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24 September 2014

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You are in: Kent > Coast > Point 1 - Cliff secrets

A view from Ramsgate Main Sands

A view from Ramsgate Main Sands

Point 1 - Cliff secrets

We begin our walk around Ramsgate on Marina Esplanade. Walk to the promenade railings at the top of the beach and you’ll see white cliffs away to your left.

These chalk cliffs form the underlying rock throughout the Isle of Thanet and these particular faces have been witness to many events over the centuries.

Chalk cliffs

Chalk cliffs

They could tell tales about the Napoleonic Wars when Ramsgate was used as a port of embarkation for troops crossing the Channel to fight Monsieur Bonaparte. Ramsgate was almost a garrison town in those days.

At that time the cliffs were actually used as target practice by the soldiers at the Ramsgate barracks too. If you get up close you might still be able to see some of the bullet marks.

They would have seen the shells that actually reached as far as Ramsgate in the First World War and they would have been first to spot the planes flying over to bomb poor ravaged Ramsgate in the Second World War.

During the same war, they would have seen the remarkable sight of 4200 fishing boats sailing from here to Dunkirk to rescue men from the beaches.

And if you turn to look out to sea, you might see one of the freight or passenger ferries that travels between Ramsgate and Ostend across the English Channel.

Now, continue towards Ramsgate harbour along the Esplanade, with the sea and Ramsgate Main Sands on your left.

Just after the rather sorry looking Royal Victoria Pavilion, now a casino, which was opened in 1904 by Princess Louise, second youngest daughter of Queen Victoria, you'll see an obelisk towering up towards the sky. Stop here.

last updated: 06/03/2008 at 14:22
created: 05/07/2005

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