Shopping in Ramsgate

Having recently moved to Ramsgate from London I have been exploring the town finding interesting places to eat and shop. Shopping in Ramsgate is not ideal, as like the rest of this part of Kent, the local High street has been badly damaged by the extensive out of town shopping available at the soulless Westwood Cross. The High Street has started to improve but it still has a long way to go. However scattered about Ramsgate Town there are several note worthy shops.

Independent Shops
(plus nearby eating/drinking recommendations)

Here are my favorite independent shops :-

Kings Street

In King Street you have the Haberdashery & Fabric shop, which is spread over two floors and well worth a visit – check out its button wall, which looks like an Art installation.

Harbour Street and Charlotte Court

In Harbour Street you will find Nice Things it sells “nice things”- ceramics, paintings, jewellery, gifts etc. It also hosts art exhibitions by local artists.

You also have a local branch of Brewer & Howard (1 of 3 shops, the other 2 are in Sandwich and Broadstairs). It is a great place for quality Footwear and other accessories. For drinks and food try nearby 26 Harbour Street a cafe bar that does an excellent brunch.

Charlotte Court is just off Harbour Street and in the Old Police Station at 12 Charlotte Court you will find Saltworks, arguably one of the most interesting and stylish shops in Thanet. They have done a great job converting the old police cells. They sell ladies and children’s clothing, designer furniture, gifts, jewellery, perfume, jams, chutney and specialty teas.

York Steet and Queen Street

For bouquets, flowers and plants you have the attractive York Street Flower Shop,

and in Queen Street there is Homebasics which is full of useful household goods,

McGillan & Woodall An Art Gallery and shop that sells ceramics, jewellery and cards and Elephant in the Room which sells all sorts of unusual gifts and cards.

These shops are just round the corner from the award winning Flavours by Kumar – a modern India Restaurant in Effingham Street that serves delicious food.

If you continue up Queen Street, until you are more or less opposite Waitrose car park, you will see the distinctive signage for Fontaine which sells French decorative antiques, British contemporary ceramics and hand-made Scottish horn homewares. This store is also an outlet for Haeckels products.

West Cliff Road and Addington Street

Queen Street leads into West Cliff Road, and just off West Cliff Road is my favorite street in Ramsgate – Addington Street . This street is in the early stages of regeneration and has such a lot of potential.

Check out the stylish designer jewelery, homeware and accessories in Lydia Wood-Power

and don’t miss Eclectica a tiny antique shop with some beautiful items on display. It’s next door to one of the Addington Street highlights – Vinyl Head a stylish cafe and record shop with a beautiful Courtyard Suntrap that also connects to a second shop in West Cliff Road selling new vinyl.

Further up the street you will find Suzi Nina Interiors, it has some beautiful curtains and cushions on display and if you’re lucky you will spot the doggy in the Window (who is not for sale).

Addington Street is also the home of the quirky Queen Charlotte Pub and several small Art Galleries.

The Marina
On one side of the Marina, you have the Arches, where you will find the very stylish Archive HomestoreKitchen. This is a design-led lifestyle store that showcases a range of products, from suppliers like the House of Rym, where Scandinavian design is blended with Tunisian handcrafts. It’s also the place to get interesting coffee table books and cute gifts for adults and children. They also sell food and drink, the upstairs seating area is great with its fabulous views over the Harbour.

Archive Homestore & Kitchen is easy to spot with its yellow door. The nearby Coco Latino is also an ideal place to chill out if you need a shopping break.


Retro/Vintage/Antique Shops
(plus nearby eating/drinking recommendations)

Here are the Retro/Vintage shops, which make up my Ramsgate Retro Trail :-

A great starting point is the destination shopping venue Petticoat Lane Emporium which is not just one shop, it’s a permanent indoor market consisting of two shops and 175 stalls selling Vintage, Retro, Craft, Art & Antique Merchandise. You will find a good few interesting stalls including my favourite the rather bizarre Beetle and Wilde.  The Emporium is on the East Cliff side of Ramsgate, a couple of streets back from the coast, about a 10/15 minute walk from the lovely Albion House Hotel and Town Bar, which is well worth a visit if you want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury.

The other shops that are really worth exploring are in the Arches overlooking the Royal Harbour.  They are Arch 16 for Antiques, Collectibles and Vintage and the Royal Harbour Emporium which showcases several beautiful lovingly restored classic Motor Bikes and has an eclectic collection of vintage toys and gaming machines.

If you plan to stop for some food or drink in the Arches, you have several good options, Archive HomestoreKitchen, Coco Latino, which serves Tapas, light bites, beers, cocktails, wines, spirits and the best hot chocolate in the area and The Arch Bar an attractive and comfortable bar that also does food.

