Holiday Rentals in Broadstairs, UK : Ocean Outlook : Macatsim

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine and Boat

When you stand on Viking Bay sands and look out over the big blue yonder you might just question yourself about what those wind turbines are and what they are doing? What you see seven miles out to sea, just off the Isle of Thanet, are 100 wind turbines generating enough electricity to power 220,000 homes a year.

The Turbines are owned by the Swedish company Vattenfall and were commissioned in 2010. The 100 turbines have a combined output of 300MW and at the time of construction, it was the biggest wind farm in the world. The turbines are spaced at 500 meters’ apart in a line cover an area of 35 square kilometres.

The electricity generated out at sea is brought to shore in two large export cables, which come ashore at Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate. From there it travels to a new sub-station at the former site of Richborough Power Station where it is then filtered into the national grid.

Windmills date back as far as the Chinese in 1200 AD and the Persians 500-900 AD. If we consider the use of the wind, it has been used for many things to create energy. The obvious ones are sailing boats then of course came the windmill. Daniel Halladay back in 1854, in the USA, started to invent different windmills and struck gold when he devised a windmill which pumped water to farms and ranches reaching the expanding western frontier. At this time the railroad system was starting to expand as all trains were steam the railroads needed water pumped up to them. Halladay devised a system where windmills did this job making life easier for the railroad workers. Between 1850 and 1970 there were over 6 million windmills installed in the USA alone.

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm - Ariel
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm - Ariel

There were many people in many different countries trying to come up with a commercial wind turbine which could be used to create electricity, was efficient and reliable and it was not until NASA became involved in the 1970’s that the idea progressed. It moved forward to a level where many of the multi-megawatt technologies researched by them are still used today.

The Thanet wind farm broke records for not only being the largest wind farm at the time but also being the quickest ever constructed. MHI Vestas who manufacture the turbines altered the way they were transported to the offshore sites, which assisted in the construction speed. They built and tested 100 turbines in 100 days, which was another world record beaten by the wind farm. There are moves ongoing to expand the wind farm by adding another 34 turbines by 2021. These new giant turbines will be twice the size of the ones you see there now. The existing turbines stand at 115 metres high and the giant new turbines will be a height of 250 metres tall, the added turbines will be built just 4.9 miles offshore. These extra 34 giant turbines will have the same output as their 100 smaller counterparts where the amount of homes they will be able to supply electricity to will double to 430,000 homes . There lies the dilemma for local inhabitants? Do you have many small turbines or less giant turbines?

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine 01

Wind farms and wildlife are words you generally would not put in the same sentence. However, it has been found that in the case of offshore wind farms, over time, they do become compatible. The turbines were initially accused of luring certain species to their deaths and in other cases such as marine mammals, the noise would drive them away. This has since been questioned, because species are returning to the wind farms and are found to be thriving. Beneath the waves, such things as barnacles, muscles and other crustaceans attach themselves to the hard turbine structures. This then attracts other marine species and over time, the turbines will become a manmade reef allowing the area to become a breeding ground for many marine species, especially Cod and Whiting. Divers who work on the turbines have already reported the increase in lobsters and crabs. The seals that are resident just off the Kent coast are there for a reason as the offshore wind farms are an easy food source for them with plenty of small young Cod and Whiting available to them.

Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine Blade Transport
Thanet Offshore Wind Farm Turbine Blade Being Transported

As the wind farms are out of bounds for the commercial fishermen and their trawling nets the marine species and mammals are left to breed in peace.

Why not take a boat trip out to get a close up of the wind farm, for a leisurely trip you can board the Sea Searcher for a 3 hour trip out of Ramsgate Harbour (Tel..07837562076 ). If you want some excitement and fun take a 2 hour trip with “ Go2Sea” out to the wind farm in a speedy RIB boat. This also operates out of Ramsgate (Tel. 07931744788)

Days Out & Activities

Places and things to do that will be a great day out including Dreamland, boat trips and museums.

Dreamland Margate - Stretch

Dreamland

If you fancy a trip down memory lane then Dreamland is the place for you. All the fun of the fair and more! This fairground has been brought into the 21st century with love and attention to detail and is now free to enter and is open all year round. The old rides have been restored while the 1920’s Scenic Railway considered to be the queen of the fairground has been completely refurbished along with the 1930’s Brooklands speedway roundabout. The rides have been painted and the fair has had a lot of investment and there is once again an energy and a buzz about the place.

It’s not just the traditional rides any more as a 15000 capacity music venue has been added along with the Octopus garden which is well above your average indoor play area catering for children under 8 years old. There is the Roller Room for your roller skating needs which is open all year round for children’s parties, hen parties and anything in between. Dreamland has also upped its game regarding catering. There is a new food court offering street food plus a new “Tree House Bar” build on stilts. There is also the seafront pub called Cinque Ports with Ziggy’s rooftop Rum Shack. Dreamland is now a great all year round venue for kids and adults alike.

https://www.dreamland.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g503912-d7999625-Reviews-Dreamland_Margate-Margate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 3 miles

Margate's Shell Grotto

Margate’s Shell Grotto is one of life’s mysteries. Nobody knows who built it, why they built it or when they built it. It was discovered some 180 years ago purely by accident when, in 1835  Mr James Newlove the Master of nearby Dane House School was  digging a duck pond with his son Joshua. While digging, a hole appeared from nowhere which took Mr Newlove completely by surprise. Mr Newlove filled with intrigue decided to tie a harness around his small 12-year-old son Joshua and lower him through the hole. Joshua was slowly lowered and he was able to walk around 70 feet in the dark deserted tunnel before his Dad, concerned, pulled on the rope and retrieved Joshua. Once back in daylight wide eyed Joshua passed on to his father the astonishing story of what he had encountered whist in the cavern. He spluttered he had seen tunnels, which led him into a mystical large Temple with an Altar, all the walls and ceilings were covered in thousands if not millions of seashells.

