Seventeen new activities/attractions are part of a plan to extend the tourist season in Thanet and increase visitor spending.
New experiences include Guided Nordic Walking – an enhanced walking technique that uses poles to work the upper body as well as the legs; cooking classes and relaxation and fitness stays. There’s also an outdoor escape room-style experience and Dickensian-themed accommodation, complete with costumes and an indoor treasure trail.
The project also aims to improve the sustainability of tourism and reduce social and environmental impacts; and develop and implement new products and services to attract additional visitors.
Participating companies receive one-on-one consultations, product testing, content development, consumer marketing, B2B distribution and new photography.
The project is Thanet District Council’s contribution to the Interreg Experience Development programme, in partnership with Visit Kent.
Deputy Head of Council, Cllr Reece Pugh said: “Thanet District Council is pleased to be a contributing partner of the Interreg Experience Development programme.
“Our goal was to achieve 10 new bookable experiences through this program, which we exceeded. I would like to thank the tourism team and their partnership with Visit Kent for securing such a benefit from the program for Thanet.
“We want this activity to help make tourism in Thanet more sustainable by extending the tourist season, attracting new visitors, encouraging more overnight stays and increasing visitor spending.”
Currently, almost 90% of visitors to Thanet are day-trippers and around 30% of visitors come in June, July and August.
Staying visitors spend 7 times more than day visitors. Tourism contributes £325 million per year to the local economy and supports, directly and indirectly, 8,664 jobs. This figure does not include the £41million (pre-covid) that local language schools are bringing to the area. In 2019, the neighborhood welcomed a record 4.6 million visitors (Cambridge Model Economic Impact Study 2019).
Almost one in five visitors come from London, a key market being in their 20s to early 40s.
New experiences that are already available to book can be found at www.visitthanet.co.uk/experiences, with the rest in development.
They include Fagin’s Lair in Broadstairs which is the first Dickensian themed holiday home in the UK.
Fagin’s Den is an 1860s cottage on Church Road that has been refurbished, along with Pickwick’s Place next door – accessed from Church Square – to create an authentic period property.
It’s the first to be entirely themed around Charles Dickens’ tale Oliver Twist, with Fagin’s treasure trails, period photos and the man himself regale guests with a tour and tales.
The property is part of The Fisherman’s Cottages, which also includes Barnaby’s Lodge and Smuggler’s Cottage, all located in Broadstairs.
Margate’s eccentric is also featured crab museum where visitors can hear “the forgotten and scandalous story of the Margate Crab”, caught in Palm Bay in the 1800s.
Europe’s only museum dedicated to crustacean species is the company of crab enthusiasts and brothers Ned and Bertie Suesat-Williams, of Margate, Chase Coley, of Canvey Island, and GRETL – the AI Guide to Museums – and is based on the top floor of the Pie Factory Gallery in the Old Town. The museum reopens on February 12.
Picking and cooking can also be booked with Dr. Forager (Hannah Scott (PhD)) who leads a 2 hour foraging walk followed by a cooking demonstration and a hot foraged food lunch. The goal is to bring people back to nature through foraging – learning how to forage sustainably and discovering what coastal wild foods are safe and tasty to eat.
Margate Cooking School also offers classes including Bottega Caruso teaches all things Italian and Hantverk & Found focuses on Japanese cuisine.
An outdoor escape room/treasure hunt type activity is offered with Captcha code – The escape at Broadstairs.
Participants take on the role of undercover agents who must complete an important mission to save the world. After reporting to the base for a briefing, and in order to solve the puzzles at
At each location, participants will be expected to explore the area, interact with local allied businesses, and learn about the city’s vast history.
The mission lasts between two and three hours and covers just over a mile (1.7 km). The price is £50 per group, maximum of 5 players in a group.
The owner of Langmead Guest House in Ramsgate, Denise Hill, runs the Nordic’s walk to offer. Tailor-made initiation or Nordic walking stays can be booked, with the possibility of wellness treatments and joining other local walks, with other local service providers. Adventure walks can be organized for experienced Nordic walkers.
Ramsgate through the senses is a new sister festival created to complement the Ramsgate Festival of Sound and will explore our 5 senses as it showcases Kent through its people, produce and performance. The event will take place over 3 days in March and will feature a variety of events, talks and workshops designed to awaken your senses, such as writing sea shanties, dining in the dark, boating for beginners and therapeutic treatments.
Training is provided for people who want to learn more about creating new packages or experiences in collaboration with other companies.
Express your interest in attending this course by emailing email@example.com
To find out more about the activities on offer (some are still in development so will not be presented yet) go to https://www.visitthanet.co.uk/experiences/