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. 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.

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, you will find Amber Rose a boutique selling stylish women’s clothing, then directly opposite Waitrose, there is an other interesting shop called House selling elegant and eclectic furniture & homeware,

and Country Style Furniture which sells mainly Pine Furniture and has a large basement display area.

West Cliff Road and Addington Street

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

On the corner you can’t miss Vinylhead  a stylish record shop, selling old and new vinyl,

and further up the street you will find the ever so friendly Vinylhead Cafe with its Courtyard suntrap, decorated with a stunning seaside themed mosaic.

Then a few doors up Addington Street there is the fantastic Paraphernalia (covered later in the Retro shops section of this guide) and the grocery/deli Burro Burro selling award winning local and organic Cheese,  Meat and Wine.

If you then continue up Addington Street, on the opposite side  of the street you can check out Suzi Nina Interiors, which 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, The Falstaff Hotel, Addington Street Kitchen and the Lee Nicholls Art Gallery.

The Marina
On one side of the Marina, you have the Arches, where you will find some retro/vintage/antique shops (described later in the guide) along with the modern and 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.

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. 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 Archive HomestoreKitchen 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, the highlights here are Island Vintage which has a large & diverse collection of ceramics, record players & vinyl, the Ramsgate Thrift Store which sells second hand & vintage clothing and Nannys Attic a second hand store specialising in childrens goods, the owner is known locally  as the Lego® lady.

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 www.themicromuseum.org 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 & Services

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 shop 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 – This is a Comic Book store at 4 Turner Street just off the High Street. Sells graphic novels, memorabilia, encyclopedias, statues, figures, toys and DVDs.

Paris Drycleaners – This is a highly recommended, efficient and reasonably priced drycleaners in Queen Street.

Timpson – This is a good local shoe repair, locksmith and key cutters at 2 Harbour Street.

Galleries

Ramsgate is also home to several Art galleries :-

They include :-

  • Gallery 98 – A small Gallery on the High Street.

McGillan & Woodall and Nice Things mentioned earlier in the Independent Shops section also have some Gallery space and hold regular exhibitions.

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 :-

Supermarkets

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, Londis, Costcutter and a
Co-op.

There are also several more exotic Supermarkets :-

  • The Ruean Thai Shop in Kings Street, specialising in food products from the Far East, Thailand, Korea, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia & India.
  • The Oriental World in Queen Street specialising in Chinese, Japanese & Korean food products.
  • The Baltic Branch Ltd in Queen Street specialising in Eastern European Food.

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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9 thoughts on “Shopping in Ramsgate”

  1. 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!

  2. 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

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

  4. 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.
    Alex

  5. Hi Alex do pop in and see me , I have been in the High Street Ramsgate for 18 years now , I am know as the Lego lady . You can find me in Nannys Attic

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