KENT - PLACES OF INTEREST | KENT - POINTS OF INTEREST | KENT - PEOPLE OF INTEREST
Choose from enchanting gardens, historic houses, mysterious castles, cathedrals and country churches, fascinating museums, animal parks, steam trains, amazing maritime heritage and much more.
Check the Ramsgate Directory
customer service that just can’t be found on the high street.
Check the Ramsgate Directory
Situated close to Ramsgate town centre, the harbour offers a fine selection of restaurants, and pubs, many with tables and chairs outside so drinkers and diners can sit and watch the world go by, while taking in the fresh sea air and admiring the glorious sea views.
Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Kent, England. In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features. As of 2008, there are 98 sites designated in this Area of Search, of which 67 have been designated due to their biological interest, 21 due to their geological interest and 10 for both.
Below is a "Where's the path?" link to map pages of each area of Special Scientific interest in Kent. Here you will be able to view various maps of each location including Aerial, Satellite, Dual View and even old Ordnance Survey maps with a modern day Google map overlay, Cycle routes and much more.
The Thanet Coast is particularly noted for its bird populations, supporting both internationally and nationally important numbers of wintering birds, with one species breeding in nationally important numbers. Associated with the various constituent habitats of the site are outstanding assemblages of both terrestrial and marine plant species, including communities of marine algae that are of limited
occurrence elsewhere in the British Isles. Invertebrates are also of interest and there are recent records of three nationally rare** and one nationally scarce* species.
The ornithological interest of the Thanet Coast is centred on the large numbers of waders and wildfowl which use the area in winter and the many species of birds that feed and rest during the spring and autumn passage. Turnstones Arenaria interpres regularly overwinter in numbers of international importance, whilst sanderlings Calidris alba and ringed plovers Charadrius hiaticula and grey plovers Pluvialis squatarola are present in nationally important numbers. A colony of little terns Sterna albifrons, a species specially protected by law and listed on Schedule 1 of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act, breed in nationally important numbers at Plumpudding Island.
The cliff section at Epple Bay is of considerable historic scientific interest, since it is the type locality for one genus and six species of algae. It forms part of the survey area where chalk cliff algal communities were first studied in Britain, and the remaining natural cliff exemplifies this type of vegetation. Botany Bay and White Ness exhibit a variety of geomorphological features such as stacks, promontories, caves and a tunnel and arch formation which are no longer common on Thanet, and which also support a variety of cliff algal communities. Of particular interest are the cave communities of algae of the group Chrysophyceae; these communities are not known from the caves in the harder rocks of western Britain. The North Thanet cliff algal communities are complementary to those of the chalk cliffs at Pegwell Bay, within the Sandwich Bay and Hacklinge Marshes SSSI, the only other notable site for chalk cliff algal communities in south-east England.
The littoral and subtidal plant and animal communities of Kent are generally impoverished compared with other parts of Britain; this is principally attributed to the extremes of sea and air temperatures, the turbid sea water and the soft, unstable substrates which are prevalent. However, the foreshore at Fulsam Rock is clean and silt-free, and supports a diverse fauna on the lower shore especially in the laminarian zone, which has a well developed crevice fauna. The algal flora is well developed, and includes species which have not been recorded elsewhere in Kent, such as Chondria dasyphylla, Hecatonema maculans and Griffordia secunda.
The shingle substrate occupying part of the foreshore has given rise, in places, to a distinctive flora with species including yellow horned poppy Glaucium flavum, viper’s bugloss Echium vulgare and the nationally scarce* plants sea kale Crambe maritima and sea pea Lathyrus japonica. The nationally rare** hog’s fennel Peucedanum officinale has also been recorded from the shingle at Swalecliffe. Small areas of saltmarsh are dominated by sea purslane Halimione portulacoides with sea aster Aster tripolium and sea worm Artesmia maritima also present, whilst at Plumpudding Island the western coastal lagoon contains abundant growth of the nationally scarce* aquatic plant, spiral tassel-weed Ruppia cirrhosa.
