General

The Beauty of Ramsgate and Margate

by Emma's Kent Adventures, by Emma-Jane Swaffield Friday, October 18 2013

Ramsgate and Margate

Ramsgate and Margate are both seaside towns that are situated on the south east coast of England in the county of Kent. It takes just over one hour forty minutes to arrive at both towns from London, approximately eighty miles in distance. Both towns are situated in idyllic locations on the beautiful coastline, making them a great escape for the city dwellers. Both Ramsgate and Margate are easily accessible via road and rail.

Image courtesy of ©Marcus T Ward (Flickr)

Ramsgate

The main attraction of Ramsgate would have to be its beautiful coastline which attracts many tourists year after year. Ramsgate Main Sands is a particularly popular location. In having a close connection to Northern Europe, Ramsgate has appeared to have developed a continental style culture, an example of which can be seen with its restaurants and bars that are situated along the sea front.

The port and harbour  situated in Ramsgate are certainly both defining characteristics of the town and have their own history attached, for example, when the people of Ramsgate gave King George IV such a loyal welcome in 1821, he gave Ramsgate Harbour the unique title of “The Royal Harbour”. Not only that, it was one of the main embarkation harbours during the Napoleonic wars. This harbour was also where many thousands of soldiers disembarked after escaping from the beaches of Dunkirk in 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo; one of the boats, Sundowner, used in the evacuation is kept in the marina today. More information about the phenomenal history as well as more recent news of the Dunkirk Little Ships can be found here.

Image courtesy of ©Nick Traveller (Flickr)

Ramsgate is also famous for its two white chalk cliffs, simply named The East Cliff and The West Cliff. These are both mainly residential areas but there are parks at either end and promenades run between the two. There are various cliff top walks as well as sandy beaches below that attract many thousands of tourists and locals alike.

Along with the stunning coastline of Ramsgate, with its clear, clean and tranquil beaches, the market of Ramsgate is another must see. It is held every Friday and Saturday between the hours of 8.00am and 4.00pm, on the High street, King Street and also on Queen Street.

There are also a few landmarks situated in Ramsgate such as the Hugin in Pegwell Bay. This is a reconstructed Viking long-ship which is a replica of the Gokstad Ship. The Hugin was built in Denmark and sailed to England by 53 Danes as a donation from the Danish government in commemoration of the 1500th anniversary of the arrival on Hengist and Horsa to the country in 449. It landed at Viking Bay in nearby Broadstairs in 1949 before being moved to its current location at Pegwell Bay in Ramsgate.

Image courtesy of ©andyj300 (Flickr)

There are also a few galleries based in Ramsgate such as the Isle Of Thanet Arts gallery, which is based on the harbour front and the Updown Gallery based in the beautiful Victorian era Satis House. There is also the Ramsgate Maritime Museum, which is near the harbour quayside.

The architecture of Ramsgate is simply stunning, most of which is generally a mix from the Regency and Victorian architectural periods and including 900 listed buildings in the town with more than 200 surrounding the marina itself so even the buildings themselves deserve attention.

Margate

Margate is a small seaside town situated in the district of Thanet in East Kent. Margate is a famous, traditional seaside resort which is a popular holiday destination typically for Londoners wishing to find peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city on the sandy beaches, such as Margate Sands.

Image courtesy of ©Luke McKernan (Flickr)

Margate, along with its fantastic nine miles of lovely sandy beaches, is probably most famous for its links with the painter JMW Turner, who created some of his world wide acclaimed art work using the scenery of Margate and is the namesake of The Turner Prize. The world class Turner Contemporary is the focus here in Margate. It brilliantly houses both historical as well as very modern work and showcases many pieces by JMW Turner who was famously inspired by the fabulous scenery and seascapes that Margate has to offer.

Image courtesy of ©Luke McKernan (Flickr)

In addition to its beautiful, stunning coastline, Margate has many other attractions for holiday makers. There are two highly acclaimed theatres in Margate. One of which, the Theatre Royal in Addington Street is the second oldest theatre in the country and the other, the Tom Thumb Theatre is the second smallest theatre in the country. If you are visiting Margate in July, the annual Jazz festival is highly recommended as a must go-to event, more details of which can be found on their Facebook page here.

Like Ramsgate, Margate also has a museum. The Margate Museum represents the town's historical past with a huge range of displays and exhibits.

Another must see attraction of Margate is that of the Shell Grotto. This “building” of unknown age and origin was first discovered in 1835 and the walls and roof are covered in an amazing decoration of well over four million shells, which cover the whole 2000 square footage. The shells have also been placed in elaborate patterns.

Image courtesy of ©Mr Moss (Flickr)

Margate also has many interesting cultural, popular and literary references. It features as a setting in many novels, including Graham Swift's novel 'Last Orders', T. S. Eliot referenced Margate in one of his poems and Margate also featured quite predominately in an episode of British sitcom Only Fools and Horses.

