Thanet’s open-top bus is back for 2022

The open top bus service

Thanet’s open-top bus is set to return from Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

Bus operator Stagecoach has confirmed the number 69 service will resume operating on Good Friday, 15 April.

The hugely popular service carried more than 13,000 passengers in 2019, but was unable to run in 2020 due to the lockdown. The service made a return in 2021 with reduced capacity whilst government restrictions were in place.

Locals and visitors will once again be able to enjoy the nostalgic thrill of a seaside ride along a stunning stretch of coastline, initially at weekends and bank holidays.

Operating every hour between Ramsgate and Broadstairs, passengers will be able to hop on and off at bus stops all along the seaside route.

During school holidays, the open-top bus will operate everyday for families to get out and enjoy the bracing sea views while exploring some of the regions finest coastline.

The number 69 takes you all the way from the West Cliff Boating Pool in Ramsgate to Stone Bay, Broadstairs. The attractions dotted along the coastal route include a number of spots for history fanatics including The Dickens Museum, Ramsgate Tunnels and The Maritime Museum.

The cream and maroon double-decker bus has been designed to replicate the open-top services that were a part of Thanet’s tourism during the summers of the 1960s and 70s.

Customers can travel on the service all day long for just £4.50 on the Stagecoach App. Up to four children can travel for as little as £1 each with any adult ticket holder.

With government restrictions eased, the number 69 will be running at full capacity for the first time in three years.

Chris Webber, Operations Manager at the company’s Thanet depot, said: “We’re really excited to start running the open-top again.

“This service helps boost the local economy and offers something for people of all ages to enjoy.”

Further information, including the full timetables, can be found at:


    • I entirely agree with you. The open too bus service would surely be far more attractive if it started from Minnis Bay, along the coast, via Westgate and Margate and Broadstairs to finish at Ramsgate.
      Would like to see views as to why that route would not be viable!
      Ramsgate to Broadstairs is surely far to short!! How about Ramsgate to Margate via Kingsgate?!!

    • I agree why not Minnis Bay to Ramsgate via Kingsgate. It ran this route before so why not now ?
      Hardly a scenic tour from Ramsgate to Broadstairs.

    • Peter they tried that a few years ago but was not as popular as Rams gate to Broad stairs for some reason , when I Went on it to palm bay in the school holidays there was only me and a mum with 2 kids on it , but I think it only went from Margate station to palm bay then

    • I remember as a kid in the late 60’s & early 70’s going on holidays to Westgate-on-sea and one of the highlights for me during the fortnight holiday would be a trip on the 69 open top bus from Westgate all the way to Pegwell Bay to see the huge SRN-4 hovercraft (Swift, Sure, Sir Christopher and Prince of Wales), simpler times I suppose when a bus ride was a great adventure with no mobile phones, tablets or laptops required, although it’s good to see the service returning it’s a great shame that the route won’t be the wonderous (when I was a kid) journey of adventure from Minnis Bay to Pegwell Bay (sadly no hovercraft these days)

  1. Some years ago it was run by “City sightseeing ” and it was a circular route via manston , it took about 75 mins and covered all towns , but it was more expensive about £12 from memory, perhaps it needs a different operator to stagecoach!

  2. Yes the old route was handy because it stopped at Quex park and the Hurricane and Spitfire museum. These buses would not have to run all day or even all week but a couple a day would be useful at weekends and in holidays so people without transport can visit these attractions too.

  3. I used to catch this bus when it used to go round the lavender fields near a Acol about 2010 as I took my mother and she loved it but now is such a short journey it doesn’t intrigue me to get On it it could be better like most other seaside resorts do a better job

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