The exposed cliffs themselves are of interest for terrestrial plants, supporting populations of the nationally rare** hoary stock Matthiola incana and sea stock Matthiola sinuata as well as the nationally scarce* wild cabbage Brassica oleracea and sea heath Frankenia laevis. Bishopstone Glen is a short steep-sided valley cut through the clays and sands of Bishopstone and is the only feature of its kind on the North Kent Coast. The sheltered head of the Glen is dominated by ash Fraxinus excelsior and field maple Acer campestre woodland which is replaced further down the valley by hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and blackthorn Prunus spinosa scrub. Young smooth-leaved elm Ulmus minor is abundant throughout. The exposed cliff top east of Bishopstone supports a large area of coastal grassland. It is mown for hay and contains a wide range of species including early hair grass Aira praecox, barren fescue Vulpia bromoides, meadow vetchling Lathyrus pratensis, bulbous buttercup Ranunculus bulbosus and thrift Armeria maritima.
Within this site strips of grassland along the seawalls are dominated by couches Elymus species and fescues Festuca species. Other flowering plants include the nationally rare** hog’s fennel, found along the seawall at Plumpudding Island, and some nationally scarce* species such as slender hare’s ear Bupleurum tenuissimum and sea clover Trifolium squamosum. Some of the more common species recorded include spiny restharrow Ononis spinosa and grass vetchling Lathyrus nissolia. The drift line debris in the vicinity of Swalecliffe supports the only population of the nationally rare** isopod (woodlouse) Eluma purpurescens on mainland Britain, and the cliffs around Bishopstone support two nationally rare** digger wasps Ectemnius ruficornis and Alysson lunicornis. It is likely that further survey may reveal additional rare or scarce invertebrate species in the site. These particular cliffs also support one of the two largest sand martin Riparia riparia colonies in Kent.
The section of coast between Beltinge and Reculver exposes the Thanet Formation, the Woolwich and Reading Beds Formation, the Oldhaven Formation and the London Clay Formation. It is the key on-land Palaeocene site in the London Basin, and is one of Britain’s most important palaeobotanical localities. The Thanet Beds contain a range of plant organs including as-yet-undescribed fruits and seeds. In addition, this section is the only locality to yield determined wood from the Woolwich Beds and one of only two sites to have yielded plant material from the Oldhaven Beds. The clays here contain a substantial assemblage with two families, six genera and numerous species unique to this site in the London Clay flora. Three genera Palaeobruguier (mangrove), Shrubsolea (Rutaceae) and Jenkinsella (Ceridiphyllaceae) are unique to this site. A rich invertebrate and vertebrate fossil fauna also occurs within the site and the section has been extensively studied over many years. The best exposures currently occur on the foreshore, and many of the best are towards the Spring tide and Low Water mark. The stretch of coastline between Epple Bay and Ramsgate is the national reference locality for the Santonian stage of the Upper Cretaceous chalk in Britain.
The exposed sections at North Cliff together with the nearby Pegwell Bay complement the Folkestone Warren and Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs SSSIs and include several stratigraphically important marker beds such as Bedwell’s Columnar Band and Whitaker’s Three Inch Band. The top parts of the Santonian stage are very fossiliferous and the Marsupites zone contains a distinctive and famous band of the pyramidal-shaped sea urchin Echinocorys. The North Cliff is also important for Quaternary studies. It provides lithostratigraphic and biostratigraphic evidence for environmental changes during the Middle and late Devensian in SE England. The sequence of sediments exposed in the cliff overlies frost-disturbed chalk and comprises: 1) Middle Devensian Solifluction deposits; 2) Late Devensian loess and brickearths; 3) a series of Late- glacial Solifluction deposits separated by fossil soil horizons considered to represent the Bolling and Allerod Interstadials; 4) Postglacial hillwash. Foreness Point is a key site for coastal geomorphology and an essential member of the suite of chalk coastal sites. It is a classic cliff-shore platform system and contains the most extensive intertidal chalk shore platform in Britain. It has been studied in greater detail than most other cliff-platform sites and demonstrates particularly well the links between cliff and platform erosion and beach development. Cliff recession, historically at a rate of 0.3 m per year, contributes flint and chalk pebbles to the beaches, which also contain locally important accumulations of sand, much of it organic in origin. The cliffs and platform also show interesting relationships with bedrock structure. The cliffs at Walpole Bay and Grenham Bay consist of Upper Chalk, cut by a swarm of closely-spaced, vertical extension joints, striking NW-SE. The joints, which are well-developed here, are oblique to the main Thanet fold trend (E-W). They are particularly good examples of fractures formed in the ‘Late Cenozoic Stress Domain’, that is, structures formed as a result of extension related to late Alpine plate collision.
