Ramsgate is a very fine town, with a beautiful harbour and an extensive beach surrounded by Regency crescents, squares and lawns, giving way to streets of solid Victorian houses. It was the home of the influential Victorian architect Augustus Welby Pugin, and his descendants, who must take some of the responsibility for the variety of the townscape.
Enter the town down the hill past the harbour and the view can make you gasp. Why haven’t you been here before? Why did no one tell you about it? As for the beach, it has been carefully concealed behind the harbour and there are people who don’t even know that we have a beach – which is a shame really, as Frith did a very good picture of it in the 1850s – but don’t worry, you don’t have to use a bathing machine nowadays, and the water’s lovely in late August (honestly).
Like many seaside towns, Ramsgate has seen better days – no more fleets of donkeys on the beach, or minstrel shows, or big names on the bandstands. But after a period of dilapidation, it has begun to be a place to go, with lots of good restaurants and busy bars, some with a view of the harbour. Sit there with a cold glass of something and even Thanetians feel as if we’re on holiday.