Ramsgate and Margate are on the same train line, making it a very affordable day trip option as you can buy a round trip train ticket to Ramsgate (the further of the two towns). Select your ideal departure time and purchase an open-return ticket to provide flexibility on when you head back to London. Be sure to purchase an open-return to Ramsgate as Ramsgate is the further destination on the train line. It is not an issue to get off or on early, but would be a problem to get on at a further destination than you have paid for with your train ticket.
Trains to Ramsgate depart from both London Victoria and London St. Pancras. Both stations offer direct route options, but the train from St. Pancras will be between 75 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes while the train from Victoria will be closer to 2 or 2.5 hours.
The driving factor on if you will hike from Ramsgate to Margate or Margate to Ramsgate will be the tide. The section from Margate to Ramsgate is nice to do at sea level, but can only be done this way at low tide. If the tide is not a concern on the day you have chosen to walk between the towns, then note the town of Ramsgate is not one to spend much time in and therefore, is a better starting destination.
When visiting Ramsgate and Margate, the best way to get the most out of the day trip is to walk between the towns. The coastal walk becomes the highlight of the day as you get to enjoy different views and enjoy and nice walk.
Do not be scared away by the thought of hiking between two towns. The walk between Margate and Ramsgate is an easy, flat walk with the only challenging part for some being the distance. The walk is just under 8 miles and runs through three towns: Margate, Broadstairs, and Ramsgate. The distance from Margate to Broadstairs is about 6 miles while the distance from Broadstairs to Ramsgate is about 2 miles.
Whether you start in Margate or Ramsgate should largely be driven by the tide in Margate. Check the tide expectations here. Try to time your walk between Margate and Broadstairs at low tide as this portion is nice to walk on the beach. Then, between Broadstairs and Ramsgate, you will walk on the cliffs above the water and therefore high tide is not a problem.
For information purposes, the below includes details of the coastal walk if walked clockwise from Margate to Ramsgate. Of course, if you plan to travel the opposite direction, you will hit the below spots in the opposite order.
From the Margate train station, head towards the water. The beginning of your walk is along the beach in Margate. From Margate Beach, your first notable stop is Botany Bay. Botany Bay has some beautiful white cliffs and magnificent rocks standing alone on this sand beach. As you continue past Botany Bay, the white cliffs will stay with you for awhile. Soon you will hit Joss Bay and the walk along the beach may get tougher as it becomes rockier.
If you choose to stay on the beach, you will soon hit the town of Broadstairs meaning you have already completed 2/3 of your walk for the day. Before you make it to the town itself, the beach will be sandy again as you approach Stone Bay and you will see a long line of colorful beach huts. These cute beach huts guide you to the town of Broadstairs. Once in the town, wander around the cute little town. Of the three towns you will visit today, Broadstairs is easily the cutest and nicest to spend some time in so if you plan to grab a drink or bite to eat, consider stopping in Broadstairs to indulge. The cafes and restaurants sit up above a sandy beach in Viking Bay, which will surely be crowded with beachgoers on a sunny day.
If you are tired at this point and do not wish to continue all the way to Ramsgate for the last 2 miles, there is a train station on the same train line in Broadstairs. Feel free to catch the train back to London from here to end your walk. Alternatively, if you plan to continue to Ramsgate, the next portion of the walk will feel quite short compared to what you have already achieved.
At this point, you will walk on the cliffs rather than next to the cliffs and will likely see the tide moving to high tide. This part of the walk is along a path surrounded by grass and some residences nearby. At the end of the path, you will reach Ramsgate, the final town on your journey. Ramsgate has a large Harbour. You will find some restaurants and shops near the Harbour, but once you start walking inland, the town area is not somewhere you will likely spend much time. Once you are ready to head back to London, find the Ramsgate train station and begin your trek back.
The hike between Margate and Ramsgate is along the coast for the entire time, which means the wind may kick-in stronger here. Take the weather conditions into consideration when picking a time to hike and dress appropriately for the weather.
On beautiful summer days, the path will be busier and more traveled. If you prefer to avoid crowds, consider visiting in the spring and fall on a moderate temperature day or on a weekday rather than a weekend. Alternatively, pack a swimsuit if you travel on a warm day and enjoy the water with the other visitors.
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