Loop 1 of this town walk begins with a gentle stroll down Harbour Parade past the yacht marina where you can pull up a chair at a local café and let the sights and sounds of this busy modern day Riviera wash over you. Follow the route beyond the wonderful array of boats old and new, big and small, expensive and more expensive and you will soon discover a wealth of local history right at your feet.
The old Royal Harbour, originally built in response to the Great Storm of 1703 (the worst disaster to befall the Royal Navy in peacetime) is a truly remarkable piece of local history that continues to play an important role in the area. It has been honoured by kings (Ramsgate is the only Royal harbour in Britain) and shaped by seismic events such as the Napoleonic war when it became a busy garrison town, with tens of thousands of troops embarking and disembarking through the harbour. It was also the first town to be hit by Zeppelin air raids in WW1 and played a key role in the rescue of troops from Dunkirk in WW2. Christmas is a wonderful time to visit the harbour with many boats lighting up for the annual Ramsgate Illuminations!
Loop 2 also begins beside the marina but quickly leads away from the harbour to introduce you to a very different world. On this route, you will pass elegant regency town houses, including the homes of Vincent Van Gogh and John-Gibson Lockhart and historically rich buildings like St Augustine’s Abbey (one of just four Benedictine monasteries in Great Britain) and the Gothic church designed by the famous Gothic Revivalist architect Augustus Welby Pugin. You will relax in a beautiful town park, walk through picturesque, leafy squares and discover a whole new way of looking at an old historic town.
Both loops have been designed to give you a sense of what makes Ramsgate such an interesting and worthwhile town to explore. And both routes enjoy the support of a variety of local businesses, cafes and restaurants offering a variety of exclusive offers for Active Ramsgate walkers.