* Nationally scarce species are those which occur in 16–100 10 km squares in
** Nationally rare species are those which occur in 1–15 10 km squares in Great
Britain. Where's the path? Use the link below
Sessile oak and beech coppice with sessile oak standards is common in the central and eastern parts of the wood, with rowan, holly and wild service tree also present. The ground flora is dominated by great woodrush Luzula sylvatica and common cow-wheat Melampyrum pratense. Hornbeam, ash and field maple coppice with pedunculate and sessile oak standards occurs in the western valley. Here, bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scripta, wood anemone Anemone nemorosa, yellow archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolon and brambles Rubus species are common. High forest of sessile oak, beech and ash occurs on the valley sides. A number of small ponds and streams are present in the wood. The ponds are acidic and dominated by bog moss Sphagnum species.
Coppicing has recently been reintroduced as part of the reserve management and this has resulted in an increase in the numbers of breeding birds such as wren and blackcap. In addition some areas have been promoted to high forest, to produce a diverse woodland structure. Birds breeding regularly include nightingale, green woodpecker, great-spotted woodpecker, nuthatch and several tits and warblers. Kestrels have bred near the woodland edge in recent years.
The insect fauna is diverse with numerous moths, butterflies, bugs and beetles recorded including
some uncommon species such as the brindled white spot moth Ectropis extersaria. Two nationally rare flies Lophosia fasciata and Syntemna nitidula and a rare beetle Cicindela hybrida have also been found. The mammals of Ellenden Wood have also been well recorded. Among the smaller animals are dormouse, wood and harvest mouse, and two species of shrew. Predators include fox, stoat and weasel. There are also badger setts in the wood.
Where's the path? Use the link below
Have you ever wonder what that ship was just out to sea? Where it was going? Where had it been? Just use the interactive map below to find out.
Use your mouse to drag to a location - Use the zoom bar for fine tuning - Click on a craft for details
Margate was formerly known as Meregaet. Mere (Saxon name for lake) and gaet (Saxon name meaning track or pathway).
Margate has been a leading seaside resort for over 200 years and its history as a holiday town dates back to the 18th century.
Originally a small fishing village near the larger and busier farming community of St Peters, Bradstow, an Anglo-Saxon word meaning a broad place, grew to become
Ramsgate began as a fishing and farming hamlet. Ramsgate as a name has its earliest reference as Hraefn's ate, later to be rendered 'Ramisgate' around 1225 and 'Ramesgate' from 1357. The Viking leaders Hengist and Horsa landed in the 5th century.
Ramsgate Motor Museum, situated at The Paragon, houses one of the finest collections of Edwardian vintage and classic cars in the South East. The Viking ship Hugin sits on the clifftops at Cliffsend and is a full size replica of a Viking ship. It sailed from Denmark to Thanet in 1949 to celebrate the 1,500th anniversary of the invasion of Britain.
St Augustine's Cross marks the spot where St Augustine and 40 monks landed at Ebbsfleet on the Isle of Thanet in AD 597, returning Christianity to England. Later that year, St Augustine was enthroned as the first Archbishop of Canterbury. The cross was erected at Cliffsend in 1884 to commemorate the site where St Augustine was said to have celebrated hid first mass. The St Augustine's Trail can be enjoyed on foot, cycle or by car and leads you through picturesque scenery, attractive small villages, past old churches and oasthouses and includes two different seascapes - from the English Channel at Pegwell Bay to the North Kent coast at Reculver.