Where to Stay

Well it depends what you are looking for in terms of accommodation. If you are looking for a B&B, Margate has the wonderful and welcoming Hopewell House. Bob and Sandy are extremely friendly and Bob has an extensive knowledge about the history of Margate and Kent in general. If you are looking for a B&B in Ramsgate then look no further than the Glendevon Guest House. Charles and Rebekah have owned this brilliant establishment since October 2006 and are doing an amazing job (just take a look at all the wonderful reviews on TripAdvisor). Charles does a full English breakfast that is not to be missed and Rebekah has a huge knowledge of Ramsgate so can give you more pointers on places to visit during your stay.

Or maybe you would like a hotel instead? Then try the Pegwell Bay Hotel in Ramsgate which is beautiful to look at from the outside and a joy to stay in. If you are in Margate then I suggest The Hussar Hotel which has swings and slides in the garden, this can be helpful if you are travelling with children.

I have to say though, speaking as a travelling Mum, my personal favourite accommodation option is a holiday let. My kids go through fussy stages (like most do) so I love the option of self-catering and cooking food for my family from scratch (to sneak those vegetables in). With this option, there isn’t the worry about noise from other guests and I don’t have to share a bedroom with my kids either, as much as I love them dearly, my daughter talks in her sleep and my son snores so there is NEVER the option of me getting a good night’s sleep when sharing a bedroom with them! Beeches Holiday Lets provide some wonderful, reasonably-priced houses with modern amenities, a full kitchen (as opposed to a microwave and a kettle like some places I have stayed in) and some have lovely gardens that are enclosed so I feel safe in letting my children play outside. They have houses in both Margate and Ramsgate as well as Broadstairs so can be an option regardless of which part of Thanet you are staying in.

Are They Worth a Visit?

Yes, both Margate and Ramsgate are worth a visit whether you are a Kent local or from further afield. As stated above, both are amazing traditional seaside towns which ooze holiday-town charm; with traditional promenades and seaside amenities, a variety of museums to view, as well as land marks to see and theatres to visit.

There is definitely something for everyone in Margate and Ramsgate, with or without children.

Tags:
Categories: Curious Margate | General | Holiday | kent | Leisure | Margate | Museums | Tourism | travel

SALT OR SWEET MOVIE REVIEW # 1 - The Hangover: Part III *SPOILER ALERT*

by Dan Millen Reviews Sunday, May 26 2013

So I went to see The Hangover: Part III today with mixed expectations. The first one broke new ground in the movie arena, bringing a fresh concept to a party style movie with the twist of what happens when the sun comes up the next today. I laughed so much that when the second part was announced, I found myself itching to get in the cinema to watch it. (That was 6 months before its release!) Unfortunately, aside from the hilarious scene in a Bangkok Strip Club, I felt that Todd Phillips and the gang were just reproducing the first outing in a different location. The fans wanted more.

And boy oh boy, in Part III, Todd Philips has shown why he had to make the trilogy and answer his critics (myself included) following the second outing.

First thing you need to know is there is no-one getting married, hence no stag do (batchelor party), no mayhem… yeah right!

The film opens in Thailand where Mr Chow escapes his prison cell, worthy of Andy Dufresne might I add, during a riot. A chase through the sewers leads him to jump from a cliff edge, plunging into the Gulf of Thailand.

Alan has not changed since we left him. He is still immature, brainless and damn right funny. His parents are sick of him because he is a constant disappointment, and when it all becomes too much for his father (quite emotional but funny at the same time), it’s decided by his mom, sister and the Wolf Pack that he needs to go to Arizona Institution for an ‘intervention’.

ROAD TRIP! Phil, Stu, Doug and Alan hit the open road but are quickly side tracked, and rammed off the road, by Marshall, a gangster trying to track down 40 odd million dollars’ worth of gold bullion from Mr Chow. We then find out that subtle little hints have been dropped into the previous two movies to build up to this moment.

Always given the short straw, Doug is held hostage until the three amigos can track down Mr Chow, retrieve the gold and return it to Marshall before the sunrises 3 days later.

Cue the ‘hangover’. What follows is pure genius, with a bit of long windiness to prolong the Wolf Pack’s agony. I don’t want to give too much more away but you’ll be treated to a trip to Tijuana, old faces reappearing, seductive lollipop sucking in a pawn shop, abseiling down Caesar’s Palace and finally the finale just outside of Vegas. Oh, and a happy ending too.

All in all, enough to make you feel as though you’re the one with a hangover.

I am pleased to say that this movie is a good one to see, but do take it with a pinch of salt because after all, it is a comedy and therefore, not meant to be judged on anything more than whether it can make you laugh or not.

