- Terrain: sandy beach, rocky terrain, pavement
- Duration: 5 hours
- Difficulty: easy
Margate and Ramsgate are both former great British seaside resort towns once filled with middle-class holiday goers. Almost fall into despair at the end of 20th Century, they now once again frequented by day trippers thanks to its close proximity to London, in a humble way though. The walking route from Ramsgate to Margate is mostly along the coast, a big portion of is actually on the beach, if one chose the low path at low tide, makes it a perfect day-out for some sand walking and seafood sampling.
Todd and I took the train from London St’ Pancras station on a Saturday morning, after about 1.5 hour we arrived at Ramsgate. This is one of first the bright warm April days that England was waiting. The air was full of energy. Walking route starts from Ramsgate marina, which is one of the largest on British southeast coast, and wrapped around Ramsgate coast. The harbor looks joyful under bright sunlight. The huge Wetherspoon pub on the water, The Royal Victoria Pavilion, seems to be a good spot for a drink or bite. We are not hungry yet so just had a look and went on.
This part of the coast was quite well developed. It never leaves pavement and there is always houses nearby. Next to the paved roads are endless sandy bays and beaches. The route passes several lovely bays like Viking Bay and Botany Bay with shiny white limestone cliffs and rock features. Otherwise it boasts uninterrupted view to the English Channel. On a clear day one can see the French coast. Half of the time we took off our shoes and walked on the warm sand. As the bays are connected, the route actually can be done mostly bare foot.
After 5 hours leisure walk we reached Margate, got some seafood snack from the small kiosk at the harbor. A visit to the Turner Contemporary is a must. Built by renowned architect David Chipperfield, it is an elegant galley bathed in daylight and seems to breath with the fresh air and wave. Margate Clock tower and the seafront remind today’s visitors of Margate’s glorious past. Didn’t go to the Dreamland, another iconic theme park of the past. Instead, we sat at Margate sand with a bottle of wine till sunset.
Southern railway off peak day return ticket, 35.3 for both. We used Network Railcard to get 1/3 off the fare.
Southern train high-speed service leaves regularly from London St’Pancreas. Tickets via Herne Bay (also Whitstable, another lovely seaside town famous for its oysters) are cheaper and longer than the ones passes Canterbury. Both routes stop at Ramsgate and Margate. A off peak day return ticket to either place is the best choice.
Places to visit
- Ramsgate Tunnel. Wartime tunnel in cliffs. Didn’t go but looks interesting. www.ramsgatetunnels.org/
- Turner Contemporary, Margate: Modern gallery dedicated to contemporary arts inspired by Turner. https://www.turnercontemporary.org/
- Dreamland, Margate: One of the iconic amusement park based on traditional British funfair https://www.dreamland.co.uk/
Place to eat
- The Royal Victoria Pavilion, Ramsgate seafront: Huge place at the seafront with outdoor seaview seating.
- Mannings Seafood, Margate seafront: fresh seafood snack kiosk opposite to Turner Contemporary
- Peter’s Fish Factory, Margate seafront: Always a queue in front. Didn’t try but looks decent and reasonably priced.
- Hantverk & Found: http://www.hantverk-found.co.uk Our dinner choice. Cosy small seafood restaurant. Our dishes were well presented and very tasty. Great ambience and service.