Discover Thanet: Top Attractions and Activities

Discover the Best Attractions in Thanet, Kent

Welcome to Thanet, a destination full of historic charm, artistic significance, and natural beauty. Experience a wealth of attractions that cater to a diverse range of interests, all year round, for you, your family, and friends.

Turner Contemporary Art Gallery

Located in Margate, the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery serves as a beacon for modern art. This eminent gallery displays a rich variety of artwork, from Turner’s celebrated seascapes to the contemporary pieces by local artist Tracey Emin. The gallery also organizes regular workshops and family activities, providing an immersive art experience for the community.

Dreamland Amusement Park

Revel in the nostalgic and novel experiences offered by Dreamland Amusement Park. Restored to its former glory, Dreamland is a testament to the timeless appeal of the Great British seaside amusement experience. With classic attractions like the Scenic Railway and contemporary rides such as the Big Shot, Dreamland serves as a hub of joy and excitement for all generations.

Shell Grotto

Embark on an unusual journey through the Shell Grotto in Grotto Hill, Margate. This subterranean marvel features a network of passageways, intricately decorated with shells. The origin of this fascinating structure remains a mystery, making it an intriguing addition to your Thanet itinerary.

The Margate Caves

Explore the underground marvel of The Margate Caves. Thanks to a lottery grant and public support, the caves and their new visitor centre give you a chance to witness the labyrinth beneath Margate that’s steeped in history.

Quex Park

Visit the majestic Quex Park, a sprawling mansion and grounds located on the outskirts of Birchington. Once the residence of the adventurous Victorian Major Powell-Cotton, this estate now showcases his extensive collection of African artefacts and wild animal dioramas in the Powell-Cotton Museum. Explore the regally decorated Regency house and its stunning displays, providing a unique glimpse into the past.

Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum

Immerse yourself in the riveting past of Britain’s military aviation at the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum. Situated beside Manston Airport, the museum is a tribute to the RAF and their vital contributions during World War II. Discover an array of historic aircraft, vehicles, and more, all while learning about the strategic significance of Manston during the war.

Hornby Visitor Centre

Relive cherished memories at the Hornby Visitor Centre. Located in the world-renowned Hornby factory at Westwood, this centre offers a nostalgic trip down memory lane with its extensive collection of model trains, cars, and aeroplanes. Engage with interactive displays and take part in exciting challenges, perfect for both kids and kids at heart.

Dickens House Museum

Experience literary history at the Dickens House Museum. Once the summer retreat of the famed author Charles Dickens, this house-turned-museum hosts an array of Dickens memorabilia and insightful displays about his life and works. Learn more about Mary Pearson Strong, the inspiration for the character of Betsy Trotwood in David Copperfield, who once owned this historic home.

Bleak House

Take a step back in time with a visit to the elegant Bleak House. Once a favourite holiday home of Charles Dickens, this house has now been transformed into a chic boutique hotel. Explore its historic features, including the smugglers' dungeons and the room where Dickens wrote much of David Copperfield.

Crampton Tower

Discover the engineering marvel that is Crampton Tower. Erected by the esteemed Victorian railway engineer, this impressive flint-covered water tower hosts a unique selection of working model railways, sure to delight both enthusiasts and amateurs.

St Peter’s Village Tours

Experience the charm of St Peter’s through the eyes of the ‘Victorians’. With regular tours led by costumed guides and engaging historical vignettes, these tours offer a unique and immersive insight into the village’s rich past. Don't miss the impressive Norman church, a testament to the village’s long history.

Maritime Museum

Explore Ramsgate’s maritime heritage at the Maritime Museum. Learn about the town’s shipbuilding past, its fishing industry, and notable shipwrecks. Find the town's own Meridian Line, situated five minutes and 41 seconds ahead of GMT.

Pugin’s home The Grange

Delve into the world of Victorian Gothic revivalism at Augustus Pugin’s remarkable home, The Grange. Discover the architectural styles that define the Houses of Parliament, also designed by Pugin. Follow the Pugin’s Trail to explore other architectural marvels around Ramsgate.

Our Sandy Beaches

Experience the quintessential British seaside in Thanet. With its stunning coastline featuring golden sandy beaches like Viking Bay, Botany Bay, and Joss Bay, Thanet is the perfect destination for beach-lovers. Enjoy the beautiful sea views, build sandcastles, have a picnic, or go for a swim. The options are endless on Thanet’s award-winning beaches.

North Foreland Lighthouse

A notable addition to Thanet’s heritage is the North Foreland Lighthouse. It offers breathtaking views of the English Channel and is a testament to maritime history. Originally built in 1691, it's the last manually operated lighthouse in the UK, and a striking sight on Thanet's coastline.

Ramsgate Tunnels

Experience history first-hand by visiting the Ramsgate Tunnels. These labyrinthine tunnels served as a shelter for thousands of citizens during the World War II bombings. Guided tours offer a poignant look into the lives of those who took refuge here, providing a unique, immersive history lesson for all visitors.

