The best things to see and do in Thanet this summer

 Well hello to you my reader chums! Summer is here and that means beach days, warm weather, every ounce of Pimms, and limitless ice creams. The summer, in my opinion, is best spent at the seaside and I'm lucky, I'm a beach baby and have always had the beauty of the sands on my doorstep.

Whether you're a Kent local or planning a seaside staycation, here are the best things to see and do in Thanet this summer.

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Margate beach Kent

What things are there to do in Thanet?

The beach scene

Thanet is renowned for its beaches from Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Margate mains sands and all of the gorgeous bays found around and in between. Whether you're looking for a busy and bustling day at the beach or a quiet break on the quieter bays, there is a beach for you in Thanet.

The busier beaches

In the summertime, it's inevitable for any coastal town to get busy and that's the same with Thanet. Visitors from near and afar and locals alike bustle down to the sands as soon as the sunshine hits, and crowds can be likely on many of the more popular beaches. If you love the busy amusements, the exciting beer gardens, or ice cream shop after ice cream shop, there are many beaches you'll love.

The beaches with the best atmosphere are the town's main sands including Ramsgate, Broadstairs (Viking Bay), and Margate. All three of these beaches have many independent restaurants, quaint shops, the cutest cafes, and bars with a lovely atmosphere.

The family-friendly beaches

Thanet is a brilliant hub for families as there is so much to see and do for all different ages. It all depends on what you're looking for on a family day out. I would say Minnis Bay, St Mildred's, Westbrook beach, and Broadstairs beach have the perfect atmosphere for families. Minnis Bay has a slightly quieter appeal but is a long stretch of sand and has a couple of places to eat near the beach, and a park right next to the beach too. St Mildred's and Westbrook are slightly smaller stretches of sand and a great spot for picnics. Broadstairs has the joy of amusements, a gorgeous stretch of sands, is ice cream galore, and has many things to do for all of the family.

The quieter beaches

For a day away from the bustle and dreamy shorelines, you're spoilt for choice in Thanet. There are plenty of stretches of sand I adore in Thanet for a slightly quieter day. Stone Bay, Pegwell Bay, Joss Bay Kingsgate Bay, Palm Bay, and Botany Bay are a few of my favourites. The bays in general are generally quieter areas and perfect if you need a bit of vitamin sea and some fresh sea air.

The Insta-worthy beaches

I've only recently appreciated how much a lot of my local beaches look like I'm abroad and are picturesque in so many ways that sometimes I'm taken aback by how lucky I am to have this beauty on my doorstep. If you're looking for a beach to surprise you with its beauty, there are a few to note. My favourite stunning beaches are Dumpton Gap, Botany Bay, Epple Bay, and Minnis Bay. 

Dreamland Roller Disco Margate

Activities

Seaside towns are a hub for things to do and Thanet is no different. The 'Isle of Thanet' as it's known, has an assortment of activities for all ages, whether you're heading over for a girls' weekend, going on a trip with your family, or your partner.

Dreamland

Dreamland in recent years has become one of the top places to be in Thanet, especially in the summer months. It's known for their markets, football match events, concerts, and many types of gatherings. The park has an assortment of rides, the famous Scenic railway, and plenty of indoor amusements to keep you occupied. It also has a cool roller disco, great food, and is an iconic place for a drink or bottomless brunch. 

Shell Grotto

Located in Cliftonville, Margate, Shello Grotto is a renowned attraction when in Thanet. The Grotto is estimated to be around 2000 years old and believed to be a place of worship back in the day. The passageway is filled with shells, hence the name. The Grotto has shells on the walls and floors, so not only is it a great place for a photo, there is so much history to learn there.

Ramsgate Tunnels 

Thanet has a lot of wartime history about it, including the Ramsgate Tunnels. The Ramsgate Tunnels were built in the war as a way for the citizens to shelter themselves from the bombings. It's the largest network of civilian tunnels in the UK and there, you're able to go on a walking tour. It's a great place for everyone to learn a lot about wartime history on a guided tour and then go for a spot of cake in their cafe too, after the tour.