Ramsgate's Model Village, situated on the promenade, is a reproduction of some of England's most charming country villages in miniature, and is certain to delight both adults and children. Ramsgate not only boasts a rich history but also has links to some of the world's best known artists and literary figures.
Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin, the brilliant Victorian architect settled in the town where he acquired some land in Westcliff on which he built himself a house and a church, St Augustine's Abbey. Pugin is perhaps best known for his collaboration with Sir Charles Barry in the design for the Houses of Parliament. Pugin's son, Edward, completed his father's work on St Augustine church and designed the Granville Hotel.
Hans Christian Andersen visited Ramsgate and Broadstairs in the late 1840s in the company of Charles Dickens. As the English translation of his fairy stories were first published in 1846, it is possible that the visit was in connection with this. Vincent Van Gogh taught languages at a private school in Ramsgate. He is know to have drawn pen and ink sketches of the view from his window in Royal Road.
Ramsgate's harbour is a defining characteristic of the town. The construction of Ramsgate Harbour began in 1749 and was completed in about 1850. The Harbour has the unique distinction of being the only Royal Harbour in the United Kingdom. Because of its proximity to mainland Europe, Ramsgate was a chief embarkation point both during the Napoleonic Wars and for the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940.
In 1901, the Isle of Thanet saw the introduction of an electric tram service which was one of the few inter-urban tramways in Britain. The towns of Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs were linked by 11 miles of track.
In 1915-1916 early aircraft began to use the open farmlands at Manston as a site for emergency landings. The location near the Kent coast gave Manston some advantages over the other previously established aerodromes. During the first World War, Ramsgate was the target of bombing raids by Zeppelin airships. By 1917 the Royal Flying Corps was well established and taking an active part in the defence of England. As RAF Manston the aerodrome played an important role in the second World War and is now called Kent International Airport.
Ramsgate is located 78 miles from central London in an East South Easterly direction at one of the most Easterly points of the country (the furthest point east is Lowestoft in Suffolk). Ramsgate has its own meridian line and Mean Time which is 5 minutes 41 seconds ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. Ramsgate is about 1 hour from the M25.
The town is now the amalgamation of two settlements. One is the fishing community based on the coast in the shallow valley between two chalk cliffs and the other a farming community inland that is now the Parish of St. Lawrence. The cliffs are now known as the East Cliff and the West Cliff and are predominantly residential areas. There are promenades along both cliff tops with parks at either end and sand beaches on the coast.
Ramsgate experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb) as is typical in the United Kingdom; the nearest Met Office weather station for which data is available is Manston airport, about 2 miles west of the town centre.
Being close to the coast, and in Southern England, sunshine compares favourably with most of the United Kingdom, at over 1700 hours a year. Only the Sussex coast tends to be notably sunnier, although much of the remainder of the south coast receives a similar amount of sunshine as Ramsgate.
Ramsgate is home to the only ‘Royal’ Harbour in the country and has a sparkling marina, award-winning sandy beach, cater-for-all town centre and clifftops that beg to be rambled.
There are lots of little cafes and pubs scattered along the waterfront, all with tables and chairs outside, where you can happily pass the time people watching or dreaming about which yacht sitting the marina you would like – if only!
Although most place names may appear at first sight to be random elements of words thrown together in no particular order, most are surprisingly easy to decipher with some elementary grounding in Old English. Over the centuries most of the Old English words have themselves corrupted and changed to appear as we know them today.
A Dictionary of the Kentish Dialect and Provincialisms: in use in the county of Kent' by W.D.Parish and W.F.Shaw (Lewes: Farncombe,1888)
'The Dialect of Kent: being the fruits of many rambles' by F. W. T. Sanders (Private limited edition, 1950). Every attempt was made to contact the author to request permission to incorporate his work without success. His copyright is hereby acknowledged.
We seek to offer our visitors something entertaining, interesting and relevant every time they visit this website.
We are constantly updating the content of this website based on the feedback from our audience.