Margate, Broadstairs & Ramsgate
A world-class art gallery, gourmet dining and adrenaline-fuelled water sports, plus 15 spectacular beaches and bays - a revitalised corner of Kent awaits.
Kent's northeast tip has always been cosmopolitan with its European connections, but these days there's even more creative flair in the air. Stunning sea- and sky-scapes famously drew JMW Turner to Margate, fittingly it's now home to the acclaimed Turner Contemporary gallery, which brilliantly showcases historical and contemporary works.
Artistic energy infuses an Isle where surf schools rub shoulders with ice cream parlours, chic eateries neighbour traditional chippies; and funky cafés, studios and shops pepper the streets of Margate Old Town. There's a retro feel to these harbour towns, with vintage and independent stores galore, or sit on the secluded, sands at beautiful Botany Bay
The treasure trove of curios at the Powell-Cotton Museum, Quex Park range from Angolan fertility dolls to Japanese jade. The estate's also home to Quex Barn, a deli-meets-farmers'-market-meets restaurant packed with gorgeous local produce. Back in Margate, award-winning The Ambrette pioneers curry-free, modern Indian cuisine. Expect a feast of playtime nostalgia at Hornby Visitor Centre, with its model railways, Scalextric tracks and Corgi toys. The Shell Grotto showcases subterranean passages lined with 4.6 million shells.
Characterful Broadstairs was Charles Dickens’ "freshest, freest place"; explore those literary links at the Dickens House Museum - once home to Miss Mary Pearson Strong, aka Miss Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield.
Broadstairs also boasts seven beautiful beaches and coves. Highlights include the creamy chalk stacks of Botany Bay and the curling, Seaside Award Viking Bay. Joss Bay Surf School gets you riding the waves, while inland, costumed guides bring history vividly to life on the St Peter’s Village Tour.
For sweet treats, retro-style, head to one of the resort's famous ice cream parlours - Morelli's or Chiappinis. The seafront Royal Albion hotel teams Georgian elegance with 21st century comforts; Charles Dickens slept here too. Or head to the cliff-top The Botany Bay Hotel, for chic rooms and panoramic sea-views.
Foodie favourite Ramsgate offers a waterside café culture, swish marina, another award-winning sandy beach and The Grange, Gothic home of architect Augustus Pugin.
The cognoscenti head to Ramsgate to eat. The converted Victorian warehouse of Age & Sons features a chilled-out cafe, sleek cocktail bar and smart restaurant serving modern British cuisine.
The three towns and surrounding villages are conveniently close, and these days only 75 minutes from central London. Cycle or hike between them on the Viking Coastal Trail, along a stunning shoreline and through tranquil lanes. Hire bikes in Margate or at Minnis Bay.
Discover more at www.visitthanet.co.uk