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Trip Planner Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Isle of Thanet  /  Westgate-on-Sea
(4.5/5 based on 360+ reviews for 6 attractions)
Things to do: nightlife, beaches, golf
Westgate-on-Sea is a seaside town in north-east Kent, England, with a population of 6,600. It is within the Thanet local government district and borders the larger seaside resort of Margate. Its two sandy beaches have remained a popular tourist attraction since the town's development in the 1860s from a small farming community.The town is notable for once being the location of a Royal Naval Air Service seaplane base at St Mildred's Bay, which defended the Thames Estuary coastal towns during World War I. The town is the subject of Sir John Betjeman's poem, Westgate-on-Sea. Residents have included the 19th-century surgeon Sir Erasmus Wilson and former Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple. The artist Sir William Quiller Orchardson painted several of his most well-known pictures while living in Westgate-on-Sea. The British composer Arnold Cooke attended the town's Streete Preparatory School in the early 20th century, and Eton headmaster Anthony Chenevix-Trench spent the earliest few years of his education in the town.HistoryBefore the 1860s, Westgate consisted of only a farm, a coastguard station and a few cottages for the crew that surrounded it. These were located beside the coast at St Mildred's Bay, named after Mildrith, Thanet's patron saint and a one-time Abbess of Minster. The town inherited its name from the Westgate Manor, which was located in the area in medieval times. In the early 20th century, the remains of a Roman villa were discovered in what is now Beach Road, where a stream once used to flow. Fresh water can still be seen rising from the sand at low tide.
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