The Viking Trail Adventurers Strike Again!
Not content with last year's pillage along the coast to Broadstairs from Margate, a seven mile trek on one of the sunniest days of the year, the EFOG Vikings added further to their conquest on 30th June by making their way from Ramsgate to Broadstairs - and back again for good measure! Luckily, the really hot day was on the day before, Saturday, so a nice breeze made for an altogether nicer stroll. On the outwards leg we went over the cliff tops passing through the charmingly named Dumpton Gap, where the first telephone cable was laid across the channel by the ship Fencible, which took the cable across to Ostend in 1914. It is marked by a small brick building and a yellow sign saying 'Telephone Line' but not much else for such a vital piece of history!
At Broadstairs, a mere three miles along the coast, our raiders split up to pillage, swim, explore the town and put their feet up for a short break before meeting at the inflatable giraffe to make our way back via the cliff bottom path, accessible because the tide was now low enough to navigate around various bits of the cliffs without getting wet. We passed the Ramsgate Tunnels, the largest of which dates from 1863, when it was opened as a railway tunnel serving Ramsgate Harbour Station. The line closed in 1926, but during the Second World War parts of the tunnels were used as a deep shelter in which some 300 families lived during the war to escape the devastation above. It was time for a paddle!
Along this last stretch of beach before Ramsgate harbour was a final bit of excitement: a small shark - a dogfish, unfortunately deceased but pictured just to prove it. The journey ended with some well earned fish and chips and a drink at a local pub chain, housed in the Royal Pavilion, apparently the largest of its type in southern England. It was fairly large and had very nice views of the harbour from where hundreds of little ships sailed to help save the army stranded on the Dunkirk beaches in 1940. History indeed.
Sue U. 16th July 2019