Independent shopping scene

I don't know about you but I love independent shops and small businesses as I can find quirky and uniques items in them. Thanet is a hub for independent shopping across the main towns of Ramsgate, Broadstairs, and Margate. Margate's old town especially is known for vintage clothing shops and homeware and has something for everyone.

Surfing in Joss Bay 

Love to surf? Then Joss Bay is the beach for you. It's renowned for its surfing scene and the surf school there is a recognised provider for surfing lessons. Whether you're looking to begin surfing or love to do it on the regular, you will love Joss Bay. And, it makes a dreamy spot for sunbathing afterward or to watch the sunset. Joss Bay has a lot on offer!

Turner Contemporary

I can still remember when the Turner Gallery opened and to this day, there is always more to see. The Turner is not for everyone but it's free and amazing for a mooch. If you know nothing about art or would love to see the cool exhibits, it's perfect for a rainy day and to learn something new. It's located right on the Margate seafront and is known for its abstract view of art.

The many museums

I love a museum, I'm a bit of a nerd like that as it's always exciting to learn more. Thanet has more history to it than you would think considering the size, however, the museum scene is large. From the Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington, The Spitfire, and Hurricane Memorial Museum, the Margate Museum to Ramsgate Maritime Museum and the Dickens House Museum and so many more. 

Mini-golfing 

Mini-golfing always reminds me of my childhood as in Thanet, there are loads of different mini-golfing courses. There's the Liliput mini-golf course in Broadstairs, located right near the beach, the Lost Adventure Golf indoors in Margate, and, in Manston, the Rascal Bay course. There's a course for all types of weather, and they're all varied too.

Bugsys Bowling

If it's a colder day or you fancy an evening activity, bowling is always a good shout and Bugsys Bowling in Margate has been the place to go for years. I've spent many brill evenings in Bugsys and it's a family favourite for many locals in Thanet.

Pegwell Bay Country Park

Thanet has more than beaches in terms of scenery and coastal walks. There is also a lot to see in terms of parks and nature trails. Pegwell Bay Country Park is one of my favourite walks for a bit of tranquility and to get that taste of country air. There are lots of different walks you're able to take in the park and it includes a park for kids, a small cafe, and lots of spots for a picnic.

Where are the best places to eat in Thanet?

Bottega Caruso Margate

The food scene in Thanet is certainly a memorable one from independent family-run restaurants, to quirky cafes and dream-worthy beach bars. I could easily list many that I adore, and here are a few of my favourites.

Restaurants

Bottega Caruso

I will rave about this restaurant forever and always. It's a family-run Italian restaurant, located in Margate Old Town. The produce is freshly made from homemade pasta to the variety of dishes on the menu and they have their own deli in store so you're able to buy all of their products to take away. If you're looking for Italian food made correctly, this is the restaurant that needs to be top of your list.

The Minnis Bay Bar and Brassiere

This restaurant has both good food and beach views over Minnis Bay, what more can you want? The menu is varied but traditionally British with something for everyone and there is the option to dine inside and out, for that alfresco meal in the summer and a hearty meal when the summer days aren't so warm. I've come back time and time again as it's a classic place to dine for all walks of life.

The Med

For tapas lovers and the taste of Mediterranean cuisine, The Med in Margate Old Town is for you. They offer a varied menu with tapas dishes including the staples of king prawns and potatoes bravas to delicious pizzas and cocktails. And, it's the perfect spot when the sun is shining to dine outside.

The Little Sicilian

Italian food is my favourite and I'm always very keen to find the next best Italian eaterie. Like Bottega Caruso, The Little Sicilian is an Italian paradise with Italian food made how it is meant to be. Located in Broadstairs, the gorgeous restaurant has the ambiance of a traditional Italian place to dine, and all the food is crafted from fresh ingredients - you can really taste the difference. And, the staff are super lovely and friendly.

