Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk – 05.04.2010

Ramsgate – for me conjured up pictures of its glory heydays as a seaside resort from many moons ago – where the London Steamers used to visit on there way to Margate. But it has much more history than that – The towns earliest reference is as Hraefn’s ate, meaning cliff gap (and not Hraefn had eaten the town!), Many, many years later, perhaps 1360 or so, the area became known as Ramesgate (I seem to be assured nothing to do with Rams going through a gate) But I would refer you to Ramsgate history societyif you wish to find out more!

As we started our walk, it seemed that it was very quiet, the old gas works all closed down, an old hotel – now a block of flats to the sea front – it seemed very desolate to me. The first thing that struck me was the bust of Prince albert and the references to Victoria and Albert – but I am still struggling to find some details as their affinity to the place – although Queen Victoria did purchase a painting entitled “Life at the seaside (Ramsgate Sands) ” which is now in the V & A musuem.

Walking on through Ramsgate which seeming very quiet even for a Bank Holiday monday, including the ferry terminal in the distance, we went on the park which was more did not hold any real views (cut off by trees) and through to a lovely cliff view

From 2010 – 05.04.2010 – Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk

We quickly realised the coastline is actually followed by the Thanet coast path – although it is not really marked as such – you are more aware you are following the Viking Cycle Path! The channel was very busy with shipping and it seemed to have a wind farm right in the middle of the sea (well that is the likely explanation anyway!) The coastline quickly became the Broadstairs coastline and we passed the Dumpton Gap (and no not the Trumpton Gap!)

It was not long before we reached Broadstairs, which we were surprised to find was absolutely teeming with life. People everywhere. To be honest it was a little bit too crowded for me. But I did indulge in a ice cream – nice ice cream parlour. But a little surprise hid round the corner – references to Mr Dickens were everywhere – and as we walked on we came across “Bleak House” – Charles Dickens actually lived there! Here he wrote David Copperfield amongst others. (more than likely Bleak House)

From 2010 – 05.04.2010 – Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk

We walked on from our little discovery (we were unprepared for this!) and moved on to more cliff walking. Unsurprisingly, we discovered that smuggling took place here (although I had mostly heard of this in cornwall with the wreckers) and the one they had recorded was of Joss Snelling a notorious Kent smuggler who evaded capture!

Sadly the cycle path had to go through private land – and back on the cliff walk – but if you ask me I wouldn’t buy there due to cliff erosion and this was born out by a tunnel which was closed off due to it being too dangerous! (perhaps originally carved out by the smuggler?!) We then navigated our way past the largest field of cauliflowers I have ever seen (they smelt nice though) but this part of the path was very close the edge and unfenced! (well for a while)

Passing through Kingsgate & Joss Bay – which both were quite nice. Kingsgate had its own private castle – very odd if you ask me! The path then led us round the golf course and unmarked castle. The cliffs were eroding dangerously in this area. Walking on we were heading towards Walpole Bay, Cliftonville and towards Margate and the end of our walk…

From 2010 – 05.04.2010 – Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk

We had to pass through Cliftonville first, which made me sad. There used to be a Lido there – the sign was there but the Lido was not – the buildings were now bars and used for live music – I have no problem with that – just sad to see a large waste of space at the bottom of the hill 😦 it is also too late for National Lottery funding to do anything. We walked on to historic Margate.

Margate – Historic yes – we walked down Fort Hill (I think we could guessed that by the Cannons that were along the front. The hill was name after the fort that was originally sited here to fight off the many Dutch vessels around 1666. Despite this major history lesson a bigger one was lurking around the corner, Margates oldest Pub The Northen Belle – many stories surrounding this – including smuggling caves hiding beneath it! (apparently it serves a nice tipple too!)

Our walk nearing an end now, there was just time to reflect how Margate had changed, it was not the Margate of the Chas ‘n’ Dave song – or the Margate which had been captured in the Only Fools and Horses special (“The Jolly Boys’ Outing”) – you had a day of fun in Margate in days gone by – Dreamland which was a fabulous rides/fun park was no longer – so much so you could see at the a rusting ride at the back Dreamland (the entrance was still there) – so sad – the dream has faded. Sad for our British seasides…

But I cannot let go of the beauty that I saw

From 2010 – 05.04.2010 – Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk

The walk have been over but I was left with a quote that seemed to sum up Margate for me

“My Cheese & Pickle Sandwiches made by my mum are heavy in my lap”

Why? Because I just imagine people noshing sandwiches on the beach having lots of fun in days gone by.

Click here for my View Larger Map route map . All My photos are –

2010 – 05.04.2010 – Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk

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2 responses to “Ramsgate – Broadstairs – Margate Walk – 05.04.2010

  1. Pingback: Gillingham – Strood Walk 07.08.2010 « Karen's Sponsored Walks Around Cornwall & Scotland

  2. Pingback: Ruislip Manor – Ruislip Lido Walk – 01.04.2013 « Karen's Sponsored Walks

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