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  • Writer's pictureMary Smith

Oh We Still Like To Be Beside The Seaside

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

Broadstairs Apartments' recent posts have been about how the Isle of Thanet is a great place to visit whatever the season. Its three principal towns of Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs each have their own character that shines through all year round. Visiting Thanet, right on the edge of East Kent, offers an easily-reached brand of escapism that embraces the sea, breezy fresh air, bright coastal light and a funfair state of mind.

© Marine Studios/Back & Fill

Way back in March 2020 when Covid and its economic impact loomed on the horizon. Margate's Marine Studios had the forethought to plan ahead. They came up with an innovative, collaberative idea for coastal resorts to weather the storm, describing it as a "coastal call to arms...we've called it Back & Fill because that's a sailing term, for using the advantage of the tide being with you when the wind is not. That seemed to be about right, for where we are now."

The Back & Fill independent arts festival is taking place at various seaside resorts across the country as we speak. From Weymouth in the South, to Swansea in the West and Cleethorpes in the North, all have been Influenced by Marine Studio's energy, drive and sense of community. Reminding everyone not only that the seaside very much exists outside of summer but that peoples' livelihoods are dependent on it. For the Isle of Thanet and East Kent is especially pertinent given that the Turner Contemporary, usually drawing in thousands of visitors every year, has had to close until spring 2021. The existing arts scene has taken the baton and embraced the opportunity to fill the gap.

© Turner Contemporary/Marine Studios

Out and about in Margate you can enjoy Turner & The Elements: A Margate Walking Tour, experiencing Margate through the eyes of celebrated artist JMW Turner. Or how about exploring the local archeaology with CITiZAN Coastal Archaeology Walk, to get a real sense of the impressive chalk and flint maritime landscape. The popular Clayspace Studios are exhibiting Made In Lockdown Sat 24 Oct - Sun 1 Nov, a collection of large prints, letter-pressed work, and small sculpture inspired by lockdown. And if you've visited Margate before, you will be familiar with the brilliant murals adorning the hoardings underneath iconic Arlington House. Pie Day and Holidays brings the original drawings out of the archive for you to peruse.

© HKD/Marine Studios

In Ramsgate the town has put together Ramsgreat Week, a nine-day tour de force, with both digital and socially-distanced live events across the town. With most attractions free, visitors can take part in Looping the Loop activities including circus skills, puppet shows and a comedy cabaret. There is an Open Studios trail for you to take in the eclectic local art that has been thriving in the town. Also, go on the Rotten Ramsgate walking tour if you dare, where you will bear witness to the historical murders that took place in the past.

© Rotten Ramsgate Tours

Screaming Alley's Streaming Alley Halloween Zoom event which promises to be great fun. Ramsgate Arts Barge is holding a Busk on the Barge musical performance during the festival and a Makers of Ramsgate pop-up market selling hand-made artisan and vintage goods will also be happening. An extra dimension is Ramsgreat Week's linking in with The Earth Museum's global digital map, marking 30 Ramsgate features of interest.

er & h elements: A Margate walking tour Sat 24 Oct 11am, 1:30pm, 3pm & Sat 31 Oct 11a

© Marine Studios/Back&Fill, Margate

With foreign travel not so easy for the time-being, holidaymakers continue to be drawn to the Great British seaside. With a Broadstairs holiday let you can sample all our beautiful area has to offer. Back & Fill shows us this means much more than ice-cream, penny arcades and sandcastles (although hey nothing wrong with that...) The festival is on until 1st of November 2020 so there is still time to come down and immerse yourself in the fun!

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