Seaside town in Thanet, England. Lying on the south coast of the isle and joined to Broadstairs, Ramsgate once enjoyed its status as one of England's more salubrious seaside resorts. This is now, sadly, no longer the case.
Throughout the 19th century, Ramsgate was, along with its sister towns of Margate, Westgate and Broadstairs, a very popular tourist destination. So much so that Ramsgate's promenade holds an obelisk commemorating the love of King George VI for the town, a fondness also witnessed by his namesake park which connects Ramsgate to Broadstairs. In recent years, however, as British tourists have become more wealthy and sought recuperation abroad, Thanet and its towns have slipped into economic decline.
Ramsgate has two main beaches which hem in the harbour. The beach under the west cliffs is all but inaccessible to anyone who doesn't know it is there. For the locals, however, it is a good destination for a picnic, especially as, after a cleanup operation by Southern Water, it now boasts some of the cleanest water in the area. For the few tourists who visit the town, the eastern beach is more popular. Here, the sand slopes at a pleasing 10 degree angle toward the sea, and waves roll in with pleasing frequency and force. The promenade in this area has been improved, and now looks very modern. Also, at this end of the town's shore are the town's arcades which the tourists and locals alike love for cheap and nostalgic entertainment.
Ramsgate's harbour, or Royal Marina as it is officially called, is shallow but large and home to the boats and skiffs of the rich set of the area. On a summer's day, the sun flashes on their glass and white paint in a most pleasing manner. In this area are the Ramsgate Maritime Museum, the aforementioned obelisk, a recently built internet café, two competing italian ice cream shops, along with the town's best restaurants and pubs. Visiting this corner of the town could give you a very good, but wrong, impression of the whole town.
Moving North from this area brings us into the town proper. The main shopping area is of two intersecting streets: King Street and the High Street. The High Street slopes down from North to South as far as the junction with King Street, then slopes back up to the cliffs and sea front. King Street is flat. The majority of both streets are pedestrian areas for much of the day, and are paved in ruddy-brown bricks. At the top of the High Street, the road forks. Taking the right fork leads us to Chatham House Grammar School for Boys, a long-established institution decked out in red-brick.
The town's library is found on by taking a back road off the High Street. This is a fairly standard facility, although the first floor often has exhibitions of local art and the like. Also in this area is Clarendon House, the female counterpart to Chatham House.
The town has two sets of cliffs: the East and West Cliffs. On the west cliffs one can find the more modern residential areas, along with a Bowls club and the Ramsgate Motor Museum. A newly-built tunnel leading to the harbour cuts through these cliffs. On the East Cliffs stand the older houses and the aforementioned King George VI park.
Ramsgate has received much funding from the EU, especially in its attempts to re-establish itself as a harbour from and to which channel ferry crossings can be made. At the moment, the only crossings are for freight, but with the construction of the tunnel which leads directly to the harbour, the local council are hoping to change this.