Salt or Sweet? Definitely Sweet.  

Tags: , , , ,
Categories: blogs and bloggers | Entertainment | Film | General | Humour | Just Life | Leisure | Media | People of Kent

Strange but true!

by The Odd One Out, with Dan Millen Friday, December 7 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, I have been observing the behaviour of the women in my work team over the last few months and it has been interesting to say the least.

 

 

We have had quite a few personnel changes, with three great colleagues leaving us, which I would like to highlight on before I start this post.

'PJ'

Our wonderful Chair's PA, 'PJ', left us for another role. When she left, we felt the pressure. She was the 'Oracle' and a fountain of all knowledge. Whenever we had a problem or needed an answer, we would always ask PJ. That proves beyond any doubt how vital she was to the setup of the office. The Admin team will never be the same again, seriously!

'Leads'

'Leads' was next to leave us. She was the life and soul of the secretariat. Despite not officially being placed within our team on the hierarchy, Leads was definitely considered to be a main cog in our working machine. She was bubbly, fun and showed us all how to make a 'real' salad at lunch time - Sainsbury's iceberg lettuce sales were up during her secondment period.

'Roondog'

'Roondog' departed from our team and the glue that held us together seemed to lose it adhesiveness. Her wedding checklist and housekeeping emails have been sorely missed and our team has struggled to get to grips with not having the benefit of a kick ass Office Manager around to look after our interests.

Ladies although you have gone, you will forever remain honourary members of the admin team. (I need a few minutes - Cry).

 

 

So, now I've dried my eyes, it's time to get on with the official first post.

I have updated you on the changes in my office but now it is time to move on to my observations, and my reasoning for why I am 'The Odd One Out'.

So this week's topic: the bizarre statements they come out with.

My Evidence

I have come across a series of strange and bizarre statements in my time with these women. I present my evidence for your judgement: (I have included the initials of my colleagues for their own amusement)

Does the lump on the back of my neck look big? (SK)

Believe me, I had to keep a straight face for this one because she was deadly serious.

Wedding shoes are expensive but can still be worth every penny. You just dye them black to get 'wear out of them' (KR)

Or you could purchase a cheaper pair of shoes and not have the guilt of the huge cost spent on them & the additional cost incurred to dye them black!

My friend is trying to lose weight. She is on the Pre Heart Op diet! (SK) - yes, someone actually said this to me.

***Speechless with a grin***

I'm going to take a cheeky trip to Wilkinson. Does anyone want anything? (RL)

I'm still trying to work out what a 'cheeky trip' is but it sounds amusing whatever it is.


I just sometimes do not know how to react. It takes me off guard and I have to just think of the first thing that comes to mind. e.g. 'What are you talking about?', 'Are you nuts?' 'Jess is exactly the same!'.

Don't get me wrong, they provide me with 5 day a week amusement but sometimes I am absolutely stunned at the information being portrayed to me. I also sometimes think that because I am the only man in our team that they forget I am pumped full of testosterone and not oestrogen. The things they say to me may fall on deaf ears because I am not a woman and do not have the working of a female brain.

Sometimes this can be a hindrance more than a help but most of time I seem to get away with it and we quickly move on.

Well I will give you a while to digest the last 3 minutes of your life that you have spent reading this blog that you will never get back!

Keep checking in on my blog, I still have plenty more to talk about.

 

"I AM THE ODD ONE OUT!"

 

Tags:
Categories: Entertainment | Environment | General | Just Life | Moaning | Moans and groans | People of Kent | Public Sector | Real Talk | Work | The Odd One Out

Don't be the unobservant view-blocking butterball

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Saturday, November 24 2012

One of the wonderful perks about my job is I get to see amazing acts all over Kent.

So imagine the fury of going to see the great John Cooper Clarke, only to not be able to see or hear him because of inconsiderate others.

Of course, as is often the case when I am a little bit cross, I exaggerate a little. The headline act at Rochester's Royal Function Rooms, who could easily be described as the five Ps - perfect punk performance poet pioneer - John Cooper Clarke was absolutely class.

I would have enjoyed hearing his unsurpassed grasp of the English language more on Friday, November 23, if my view had not been obstructed by various boozed-up, non-spacially-aware punters.

Arriving at the gig reasonably early, I managed to bag a decent table to watch JCC and his supports, Chatham poet Wolf Howard and Mancunian Mike Garry. 

Perhaps I'm uninitiated in the etiquette of poetry gigs but I couldn't help feeling narked when boozers filed out of the bar and stood directly in front of my table, without so much as a look of apology. Their rear-ends were literally touching the front end of my table and they just looked directly at the stage, as if I wasn't there.

Not wanting to cause a scene, I decided to crick my neck and look round these impetuous loafers. As one act finished, they waddled back to the bar, only to take up their concealing position when the next arrived, as oblivious as before.