The hole was widened for adults to explore and they found exactly what Joshua described. They found the Chamber with an Altar and a rotunda plus more passageways. There are estimated to be 4.6 million shells used to decorate 2000 square feet of mosaics. In 1837, Newlove purchased the land and opened the Grotto to the public as it can be seen to this day.

http://shellgrotto.co.uk/

Distance – 3 miles

Go2Sea / Rib Request

Rib Request offer exhilarating adrenalin and fun for all the family. Safety on these excursions is paramount to the company that operates the trips. Therefore a life-jacket is compulsory. Here are a few different trips the Rib Request can take you on.

Seals: The Rib will whisk you out to sea where you can get the feel of the wind in your hair as the 200hp engines roar. The boat owners will take you to the locations the seals frequent where you can get close up to the seals and other wildlife. On the return to Ramsgate hold tight because you never know what fun the skipper may have in store for you. The trip lasts approximately one hour.

Wind Farm: The Rib will take you seven miles north east of Ramsgate. The destination is Thanet Offshore Wind farm one of the largest wind-farms in the world which is capable of supplying 200,000 homes with clean electricity. The trip will last approximately two hours.

Bays and Beaches: If time is against you or you just want to relax and take in the scenery this is for you with the trip taking you along the Thanet coastline as far as Foreness Point. During the trip you shall see the famous North Foreland Lighthouse, Charles Dickens Bleak House and beaches with several smugglers coves. This fun excursion lasts approximately 1 hour.

http://go2sea.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186314-d4258744-Reviews-Rib_Request_Day_Tours-Ramsgate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 2 miles

Quex House

Quex Park and the Powell-Cotton Museum

Quex Park is situated in Birchington, East Kent. The park covers an area of 250 acres with many trees planted by John Powell in the 19th century. Another attraction worth a few minutes of your time is the Waterloo Tower built in 1819 which has a rare secular peal of 12 bells. During the summer months, 2 days are set aside to operate guided tours of the tower. Also worth a visit are the lookout post and clock tower built in 1820.

However the jewel in the crown of Quex Park has to be the Powell-Cotton Museum. The museum is the best of its type in Europe with its Natural History Dioramas perhaps being the best in the world. A tour around the house is a must as well. There are House Stewards who will assist you with their knowledge and tales of the family and their home as you wander through the Powell-Cotton residence admiring the culture and the eclectic array of collectables from all around the world. Once you have seen the house why not take a stroll in the wonderful seven acre Victorian Garden.

It’s not just the adults who have fun at Quex Park. There are lots of things to do for the little people in the family. There are indoor and outdoor play areas, a craft village, a garden nursery, Quex carriages, Quex paintball and laser rush while in the summer months there is also a giant maize maze. Cuisine is not a problem as there is an on-site restaurant. There is so much to do and so little time to do in!

http://www.quexpark.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g1192242-d1930514-Reviews-Quex_Park_and_The_Powell_Cotton_Museum-Birchington_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html

Distance – 5 miles

Sea Searcher Boat Trips

If the speed of the Go2Sea / Rib Request is too much for you and you wish to have a more leisurely time sightseeing then look no further than the Sea Searcher Boat Trips. The Sea Searcher is a traditional fishing vessel modified to take non fishing passengers on sightseeing excursions when needed. If you’re not a particularly good sailor don’t panic because all is not lost. You can save face with your family and friends by taking a gentle trip around the harbour checking out all the yachts and motor cruisers moored up. Remember the harbour you are taking a trip around is the only Royal Harbour in the UK and the trip only takes 20 minutes.  If you are feeling a little more adventurous why not take a leisurely trip out to the Local National Nature Reserve to see the colony of residential seals plus the seasonal wild birds that frequent the same venue. The trip takes one and a half hours.

The Sea Searcher still takes fishermen out on fishing trips of various lengths of time. There are many species of fish that can be caught including Sea Bass, Skate and Dogfish to name a few. The experienced Skipper is there to assist you or show you depending on your fishing experience. Rod hire and bait are included in the price.

http://www.seasearcher.co.uk/

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186314-d1417294-Reviews-Sea_Searcher_Boat_Trips-Ramsgate_Isle_of_Thanet_Kent_England.html 

Distance – 2 miles

The Micro Museum Computers 2

The Micro Museum

The Micro Museum is an award winning attraction that is run by Husband and Wife Mike and Carol Deer. For more than 40 years they have collected, bought and repaired personal computers, calculators, games and microelectronics. They have a vast amount of knowledge and enthusiasm, which they have gathered over the years. When entering the museum you will come across devices from the early 20th Century all the way through to the beginning of the 21st Century. The displays on show include computers, games consoles and a heap more interesting electrical devices from the 1970’s and 80’s. This is the era where computers and technology in general became part of everyday life and made their way into most of our homes in one way or another.

If you were a fan of David Bowie, Slade or maybe Queen and remember the Concorde era then a visit to The Micro Museum will take you on a trip down computers memory lane. Take a look and see if your first ever computer, console or gadgets are on display. It is of great benefit for youngsters to visit the museum so they can see and get a feel of how and when the home computer revolution began. There are competitions for all ages and certificates for those boffins who get all their questions correct. There is so much to do here it is very informative and a lot of fun.

http://www.themicromuseum.org/

Distance – 2 miles

Vue Cinema External Close Up

Vue Cinema

Vue Cinema has 10 screens, the latest films and tickets start from £4.99. There is a licenced bar and plenty of parking.

https://westwoodx.co.uk/leisure/vue-cinema

Distance – 2 miles