up by the marina and industrial port, there are two small beaches ideal for swimming or sunbathing.
The easiest to access are Ramsgate Main Sands to the left of the harbour arm and Royal Victoria Pavilion Wetherspoons pub. There are several beachside attractions at Ramsgate Main Sands like children’s amusements and plenty of room to lay towels.
Ramsgate Main Sands are sandy too so it is a good place for children to build sandcastles or play in the sand.
The other Ramsgate beach – Western Undercliff Beach is located towards Pegwell and requires about a 10 minute walk out of town, so unless you have a car, it is best to stick to Ramsgate Main Sands. Western Undercliff is mainly pebbles and stones with a chalk reef – rock on!
4. Ramsgate East Pier
A fine example of an English seaside pier, Ramsgate East Pier is Grade II listed.
We walked the Ramsgate East Pier early one evening all the way to the end at dusk as the light was nice and we wanted to see all the fishing trawlers arrive back after a day’s fishing.
There were also lots of local sea anglers casting their rods into the sea here (although they didn’t seem to be catching much on our visit).
Address: East Pier, CT11 8LS
5. Royal Harbour Brasserie
Located at the end of the Ramsgate East Pier, Royal Harbour Brasserie is a pub and restaurant with a HUGE outdoor terrace that has stunning views of the harbour.
Although it doesn’t look like it when you first approach, The Royal Harbour Brasserie is one of the best appointed bars on the bay in Ramsgate. It is also quite quirky inside too.
The views of the harbour and incoming fishing vessels are amazing here and we got to see an incredible sunset over the Ramsgate harbour and lighthouse.
We were going to stay for only one drink but ended up staying for three hours as the setting was so serene. The Royal Harbour Brasserie specialise in seafood and we overheard the couple next to us saying how good the oysters and prawns were.
Address: Royal Harbour Brasserie, Harbour Parade, E Pier, CT11 8LS
6. Ramsgate Harbour and Yacht Marina
The best free thing to do in Ramsgate is to simply stroll around the harbour and marina at any time of day, looking at all the yachts and vessels (and possibly wondering how much some of them cost!).
The Ramsgate harbour is also the departure location for most of the day trips and sea fishing excursions. There are a lot of nice bars and restaurants, plus museums and artist studios in the arches along the marina.
7. The Sailor’s Church
Built in the 1870s and now a Grade II listed building, The Sailor’s Church is a former sailors’ home and historic place of sanctuary for sailing crews.
Nowadays, inside this small redbrick church you’ll see lots of historic pictures plus miniature model boats and ships. Located near to Jacob’s Ladder in Ramsgate Harbour, The Sailor’s Church is a free thing to do in Ramsgate.
Address: The Sailor’s Church, Military Road, CT11 9LG
8. Walk to Broadstairs via The Viking Trail
On our last visit, we spent two days / one night in Ramsgate so on our second day, we walked along the coast to Broadstairs and then continued to Margate to get the train home.
As the walk to Margate is quite long, we recommend doing the shorter 45 minute walk along the coast just to Broadstairs (which can be done entirely along the sandy beach at low tides). You can then either get the train home from Broadstairs or walk back to Ramsgate.
Read more about the Viking Trail and our Ramsgate to Margate coastal walk here >
9. Ramsgate Town Centre
Ramsgate town itself is nothing special – it is the usual mix of chain shops, independent stores and boarded up shops with the occasional local pub for local people.
Indeed, Ramsgate is currently part of the Historic England Heritage Action Zone scheme to hopefully bring new life into the town centre and help transform the more run down elements.
As at March 2023, the local Thanet Council has big plans to transform the town centre with many existing older shops due to be demolished to make way for newer, smaller shops and new apartments.
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10. Ramsgate Royal Parade
Ramsgate has lots of clifftop and hillside walks that provide nice views of the harbour and the Royal Parade is no exception.
There are several bars and restaurants lining the parade here (from French to Italian via Thai food) and all have outdoor dining and alfresco views overlooking the port.
