Ramsgate is a seaside town on the Isle of Thanet in east Kent. It was one of the great English seaside towns of the 19th century and is a member of the ancient confederation of Cinque ports. It has a population of around 40,000. Ramsgate's main attraction is its coastline and its main industries are tourism and fishing. The town has one of the largest marinas on the English south coast and Port Ramsgate has provided cross channel ferries for many years.
History of Ramsgate.
Ramsgate's harbour is a defining characteristic of the town. The construction of Ramsgate Harbour began in 1749 and was completed in about 1850. The Harbour has the unique distinction of being the only Royal Harbour in the United Kingdom. Because of its proximity to mainland Europe, Ramsgate was a chief embarkation point both during the Napoleonic Wars and for the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.
In 1915-1916 early aircraft began to use the open farmlands at Manston as a site for emergency landings. The location near the Kent coast gave Manston some advantages over the other previously established aerodromes. By 1917 the Royal Flying Corps was well established and taking an active part in the defence of England. As RAF Manston the aerodrome played an important role in the Second World War and is now called Kent International Airport.
Ramsgate is located 78 miles from central London and is about 1 hour from the M25 with excellent road links.
The town is now the amalgamation of two settlements. One is the fishing community based on the coast in the shallow valley between two chalk cliffs and the other a farming community inland that is now the Parish of St. Lawrence. The cliffs are now known as the East Cliff and the West Cliff and are predominantly residential areas. There are promenades along both cliff tops with parks at either end with sand beaches on the coast.
Ramsgate's main industries are tourism and fishing. The town has a thriving marina with over 800 moorings and a range of marine-related businesses that operate in premises in the renovated arches under Royal Parade. The town caters for students of EFL (English as a foreign language) at its colleges. Although Ramsgate has the most valuable fish landings in Kent £700,000 in 2003, the fishing industry has been in decline.Port Ramsgate has provided cross channel ferries for many years. A service of freight and car is provided to Oostende.
Ramsgate's sports facilities include a public swimming pool, a fitness centre with gym and sports hall. Tennis clubs can be found at Spencer square and St. Laurence. Ramsgate has three golf clubs: St. Augustines, Stonelees and Manston. Being a harbour town, there is also a sailing club - The Royal Temple Yacht Club. The Royal Temple Yacht Club is steeped in yacht racing history, and hosts racing throughout the year for a variety of historic trophies. The highlight of the season is the annual international sailing regatta - 'Ramsgate Week', usually held in August