Another excellent Retro/Vintage shop is the second branch of Paraphernalia which focuses on Antiques, Vintage and Retro from 1770 to 1970 in Addington Street. If you are approaching from the Arches in the Harbour, there is a set of steps called Jacobs Ladder next to the Sailors Church that provide a good shortcut up on to the West Cliff; Addington Street is just across the road when you exit the steps.  The original Paraphernalia shop is located in Margate, but the new premises in Ramsgate is larger and has lots of room to show off the interesting furniture and other Vintage and Retro items.

Addington Street also has some good options to eat and drink – the cool Vinyl Head Cafe, the quirky Queen Charlotte Pub, the Falstaff Hotel and Restaurant and just round the corner on Nelson Crescent you have the Empire Room at the Royal Harbour Hotel.

The final set of shops are at the top end of the High Street, they are Island Vintage which has a large and diverse collection of ceramics. It also sells record players and vinyl.

and an interesting shop, resplendent in arty graffiti, called Wavey Fashion which specialises in Designer, Vintage Clothing, Footwear & Sportswear.

I have also included The Micro Museum on the Retro trail, as it has a great selection of Vintage Computers, Electronics, Toys and Games. It also has a small gift shop. Check for information on opening hours.

If you are in this part of town, you can try Russian food at CCCP, Japanese at Kyoto Sushi and Grill or pop in to The Hive on George Street for Brunch/Lunch or Coffee and Cake.

Specialist Shops

The Grumpy Goblin Gaming Emporium - This is gaming shop stocking, Trading Card Games, Table top games, Board games, Graphic Novels and much more.

Now at new location – 90 Queen Street.

Ramsgate Models - This is the only model shops in East Kent and it’s an absolute gem. It sells radio controlled cars, boats and helicopters, plastic model kits, railways and accessories, metals wood and paints.

Geek Havok – A Comic Book store at 4 Turner Street just off the High Street. Sells graphic novels, memorabilia, encyclopedias, statues, figures, toys and DVDs.


Ramsgate is also home to several galleries including :-

  • Updown Gallery – which hosts exhibitions covering modern and contemporary British, European and American art. Past shows have featured works by artists including Bridget Riley, Sir Peter Blake, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Sir Howard Hodgkin and Piers Secunda. It is open by appointment only.
  • York Street Gallery – the Studio of Ramsgate Artist Mike Samson and a gallery for local artists from The Isle of Thanet and Kent.
  • Something Fishy – a Ceramic Art Gallery in the Arches.

McGillan & Woodall and Nice Things mentioned early in the Independent Shops section also have some Gallery space.

Charity Shops

High Streets are often criticized for being full of Charity Shops and Ramsgate High Street does have more than its fair share. However the Pilgrims Hospice shop at 62 High Street is worth a visit. It is well organized and well stocked, easily the best Charity Shop in the area :-


The town is well served for Supermarkets. It has the only Waitrose in Thanet and away from the High Street there is an Aldi, a couple of  branches of Tesco, an Asda, an Iceland, a Morrisions and a Co-op. There is also the Ruean Thai Shop in Kings Street, it specializes in food products from the Far East, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia and India and there is a popular Polish Supermarket in Queens Street – see Map Supermarkets.  You also have a large and very useful branch of Wilco in town.

Additional Information

When visiting shops in Ramsgate check the opening times as they can change, especially in the Winter season.

If you want more information on where to eat and drink in Ramsgate and the surrounding area checkout:-

If you want to know about other shops in nearby towns checkout:-

and for more about Ramsgate go to the Visit Ramsgate web site.

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8 Responses to “Shopping in Ramsgate”

  1. Suzy nina says:

    Thank you very much for the mention
    Pop in for a cup of tea next time you’re passing

  2. Thanks so much for including us & Petticoat Lane Emporium in your fab guide!

  3. Thanks very much for promoting the fantastic vintage & retro community in Ramsgate & for including us in your guide! With more & more independent shops opening here, Ramsgate is on the map as a destination for vintage lovers. Pop by for a retro rummage soon!

  4. john ouzman says:

    Many thanks for including Royal Harbour Emporium. In your guide
    We are very lucky to be in such a fantastic setting. at Ramsgate Harbour
    Always welcome

  5. Maria Thompson says:

    What a fabulous write-up! Especially pleased to see the independent shops and businesses being lauded. Ramsgate Local Shoppers :-)

  6. Thank you for giving us a mention!

  7. Thank you very much for giving BlueSwift a mention!

  8. Alex says:

    I am sitting in the Ravensgate arms enjoying a cask beer and came across your blog. Great work – I love it. Thank you for sharing. Let’s support the independent shops and make Ramsgate the destination it deserved to be.
    I will be checking out Vintage retro in the High St tomorrow.

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