Then, just as I settled into my uncomfortable posture, came the drunken cat calls of a group of women standing behind me, equidistant to my view-blocking compadres.

"Give me strength," I thought as they woooooooooooo-ed less than a foot from my right ear at the end of every poem, muttering "exactly" and "yeah" at each of JCC's comical assertions in what he called "the adverts" in between readings.

Then, imagine the emotional contradiction I felt when the oblivious lump in front of me spontaneously developed recognition of other human beings aside from the one on stage, looking round at the tipsy plonker behind me to deliver a scowl which thankfully shut her up and put the rest of us out of our misery. 

Perhaps I am being a bit of a stiff on account of being the designated driver for the night. JCC poetry readings are not debates on late-Rennaissance verse by any stretch. The night was raucous and all the better for it.

All I ask is that people don't enjoy a show at the expense of others. Don't be the unobservant view-blocking butterball or the loud, tiddly dipstick. 

Otherwise someone will end up tainting your night in the same way one day in the future.

Tags:
Categories: Books | Celebrities | Entertainment | General | Humour | Rochester

Chip in for the celebrations

by The What's On blog, with Chris Price Tuesday, February 8 2011

You can have them with fish, sausages, steak or on their own. They taste divine in a butty and are a symbol of British cuisine.

The humble chip is a staple in the diet of the majority of families in the UK. Eight out of 10 households in this country buy frozen oven chips each year and fish and chips is the nation's favourite takeaway meal, outselling Indian food two to one.

So to honour these thickly cut strips of fried potato (not those thin and unsatisfying french fries you darn Americans) someone at the chip loving organisation Love Chips has had the brilliant idea of creating National Chip Week.

It takes place from Monday, February 21 to Sunday, February 27 and we will be covering the event in What's On, which is where you come in.

Let us know where your favourite place to grab a takeaway portion of chips is or what is your favourite fish and chip restaurant. Do you have any favourite chip recipes? Do you like to eat yours with something unusual or do you have a special name for chip dishes (apparently if you ask for a Snozzsup in Glasgow you get a fish and chip supper rather than a smack in the mouth.)

Health freaks do not fear - apparently a portion of chips contains nine times more vitamin C than a slice of pizza and has just 60 per cent of the calories found in sweet-and-sour chicken, egg-fried rice or a portion of vegetable spring rolls. 

So let us know what your chip secrets are and grab your chip map of Kent in next week's What's On. Email whatsoneditor@thekmgroup.co.uk or join the debate on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/kmwhatson.

****

Intrepid Focus magazine reporter Helen Geraghty (or as I refer to her, the nice lady who sits next to me at work) has taken some time out of her tightly packed schedule to go to the cinema and see a film with her children.

Here is what she thought of Disney's new flick Tangled:

A kids' film that is watchable for mummy too, is a rare gift. I was just getting my head down to snooze through Tangled, the latest offering from the omnipresent Disney, when a small child in the front row started to scream " mummy, mummy I don't like it" again and again.

 My interest aroused, I opened my eyes and found this film starts off in a pretty dark way, with a dear little animated baby princess with huge green eyes being snatched at midnight from her little crib by a witchy kind of woman who wants to use her hair to stay young for ever, or something.

Wow, the screaming doubled in pace, panic was setting in down the front, but my daughters' ten and eight, and me, were now well into it.

This film has nothing at all to do with the rather dull tale of Rapunzel, which you could actually tell in 30 seconds.

The hero, a thief, Flynn Rider actually gets stabbed. Rapunzel has 70 feet of hair which glows when she sings and she spends a lot of the film swinging around in it until Flynn shows some rare commonsense and they tie it up in a plait. Phew.

The old hag, who has some serious issues as regards growing old gracefully dies in a gruesome fall from the tower. And the scene where the star-crossed lovers both nearly drown in a black cave filling up with water is the stuff of proper nightmares.

We all sat in a row and pretended not to cry when Rapunzel, hair all gone, suddenly realises she can save poor Flynn just with a little magic tear and brings him back to life. Of course it all ends happily when Rapunzel spots her green eyes exactly match those of her mother, the queen, who has never stopped hunting for her. If only child abductions would all end so peaceably.  

I don't know what happened to the small screaming person. Probably passed out.

Hip hip hooray and ten stars, or whatever.

The spring edition of Focus magazine comes out the week ending Friday, February 25 in the Kent Messenger, Medway Messenger, Gravesend Messenger, Dartford Messenger, Kentish Express and Kentish Gazette.

Tags:
Categories: General | Film | Food

Got a bee in your bonnet?

Bloggy BeeIf you have a voice, and would like it to be heard, why not consider writing a blog for our site?

Click here to send us a message and let us know!

Welcome to our blogs!

Our Blogs

Tag cloud

Topics of Conversation