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Seaside resorts in the far corner of Kent which used to be cut off from the mainland


The far most corner of Kent is one of the most easterly places in England. The land here is called the Isle of Thanet, as it used to be cut off from the mainland by a wide river. Over the years, the gap gradually filled up with pebbles and silt until it disappeared completely.
The Isle of Thanet's coast is taken up by three seaside resorts, all lined up in a row. From north to south, these are Margate, Broadstairs, and Ramsgate. Londoners used to travel here by boat, for a quick weekend by the sea. Thanet's popularity shot through the roof in the Victorian age, after they invented railways. In the first 50 years of the 18th century, the population of each town nearly doubled.
The town of Ramsgate is only a little smaller than Margate. It's defined by its huge harbour. The marina here is one of the largest on the south coast. For many decades, the town has provided a hugely important cross-channel route. In fact, it played a key part in the Dunkirk evacuation in World War II. The harbour also sustains a big fishing business. This industry is in decline, but Ramsgate still catches the biggest hauls in Kent.

Ramsgate Harbour
Photo Visit Kent
Of course, the town's beaches lure in plenty of tourists. The waterfront here has more of a continental style than Margate. It's full of restaurants and cafes, so you can sit outside while you eat, and enjoy the ocean views.
Broadstairs is a smaller town sandwiched between Margate and Ramsgate. It takes its name from the steps carved into the nearby cliffs. There are several more beaches here, featuring traditional attractions like donkey rides and Punch & Judy shows. The settlement is often described as like a Cornish fishing town that's been relocated to the other side of the country.
A few centuries ago, before the tourists arrived, Broadstairs was known as a smuggling hotspot. Apparently there are networks of secrets tunnels and caves hidden along the coastline. They were used to transport large cargoes of tobacco, and alcohol.
The biggest event in the town's year is the Broadstairs Dickens Festival. The townsfolk all wear appropriate Victorian clothes, and put on a performance of a Dickens story. This has been going on since 1937! The first of his novels to be performed was David Copperfield. Dickens actually wrote it in Broadstairs, in a house overlooking the sea.
Visitor Information
Margate Visitor Information Service, The Droit House, Stone Pier, Margate, CT9 1JD. Tel: 01843 577 577

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