12 reasons why Ramsgate is so much more than Thanet’s ‘grubby child’

Addington Street Community ladies created the Gormless Antonia 'installation'

Ramsgate has been described as a ‘faded’ ‘seen-better-days’ town in a Daily Telegraph article today (September 9).

Reporter Tom Ough gives his verdict, on what he describes as Thanet’s ‘slightly grubby middle child’ following a visit to the newly opened Royal Victoria Pavilion pub.

In a snooty look at the town Mr Ough declares Ramsgate is ‘Ramshackle’ and neither ‘as pretty as Broadstairs nor as hip as Margate.’

But where did Mr Ough actually visit? His description of ‘tacky shopfronts’ at the harbour, throwaway ‘vote UKIP’ comment and ridicule of the obelisk do not seem to bear much relation to Ramsgate at all.

In case he would like to pop back some time (leaving that ‘grubby’ London office behind) for a proper visit here are our 12 Ramsgate gems to show him the town is more of a golden child than a grubby one:

Military Road Arches

Photo Brian Whitehead

Tacky shopfronts? You are more likely to find a plethora of small businesses, everything from food and drink – while you overlook the glorious Royal Harbour with its visiting yachts and crafts – to art, photography and curios.

Ellington Park

It’s not just a plain old park. There are brilliant carved wood models of dogs and other animals (even if the vandals do keep targeting them) a wildlife area, bandstand and more events than you can count on your fingers and toes.

Westcliff Rose Garden

Photo Brian Whitehead

You might never know this gorgeous garden was tucked away in Ramsgate.

The rose garden in Royal Esplanade was restored more than a decade ago by the Westcliff Conservation and Community Trust, which organised the replanting of the site.

It had been created in 1926 when the Westcliff was developed as a recreation area.

Ramsgate Music Hall

Voted NME best small venue in 2015 this 140-capacity club in Turner Street brings a constant stream of eclectic, world-class performers to the town.

Petticoat Lane Emporium

Arts, antiques, curios, collectibles, furniture – you name it you can find it at the emporium.

Addington Street

Community pub, The Queen Charlotte (check), stylish restaurant, The Falstaff (check), café and music, Vinylhead Café (check) independent shops and art (check).

Ramsgate Tunnels

Photo Carole Adams

Just one piece of the town’s rich claim to history. The Tunnels sheltered thousands of families during the Second World War in the labyrinth,  which extends for more than 3 miles around the town. This unique underground city was constructed as part of the town’s Air Raid Precautions in 1939 and includes a former main line railway tunnel dating back to 1863.

The Grange and St Augustine’s

Photo Brian Whitehead

This was built by  influential architect Augustus Pugin in 1843 as a family home. He created it to live out his idea of life in a medieval, Catholic community, in buildings executed in the Gothic style of so-called pointed architecture. There is also St Augustine’s Church just next door,

Italianate Greenhouse

A beautiful venue in King George VI Park that can boast not one but two rare Agave plant flowerings.

Events by the bucket load

Photo Brian Whitehead

Ramsgate Festival, Rock Dock and Two Smoking Barrels, Littoral Light, the upcoming Ramsgate Harbour History Festival, Addington Street Fayre, Battles for Victory, themed weekends at the Micro Museum, and the wonderful purple poppies at Albion Gardens have got to get a mention – we could go on.

Photo Brian Whitehead

Independent businesses

Far from being downtrodden, the town can boast an array of small but brilliant micropubs, restaurants and cafes. Try popping into Nautic Ales, Coles coffee shop, 26 Harbour Street, Coco Latino, The Empire Room, The Royal Harbour Brasserie to name just a few

And finally….

A sense of humour (Mr Ough)

Addington Street Community ladies create the Gormless Antonia ‘installation’

Some may enjoy Antony Gormley’s Man sculpture at Fulsam Rock – and why not – but we in Ramsgate are rather fond of our ‘Gormless Antonias.’