I’ll forgive you if you’ve been to Ramsgate before and you didn’t think there was much on offer in terms of retail; it’s easy to not look past the slightly empty high street that’s for sure. Since we moved here in 2021, there’s been a surge of new openings, but there’s also been some real hidden treasures that set up shop in this seaside town quite a while ago. They may not all be in the central shopping area, but seek and you shall find (or just use this handy google map to help). From art galleries to preloved clothing stores, there’s an array of places to grab trinkets, clothing and artwork – here are my favourite design and lifestyle shops in Ramsgate for your perusal.
Just as the name suggests, Positive Retail is a shop that aims to do good for your wardrobe, for the environment and for the overall messaging surrounding sustainable clothing. While you might think it’s a boutique full of brand spanking new garms on entry, it’s actually an extraordinarily well curated pre-loved store, although there are often pieces brand new with tags, or deadstock to be found. Every visit here is different so be sure to come back often and fill your wardrobe with garments that need some loving!
26 Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JJ
Margo in Margate
You might be thinking ‘Emma, this is a guide for Ramsgate’, but unlike a lot of the other very literally named businesses in town, founder Margo McDaid seemingly valued alliteration over location accuracy. This gorgeous shop is home to original artworks, prints and illustrated objects with a focus on fashionable figures and positive phrases. You’ve probably seen many of the prints on Instagram – particularly the Be Kind messaging – but there’s nothing quite like seeing the selection in person and debating over which one you’ll be taking home.
2A Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JN
Vinyl Head Record Shop
I love scavenging through a record store on most days, but VinylHead makes the job easy with a huge selection of records from varying genres, all conveniently labelled. If you’re looking for the classics to add to your collection, you’ll likely find them here, along with some niche albums that could be worth taking a punt on. The trip won’t break the bank and owner, Humberto, will be on hand to help tap into your musical wishlist. If you’ve got something that you’re specifically looking for, let him know, as there’s tons of records hidden away. Follow them on Discogs to stay up to date with the latest drops.
16 West Cliff Rd, Ramsgate CT11 9JP
Potters is the kind of shop that if I were to visit too often, I’d regularly be looking at a bank balance of zero. Beautifully curated interiors await inside and if you’re a fan of home decor, I can assure you that you won’t be able to leave this place empty handed. 70s ceramics from HK Living line the walls while wonky, textured pots are waiting to be taken home with one of the many complementary plants that Potters also house. One of the main things I adore about this shop is the affordability – everything has been chosen not only for good looks, but also because most pieces are accessible. A dreamy homeware shop run by dreamy people; what more could you ask for?!
23 Queen St, Ramsgate CT11 9DZ
Petticoat Lane Emporium
Arguably one of Thanet’s best offerings in terms of vintage, Petticoat Lane is a huge warehouse that has been split into stalls with various sellers. Similarly to Aladdin’s Cave, there are trinkets and treasures to be found, with some bargains and other rare items priced a little higher. Take your time to walk around the space – it’s not always easy to see beyond the clutter – and always mentally note if there’s anything you want to come back to! If all that rummaging has got you hungry or thirsty, there’s a cafe on the first floor which feels like a visit to your nan’s house, I assure you!
47 Dumpton Park Dr, Ramsgate CT11 8AD
I absolutely adore traditional bookstores so Book Bodega was very much a welcome addition to central Ramsgate, especially with it’s cute and cosy interior decor . Founded by book lover Sapphire Bates and her partner, Nick, the shop stocks everything from the latest in fiction to preloved titles. You can grab a brew while you browse and there’s always someone on hand to talk you through the latest releases or titles of a particular genre.
7 Harbour St, Ramsgate CT11 8FG
Archive Kitchen & Homestore
As well as the Scandinavian-inspired brunch mentioned in my Ramsgate food guide, Archive has a well curated lifestyle section offering books, sustainable homeware products and local items from designers and makers. You can often find me here coo-ing over the design and interior books while I wait for my latte. Check out the section specifically on the sea – there’s some interesting titles to peruse.
17 Military Rd, Ramsgate CT11 9LG
Thanks to the influx of creatives over the last few years, both Ramsgate and Margate have become thriving places for artists (and those of us that love art). Jemima Sara is one of those that has taken the plunge on a space in the town and her new studio and shop is inspiration for many more to take the leap. Acting as both a working studio and a shop, you can delve right into the JEMIMASARA world, before leaving with some memorabilia. I can vouch for the slogan prints and postcards which will make for a great addition to any wall.
72 High St, Ramsgate CT11 9RS
Okay, so you’re probably not headed to Ramsgate to find a new sofa for your abode, but I reckon I’d be a rubbish interior blogger if I didn’t recommend Simply Danish as a place to visit when in town. Specialising in Danish mid-century furniture and decorative items, Simply Danish is a little bit of a trove for rare statement pieces that can be hard to walk away from – it’s always the lighting that gets me! Pop in for some inspiration and who knows, you might end up finding something special. Don’t worry if you do find something impossible to leave, they can arrange delivery!
68 High St, Ramsgate CT11 9RS
No.36 by SP
Rattan and wicker lovers rejoice, this cute lifestyle and homeware store is filled with baskets and woven delights, alongside trinkets and treasures to take home for your friends and family. You can also grab dried flowers and plants if you’re local. With a sister store in Broadstairs, the SP family is growing, but this Addington Street offering has the best curb appeal of the street – look out for its original exterior!
36 Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JQ
Tales on Moon Lane
A child-related recommendation from me might seem like an odd one, but Tales on Moon Lane is such a delight and I couldn’t go without giving you the lo-down on it. Filled to the brim with children’s books for all ages and on all different subject matters, the shop is a fairytale world for any avid bookworms. Honestly Matilda (and my younger self) would have freaked out stepping here. The staff are also a joy and will help you out if you’re buying presents or shopping for specific messages to fill your bookshelves. Auntie EJP has already made several purchases for the little ones in her life!
43-45 Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JJ
Honourable mentions to the following shops also which are most certainly worth adding to your to-visit lists! I wish I could deep dive into them all!
The Stories & Past | Vintage Clothing & Homeware | 84 Queen St, Ramsgate CT11 9ER
Ramsgate Thrift Store | Vintage (mainly 90s) garms | 76 High St, Ramsgate CT11 9RS
Island Vintage | Records | 74 High St, Ramsgate CT11 9RS
Paraphernalia | Antique furniture | Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JN
The Saltworks Company | Lifestyle store with a focus on scent | The Old Station, 12 Charlotte Ct, Ramsgate CT11 8HE
Bubba Wears | Children’s concept store | 28 Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JJ
House | Secondhand furniture | 70a Queen Street, Ramsgate, CT11 9ER
McGillan and Woodell | Art store | 43 Queen St, Ramsgate CT11 9DZ
Laurent Delaye Gallery | Art gallery | 1 Addington St, Ramsgate CT11 9JN
Arch16 | Eclectic Vintage | 16 Military Rd, Ramsgate CT11 9LG
Molly Pickle Studio | Independent designer | 20 Queen street, Ramsgate, CT11 9DR