Theatre Royal Margate (Currently Closed dated June 2023

Visit one of the oldest theatres in the country, the Theatre Royal Margate. Hosting a range of live performances, from drama to comedy to musicals, it offers a rich cultural experience in the heart of Margate. Its Regency-era architecture and unique character make it a standout venue for entertainment in Thanet.

The Micro Museum

Step into the world of classic video games and vintage computers at The Micro Museum. This quirky attraction in Ramsgate is a must-visit for tech enthusiasts. Its collection spans more than four decades of computing history, featuring everything from early calculators to home computers of the 1980s and 90s.

Minster Abbey

Explore one of England's oldest inhabited buildings, Minster Abbey. Founded in 670 AD, this peaceful abbey was home to nuns for centuries. Today, it welcomes visitors who wish to explore its tranquil gardens and historic architecture. It's a hidden gem offering respite from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Westwood Cross Shopping Centre

For shoppers, the Westwood Cross Shopping Centre is a must-visit. Located in Broadstairs, this bustling retail hub boasts over 50 shops and restaurants, offering a wide selection of fashion, homeware, electronics, and more. Its lively atmosphere makes it a favourite spot for both locals and tourists.

Botany Bay

One of the most picturesque spots in Thanet, Botany Bay is known for its stunning chalk cliffs and sandy beach. It's perfect for a day out with the family, with opportunities for fossil hunting, beach games, and swimming. The view of the sea is truly breathtaking, especially at sunrise and sunset.

The Tudor House

Take a trip back in time at the Tudor House in Margate. This beautifully preserved 16th-century home gives visitors a glimpse into life during the Tudor period. Its timber-framed structure, historic furnishings, and manicured garden all contribute to its charming ambience.

Powell-Cotton Museum

Discover a world of natural history and anthropology at the Powell-Cotton Museum located in Quex Park. This museum has one of the UK's most significant collections of artefacts from Africa and Asia, collected by the Powell-Cotton family on their expeditions in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The exhibits include a vast array of taxidermy animals, ethnographic artefacts, and archaeological finds.

The Italianate Greenhouse

Situated in King George VI Park in Ramsgate, the Italianate Greenhouse is a beautifully restored Victorian glasshouse that showcases a wonderful selection of plants, including a 150-year-old fig tree. The greenhouse is also home to a quaint tea garden where visitors can enjoy a refreshing drink amidst the greenery.

Monkton Nature Reserve

Experience Thanet's natural beauty at Monkton Nature Reserve. This independent nature reserve hosts a variety of native wildlife and boasts the largest collection of native orchids in Kent. Visitors can explore a series of walking trails, picnic areas, and the Field Study Centre with its collections of fossils and local archaeology.

St Augustine's Cross

Visit the St Augustine's Cross, a stone cross that commemorates the site where it's believed St. Augustine landed in AD 597 to bring Christianity to the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. Located in Cliffsend, it is an iconic landmark steeped in English religious history.

Viking Coastal Trail

Experience one of the most attractive leisure cycle routes in Kent on the Viking Coastal Trail. The route offers stunning coastal views and covers many of Thanet's main attractions and towns, including Margate, Broadstairs, and Ramsgate. It's an excellent way for active visitors to take in the sights of the area.

Remember, some attractions might be subject to seasonal changes or different opening times, so it's a good idea to check the latest information before planning your visit.

Final Overview

The region is rich in culture, history, and natural beauty, and thus, there are a multitude of activities and sights for visitors to explore. The list covers some of the key attractions that are popular among both tourists and locals, but there's always more to discover! In addition to the places listed, Thanet is also home to numerous art galleries, boutique shops, and lovely restaurants and pubs, all of which contribute to the area's unique charm. You can always find new things to see and do in Thanet. We recommend reaching out to the local tourist information cente or checking their official website for the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about attractions, activities, events, and more.

Margate Jazz Festival

The annual Margate Jazz Festival is one of the most anticipated events in the region, attracting local and international jazz enthusiasts alike. This multi-day event features a line-up of renowned jazz musicians from all over the world, performing in various venues across Margate. In addition to live performances, the festival also offers workshops, jam sessions, and other jazz-related activities.

Broadstairs Food Festival

The Broadstairs Food Festival is a celebration of the finest local food and drink. This event sees vendors from around the region and beyond setting up stalls, offering everything from artisan cheeses and homemade chutneys to freshly baked bread and craft beers. It's a wonderful opportunity for visitors to taste a wide range of delicacies, learn about food preparation and cooking techniques, and experience the local food culture in a fun, festive atmosphere.

Dickens Festival in Broadstairs

The Dickens Festival in Broadstairs pays tribute to one of Britain's most beloved authors, Charles Dickens, who spent some time in this charming seaside town. The festival is a week-long event featuring theatrical performances, readings, and parades, all inspired by the life and works of Dickens. There's also a Victorian fair with various stalls selling books, antiques, and other items, as well as food and drink, evoking the spirit of the Victorian era.