The Kentish countryside of rolling hills, woodlands and attractive villages is within easy reach, as are miles of coastline varying from sandy beaches to towering cliffs. The county of Kent also offers a rich array of historic attractions and magnificent buildings.
Thanet's beaches are simply impossible to resist. With stunning scenery, their variety astounds too. Surfer hangouts neighbour chalk-backed expanses. Here you can go surfing, swimming or sailing. Gaze into rock pools, build a sandcastle, cycle shorelines, hike cliff-tops, munch on chips, go barefoot beach-combing or simply chill out.
Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate overflow with things to do. Free or paid-for, from big-name attractions to tucked-away gems, the Isle has countless ways to entertain.
Thanet's great outdoors beckons too. Its impressive 15 sandy beaches and bays offer everything from surfing and family-friendly fun, to get-away-from-it-all escapes.
Opportunities for activities are everywhere. Learn to surf, sail or kite-surf. Swim in the sea or take a dip in a leisure pool. Enjoy superb golf courses, wildlife-watching boat trips, and skateboarding, climbing and roller blading -
Thanet is steeped in history, making it a hidden gem of cultural and architectural secrets.
Amongst the famous who have visited are (Queen Victoria who holidayed at Broadstairs, King George IV who bestowed a Royal order on Ramsgate Harbour), artists (Van Gogh stayed in Ramsgate and Turner’s local sunsets and seascapes hang in the Tate and Royal Collection) and authors (Charles Dickens wrote many novels in Broadstairs).
With one of the highest number of listed buildings in Kent and the UK, the quality and variety of properties in Thanet is astounding.
Ramsgate boasts the only Royal Harbour Marina in the UK and is just footsteps from the town’s shops, bars and restaurants.
With such cultural links to world renowned artists including J M W Turner, Vincent Van Gogh and Tracy Emin, together with literature’s finest - Charles Dickens and TS Eliot, Thanet is proud of its history and celebrates this through the Turner Contemporary art gallery and the annual Dickens Festival in Broadstairs.
Georgian crescents, Victorian terraces, art deco villas, pretty flint cottages to modern executive apartments – the types and styles of homes are insurmountable.
Margate’s regeneration plans are paramount to the transformation of the UK’s first seaside resort. In 2010, Turner Contemporary opened, an international art gallery of world class design, celebrating the life and work of one of Britain’s best loved artists and already, the Old Town is becoming hip and fashionable with all the commercial opportunities that this implies.
International art gallery, the Turner Contemporary designed by prize winning Architect David Chipperfield, opened on the seafront at Margate in April 2011, and builds on the town's links with Turner, who was a regular visitor to Margate during his life.
Margate Old Town, next to the gallery, has received significant public investment and its historic buildings house independent galleries, ‘niche’ shops, cafes and restaurants.
In addition to an excellent selection of cuisine, Thanet offers cinemas, theatres, night-clubs and casinos. Visit our tourism website, Visit Thanet, for more great Thanet attractions
Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs each has comprehensive shopping facilities. Many major High Street names are represented in the District and there is also a huge choice of independent shopping opportunities.
Out of town shopping centres at Westwood, including the Westwood Cross development with anchor stores, Debenhams, M & S & Next, are equidistant from the main towns offering hypermarket style food shopping along with retail warehouses & high street names.
Larger shopping centres are available at the Cathedral City of Canterbury (26km/16m) the Whitefriars complex, the County Town of Maidstone (72km/45m), and Bluewater, Dartford (92km/ 62m), Europe’s largest shopping complex.
The coastal environment of Thanet offers numerous opportunities to enjoy open air recreation. In addition to bracing cliff top and promenade walks, footpaths criss-cross the farmland. There are several equestrian centres, an indoor bowling centre and some of the South East’s finest bowling greens. Pitches and courts for many outdoor sports are available throughout the District for private and club hire. Indoor recreation includes a full range of sports’ halls, Gymnasia, health suites and heated indoor swimming pools.
Thanet has one 9-hole and three 18-hole golf courses, North Foreland at Broadstairs, St Augustines, at Cliffsend and Westgate and Birchington at Westgate. There are a further two 18-hole courses close by at Sandwich including the famous Royal St. George’s, host to the British Open Championships. The Stonelees Golf Centre at Ramsgate offers quality par 3 and executive courses and a state of the art golf simulator. Driving range facilities are available at Stonelees and Greensole, Manston.
Ramsgate Marina within the historic Royal Harbour provides excellent permanent and visitor mooring facilities with 700 berths. The Royal Temple Yacht Club overlooks the marina. Broadstairs has more limited facilities for harbour mooring and a well-established sailing club as does Margate.
The 19-mile (30.5km) coastline encourages watersports and there are clubs and designated areas for jet skiing, water skiing, windsurfing and scuba diving. Sea angling is popular from piers, promenades and boats. Golden sands range from quiet bays to busy beaches. Water quality is excellent and Westbrook Bay, Botany Bay, Kingsgate and Joss Bay in Broadstairs, beaches have all gained European Blue Flag awards. And seven others bays have been awarded the Quality Coast Award.