As we all know, keeping active is key to our mental and physical health. Although, at the moment, we’re many months away from enjoying the sunnier climes which our town is known for, this does not mean that we should stay indoors when there are so many activities on offer in and around the Ramsgate area, particularly when they are so much fun!
Active Ramsgate, an initiative of Ramsgate Town Council, promotes outdoor pursuits in and around Ramsgate, in order to encourage tourism and therefore economic development of the town. A handy guide has been compiled to show what is on offer this winter.
Starting with the basics, getting out and exploring the area. All walks are available to download on the Active Ramsgate website (www.ramsgatetown.org/activeramsgate
) free of charge.
Among the featured walks include:
The Contra Trail - Ramsgate to Pegwell Bay
A Royal Harbour with the common touch. An English monument to a Viking invasion. A nature reserve you’ll want to shout about. This is a trail that’s brimming with fascinating contradictions.
6.1 miles (9.8km) one-way including Nature Reserve loop - allow 3 hours
Sea It All - Ramsgate to Broadstairs
If you enjoy the sea, you will love this coast hugging, cliff topping, café cruising circuit from Active Ramsgate. This route goes the extra mile to delight and surprise. From the beautiful Italian Gardens to the breathtaking views across Viking Bay.
5 miles (8km) circular - allow 2.5 hours for the circular and 1.5 hours one way
Believe it or not, this is the perfect time of year for kitesurfing, when windy conditions are embraced. We are lucky to have our own kitesurfing school on our doorstep, and Kite Pirates Kite School (www.kitepirateskiteschool.com
) have a number of coaching sessions for people who want to give it a go. Known as one of the best places in the UK to kitesurf, you’re in the best place to learn! However, if you prefer to keep your feet on terra firma, then it’s always a great sight to see kitesurfers taking to the water on the Ramsgate Main Sands, so take a stroll on a windy day to see what the fuss is all about.
Ramsgate is in the enviable position of being on one of Kent’s most popular cycle routes, the 32-mile Viking Coastal Trail.
Ramsgate was the first place in Kent to be designated as a ‘Walkers and Cyclists Welcome‘ destination, so visitors can be reassured there are plenty of places to lock up bikes, clean and get them serviced (or even hire if you don’t have one) and use it as a base to explore the area on two wheels.
There are on and off-road trails, countryside, cliff-tops and sea views as well as a huge variety of cafes, bars and restaurants to recuperate and fill up before heading on your way again.
For more information on the Viking Coast Trail, visit www.explorekent.org/activities/viking-coastal-trail/
For our recommendation on where to hire cycles and helmets? Our very own Harbour Bikes based in the Arches, Military Road - www.harbourbikes.co.uk
The Ramsgate coast has some of the best wildlife habitats in the South East, attracting thousands of migratory and wintering wetland birds. It’s a birdwatcher’s paradise, particularly at this time of year. Look out for nesting shags and overwintering kingfishers in Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour, or waders, wildfowl and seals at the internationally important Sandwich & Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve. A visit to Monkton Nature Reserve is a must for birds and bats.
Local birding experts Tony Swandale and Keith Ross offer guided birdwatching around the coast. Visit www.ramsgatetown.org/activeramsgate/active8/a8birdwatching
for more information.