11. Ramsgate Wetherspoon’s Royal Victoria Pavilion
The Ramsgate Wetherspoons / Royal Victoria Pavilion has the biggest Wetherspoons beer garden in the UK and it directly overlooks the beach and harbour.
We popped by Wetherspoons one morning for a full English breakfast on the terrace after an early morning walk around the harbour – the prices are very cheap and the views are unbeatable.
If you aren’t from the UK, we’d best describe Wetherspoons as a traditional pub chain that has hundreds of bars around the UK
The Ramsgate Wetherspoons is definitely one of the better Wetherspoon branches, where pints of lager and ale start from around the £2 a pint range and the beer garden is right on the beach.
Address: Royal Victoria Pavilion – JD Wetherspoon, Harbour Parade, CT11 8LS
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12. Ramsgate Micro Museum
Love classic computer games and retro arcade machines? Then the Micro Museum in Ramsgate might be for you.
It is home to a personal collection of digital items containing hundreds of old computers and consoles (think Dreamcast, Spectrum, BBC etc), calculators and video games, most of which are from the 1970s and 80s – you even get to play vintage video games.
The Ramsgate Micro Museum is open most weekends Easter to Autumn 1pm to 4pm and £5 per adult, as at March 2023
Address: The Micro Museum, 11 Church Hill, CT11 8RA
13. Corby’s Tea Rooms
We discovered Corby’s Tea Rooms as we could literally see it through our bedroom window (we stayed at the Travelodge).
A throwback to the more refined times, Corby’s Tea Rooms is an unashamedly old fashioned vintage tearoom just a stone’s throw from the main Ramsgate harbour.
They specialise in high and afternoon tea and have all manner of hot snacks like jacket potatoes and quiche – if you are passing by, also check out their knitted afternoon tea in the window.
Address: Corby’s Tea Rooms, 18-20 York Street, CT11 9DS
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14. The Ramsgate Tunnels
A little walk along the coastal foreshore brings you to historic Ramsgate tunnels, a huge and cavernous subterranean world of underground tunnels that were built to hide people during the blitz in world war II.
A marvel of engineering, the only way to visit these tunnels is via a guided tour. There are also a series of wartime reconstructions including an abandoned train station and an underground bunker. Book a Ramsgate Tunnels guided walk >
Address: Ramsgate Tunnels, Marina Esplanade, CT11 8FH
15. Ramsgate Maritime Museum – temporarily closed
Please note that as at March 2023, the Maritime Museum is temporarily closed.
Address: Ramsgate Maritime Museum, Royal Harbour Approach, CT11 8LS
Hotels in Ramsgate
We stayed for one night at the Travelodge Ramsgate Seafront Hotel – a cheap and cheerful budget chain hotel located in the marina. We love it’s central location and affordable prices, but the rooms are very basic.
We’ve stayed at this hotel twice in the past few years – our first stay had a view of the harbour, whilst our second stay had a view of the high street – so it’s pot luck whether you get a nice view or not!
Other highly rated accommodation options:
Albion House Ramsgate Hotel
Stylish hotel just a 5-minute walk from the beach with a restaurant and bar. Check out prices and availability for The Albion House hotel
Royal Harbour Hotel
Hotel comprising of three Georgian town houses dating back to 1799, located in Ramsgate’s historic garden crescent with harbour and sea views. Check out prices and availability for The Royal Harbour Hotel
Pegwell Bay Hotel
Comfortable hotel located in Pegwell with refurbished rooms and panoramic views of the ocean. Check out prices and availability for Pegwell Bay Hotel
Other blog posts you might like
- Things to do in Whitstable
- Top things to do in Margate, Kent
- Things to do in Tunbridge Wells – a local’s guide
- Things to do in Brighton – a perfect day trip
- Things to do in Hastings
- Things to do in Folkestone, Kent
- Visiting Margate on a ‘microgap’ with Visit England
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AmeliaJuly 15, 2021 at 11:47 pm
Really great article, thank you so much for all the terrific suggestions!