Cafes/brunch

Archive 

I've raved about the Archive a lot and it's my go-to brunch spot in Thanet. The cafe has that eco-friendly appeal and is located along the Royal Harbour in Ramsgate. The Archive offers all-day brunch and has everything from dreamy pancakes for sweet-tooth lovers to the best mushroom on toast spread, plus they offer a whole range of homemade cakes and a view of the harbour.

Namaka 

For vegans and those who prefer plant-based snacks or breakfast, Namaka is a hipster-style cafe located in Broadstairs. It offers a whole range of wholefood style dishes including acai bowls, freshly made smoothies, and granola pots. They're perfect to take away and eat along the beach or eat inside their cool and fresh interior.

Cliffs

Keeping up with the hipster theme, Margate has taken to that vibe with the many cool cafes within its old town. But, there are also many when you step away from its old town and towards Cliftonville, including Cliffs. Cliffs have that old-school atmosphere that serves up a brunch with something for everyone and has its own record store too.

Bars 

Harpers

Harpers Bar is one of those cool and underrated bars tucked away in the hype of Broadstairs from the bustling Royal Pavilion to the Dolphin Pub, but that doesn't take away from its quality. If you prefer something a little bit more intimate for your drinks and love a good cocktail, Harpers is a great choice - and it's only a few minutes walk from Viking Bay too.

The Counting House Bar

To get that taste of extravagance and top-class cocktails, The Counting House Bar does just that and is located along Broadstairs high street. They offer an assortment of cocktails, one for every type of drinker, and the interior is unique, to say the least, with metal-style walls and tables - and super Insta-worthy.

Mariners Bar

For that taste of a classic British pub vibe, The Mariners Bar has got you. It's located on Ramsgate Harbour and looks over towards the boats giving you the view and the vibes. The drinks are reasonable, everyone is always so friendly and they're renowned for having live bands in so you'll be singing along all evening.

Imperial Bar Meze

Located on Margate seafront, the Imperial Bar Meze has really upped its game for drinks and offers an assortment of cocktails and drinks, with a cool vibe about it. Plus, you're able to sit outside and overlook the beach and are close by to a strip of many other fun cocktail bars to dabble into like the Sun Deck. There is also Margate steps, which is a great spot for watching the sunset and having a glass of wine.

Where to stay

I've been lucky enough to live in Thanet my entire life but as a seaside hub, there are many incredible places to stay from hotels to apartments. Whether you're visiting Ramsgate, Broadstairs, or Margate, there is a place with your name on it.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Are you planning a trip to the coast?

Thank you for reading <3

75 comments

  1. Thanet sounds like an amazing place. I love mini golf and supporting independant shops so this would be perfect for me. Also love the sound of Shell Grotto. I think I'll look into having a trip here xx

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    1. It's the best!! I hope you can visit one day xx

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  2. Thanet sounds bloody lovely. I'd love to go to a roller disco for a fun girls day out!

    Rosie

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  3. Sounds like a great place to go to! I’d love to go here someday. Just a shame I live on the other side of the country 😂 xx

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  4. Thanet seems like a lovely place to spend beautiful summer days and nights! I hope I will visit some day. For the time being my travelling abroad has been postponed.Thank you for sharing all these useful info!

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  5. As a Kent girl myself I absolutely love Thanet! There are so many amazing things to do and see!

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  6. I have never been to thanet but it seems like a lovely place to be. I love going to the beach and I'm sure I'll love Thanet hahaha. I'll save this post for if I ever visit Thanet.

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  7. Great post! You've got such a great variety of ideas here. I love the sound of Dreamland and the tunnels in particular - they sound so cool! Thanks for sharing x

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  8. The mention on pimms made my mouth water, such a great summer drink. Thanks for sharing so many ideas on what to do in Thanet, definitely want to go now, especially for the restaurants and museums.

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  9. OMG! I love this list of things to do in Thanet! I would love the chance to visit one day. Thanks for sharing x

    Lynn | https://www.lynnmumbingmejia.com

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  10. Thanet sounds like a lovely place to visit for holidays. I’m just hearing of a place like this and would really do more research and visit if I can. Thank you for sharing

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  11. I love you museums and looking at old historical stuff. I would love to check them in Thanet and see what they got!

