Anna Lloyd-Morell: Despite this part of the Kentish coast's reputation for good sandy beaches, Ramsgate's pretty, emerald-watered, working harbour dominates the view of the town to the extent that the beach is easy to miss if you're not a native. To find it, simply head to the left of the harbour's eastern walls, and there you will find a decent expanse of sand flanked by an empty amusement arcade building, some wooden children's seaside fairground swing boats (in season) and a small lifeguards' hut.
The sea here lacks the jewel-like colour of that housed behind the harbour wall, and its grey waves can have an unexpected strength to them. For dippers and amateurs, it is advisable to swim here between the safety flags when the lifeguards are on duty. At high tide, the shoreline dips unexpectedly steeply, to the extent that an adult can be out of their depth within four metres of the shore.
That said, if you ignore the handful of drunks sitting at the top of the beach out of season, and you do not have children with you to keep a (very necessary!) eagle eye on, the sudden depth of the water makes this a refreshing place to grab a few recuperative strokes after a little nautical sight-seeing in the town proper.