Ramsgate is a city on the transfer. It has coastal walks, discount bike rent and good buses, and is 75 minutes from London on a high-speed practice. It’s dynamic in different methods too, fizzing with new initiatives like its Pageant of Sound, a crowdfunding drive to show an outdated barge right into a floating arts centre and the Energetic Ramsgate initiative, which promotes newly signed strolling and biking routes, kayaking, kitesurfing, geocaching and golf. At low tide, you possibly can stroll previous white cliffs on lengthy sandy seashores for seven miles from Ramsgate to Margate, passing rock swimming pools and cafes and underneath a chalk cliff arch between Kingsgate and Botany bays. I amble over the primary couple of surf-edged miles to Broadstairs, stopping for a swim and a cup of tea on the way in which.Botany Bay seashore. {Photograph}: Bernard Philpot/Alamy“Charles Dickens by no means lived right here,” reads a slate-carved signal on a home close to an Previous Curiosity Store. Virtually each different constructing in Broadstairs appears to have a plaque asserting that Dickens stayed and wrote in it, and there’s a castellated Bleak Home on the cliffs above.You’ll be able to catch the practice or observe the brand new Sea it All path again to Ramsgate. On the weekend, you possibly can even trip again on an open-top bus en route 69. A Plusbus ticket (£2.65 with railcard, £4 grownup with no railcard and £2 little one), including limitless buses to a practice ticket on the day of journey, is legitimate on the open-topper. So is a Thanet DayRider for subsequent days (£4.20 on the app). Each tickets cowl an enormous space and are astonishingly good worth.Fingers and Molecule sculpture by David Barnes on Ramsgate’s Royal Esplanade. {Photograph}: Christine Chicken/ShutterstockI hop on the Thanet Loop, which runs each eight minutes, and am quickly again in Ramsgate by the cafe-lined harbour (celebrating 200 years of royal standing this September) for a waterside night drink. From a brick arch close by, Harbour Bikes rents out sturdy orange bicycles (£10 a day); an important path to strive on them is the brand new 12-mile Pier-to-Pier cycle path that runs from Ramsgate to Deal through the medieval city of Sandwich.A Ramsgate seashore hut – you possibly can stroll for seven sandy miles from right here to Margate. {Photograph}: Tony Watson/AlamyCharcoal nudes and maritime oil work crowd the partitions of the Royal Harbour Resort (doubles from £100, room solely), the place I’m staying. Downstairs the candlelit sitting rooms have log fires and libraries of vinyl.From the window subsequent morning, I can see windswept spray dancing over the rocks behind the lighthouse. An ideal day to go to Thanet’s indoor sights, beginning with the Turner Modern artwork gallery, which opened 10 years in the past in Margate (free, e book forward). I get off the Loop a couple of stops early for a blustery bap underneath the veranda of the Palm Bay seashore cafe and a dramatic mile alongside the flower-topped cliffs.Ramsgate harbour lighthouse. {Photograph}: Derek White/AlamyThe head of Antony Gormley’s cast-iron determine One other Time is simply protruding of the ocean as I arrive. Contained in the gallery, there’s a enthusiastic show about its first decade and a transferring tribute by Steve McQueen to a younger man killed by drug sellers within the Caribbean (till 26 September). Greater than as soon as I discover tears are rolling into the highest of my face masks. Pop-up caterer Barletta, which additionally runs the rooftop at Margate’s classic theme park Dreamland, has taken over the Turner cafe this yr. I linger over espresso and a Kentish raspberry tart whereas the sky and sea exterior are locked in a blurry Turneresque skirmish and the wind howls throughout the sand.On the far finish of the seashore, Michael Rakowitz’s statue of a traumatised soldier, an “anti-war memorial”, was unveiled in Might. Titled April is the Cruellest Month, the brand new statue stands subsequent to the shelter the place TS Eliot wrote a part of The Waste Land. There’s an eclectic seafront meals courtroom close by, together with a restaurant on a doubledecker bus. Within the ready room of the neighbouring railway station, a tiled mural factors out that TS Eliot’s identify is an anagram of Bathrooms.The rood display with the stations of the cross at Pugin’s Church. {Photograph}: Monica Wells/AlamyAfter 12 minutes on a practice I’m again in Ramsgate, heading for a flint seaside church constructed by Augustus Pugin, early Nineteenth-century architect of the Homes of Parliament. The gothic inside, all carved stone and colored terracotta, now contains Pugin’s personal alabaster tomb and there are sea views from the half-wild graveyard (free entry). Impressed by stained glass and resurgent sunshine, I wander via Ramsgate’s regency terraces. There’s a bronze head of Van Gogh, half sunk in sunflowers, in Spencer Sq. (the place the artist lived in 1876), palm bushes, marigolds and towering spires of tree echium in Albion Place gardens and a blue plaque to Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Wellington Crescent.In Ramsgate Tunnels, on the southern finish of Marina Esplanade, volunteer guides lead torch-wielding guests into the darkness of a Victorian railway tunnel, the place 1000’s of civilians lived through the second world warfare. The commentary is an interesting mixture of native historical past, engineering, anecdotes about on a regular basis life underground (the stench of latrines and paraffin stoves) and a smattering of Blitz Spirit nostalgia (£8 adults, £5 kids).The Maritime Museum is within the early Nineteenth-century Clock Home on the quayside of Ramsgate’s royal harbour. {Photograph}: Phoebe TaplinIn an outdated clocktower by the harbour, the Maritime Museum has simply reopened after a closure that predated the pandemic (£2.50, Tues-Solar 10am-5.30pm). Eclectic displays embody musket shot and caulking mallets, pacifist graffiti from a army detention centre, a group of lighthouse puzzles, and a dolphin skeleton hanging within the rafters. Close by an set up by Conrad Shawcross is arriving quickly and Ring Ring, an ice-cream store in two cellphone bins, is because of open this weekend or “when the solar is shining” as its Instagram web page says.Lila Allen, editor of the Ramsgate Recorder, tells me over a glass of rosé how “new issues are popping up on a regular basis”: a neighborhood designer is opening a studio-shop, there’s a micropub with an all-female employees, which opened in Might, and much extra. For late July, the Recorder, which simply re-introduced its “what’s on” web page, lists a regatta, a carnival and several other artwork exhibitions.Pegwell Bay nature reserve is great for birdwatching. {Photograph}: John Gaffen/AlamyOn my final day I go to the 18th-century Belle Vue pub – which lives as much as its identify; I’m looking throughout miles of shining water, dotted with windsurfers – on my option to Pegwell nature reserve. This watery panorama, the place egrets wade amongst thickets of untamed fennel, is a straightforward two-mile stroll or cycle trip from Ramsgate. Wildlife film-maker Keith Ross leads bespoke birdwatching excursions right here (full day £30pp).I catch the hourly 45 bus from close to a large mannequin Viking ship again to Ramsgate harbour and stroll via leafy Ellington Park on the way in which to the railway station. A restaurant is opening quickly in a flint-walled hut and the restored Edwardian bandstand can be a brand new venue for this yr’s competition, the place the theme is Tales from the Sea. Southeastern trains attain Ramsgate in 75 minutes from London St Pancras or two hours from London Victoria (each from £29 return). Stagecoach buses supply Thanet Dayrider tickets for £4.50