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  12. Thanet sounds amazing and I love how there is beach for everyone there!
    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  13. I haven’t been to Thanet before, never even heard of it before. Looks like there is so much to see and do for fun. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren -bournemouthgirl.com

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  14. Wow, I didn't realise there was so much to do! My Auntie lives close to Thanet, but I thought that there was the odd thing to do and that's it. I love the idea of a roller disco, skating is so fun! Em x

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    1. Ah thank you! Yes, there is so much more than meets the eye xx

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  15. Thanet sounds like a lovely place to visit and there's so much to do there, it's a bit far for me to travel though which is a shame! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

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    1. Thank you!! Hope you're able to visit one day xx

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  16. I love these suggestions! When I visit a place I always like to have a list of things to do or places to visit :)

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  17. I'm not far from Kent but I need to go and explore it more! Thanet looks like there's sooo much to see and do so I'll definitely be adding it to my list!

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  18. Thanet sounds totally amazing! I had a chance while back in school to visit Broadstairs for a couple of weeks and really loved having the seaside so close and the amazing scenery! x

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    1. I'm glad you've had the chance to visit before!

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  19. WOW lots to do in Thanet! I love a nice quiet beach so that's likely where I'd be looking to spend my day - so much to see and explore it sounds like.

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  20. You’ve provided me with many reasons to come back to the UK! Thanks for sharing all these magical sounding places.

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  21. I've wanted to do the ramsgate tunnel tour for a while now. I didn't realise there were so many other fun things to do too.

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  22. Wow, there are so many amazing things to do in Thanet! I've never been but I want to now hehe x

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  23. I haven't ever heard of Thanet before. Sounds like a great place. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  24. Wow, so many things to see and do! Didn't know there were many types of beaches haha. Hopefully there are more photos. Thanks for sharing!


    www.lifebeginsattwenty.com

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  25. Is it even summer without a day at the seaside haha? I'm also a beach baby, all the way from sunny Mauritius! Thanks for sharing the amazing things to do in Thanet. Since I'm a fan of Mediterranean cuisine, I'd probably dine at The Med x

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  26. Love this! Totally agree with the limitless ice creams, I can't resist a Mr Whippy with raspberry sauce. It looks and sounds incredible, I just love being outside and the beach is so relaxing. Mini golf is always a winner! Thank you for sharing x

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  27. I am not too sure if I have visited Thanet before, but I have added it to my list as you have sold it to me haha! Plus I am near Kent so should be easy to travel to as well. Thank you for sharing xx

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    1. Aw that's fab, I hope you can visit soon xx

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  28. Sounds like a great summer spot! I’ve never heard of it but definitely need to add it to the list :)

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  29. Thanet sounds like the perfect summer destination with so much to do! I'll have to add it to my list of places to visit!

    Tash - A Girl with a View

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  30. Thanet sounds lovely. It's a bit far for me to travel, but I do love a good seaside town.

    Claire.X
    www.clairemac.co.uk

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  31. I've never heard of Thanet before, it sounds like such a good seaside town to visit though! It's quite far from me!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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  32. Thanet sounds like so much fun! I love cute activities like mini golfing and I have always wanted to go to a roller disco it sounds like so much fun!

    Sarah | www.aspoonfulofvanilla.co.uk

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  33. I just hope that I can visit this exciting place soon. Loved your suggestions!! Thank you so much for sharing this x

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  34. Thankyou for sharing! Thanet sounds like a fabulous place. I will certainly be putting it on my to visit list!

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  35. Sounds like a lovely place to visit! You can never go wrong with a nice beach day and a bit of mini golf :)

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  36. Thank you for making us discover your corner of the world. There are many interesting things to do, culinary wonders and beaches that look to be fantastic. It really makes you want to visit.

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  37. Thanks for sharing, I have not been to Thanet before, it looks like there is lots of to do :)

    Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

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  38. This is a great post. I have not heard of Thanet but it sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing.

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  39. I used to live in Sussex and had friends down that way, beautiful place thanks for sharing ��

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