Thanet is a non-metropolitan district within the county of Kent in South East England, in the United Kingdom. A large part of the district is made up of the Isle of Thanet, an island formed over 7,000 years ago and separated from the mainland by the Wantsum Channel. The geographical area of Thanet also includes towns outside the Isle. Surrounded by three sides by sea, Thanet has a maritime climate.
The name Thanet comes from the Common Brittonic (Old Brythonic) word Tanet meaning Fire Island or Bright Isle. It was referred to by the Romans after their invasion of the Isle as Tanatus (or TANATVS), and possibly by the Ancient Greeks as Ynys Thanatos meaning Isle of the Dead.
Thanet was a regular point of trade with European nations long before the first Roman invasions in 55 and 54BC. Recent archaeological evidence has suggested Julius Caesar’s famous invasion of Britain took place in Thanet.
Vortigern, King of the Britons, gifted Thanet to the brothers Hengist and Horsa in return for their assistance during a time of war. St Augustine landed in almost the same spot as Julius Caesar had some 650 years prior, bringing Christianity to Britain. Vikings wintered in Thanet, sailing their longboats into the bays, and the King of Kent later gave the land to Princess Domneva for her deer. It has been said that the soil from Thanet will kill snakes.
The main towns in Thanet are Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate, along with the smaller towns of Westgate-on-Sea and Birchington-on-Sea. There are many villages including St Peters, Minster, St Nicholas At Wade, Acol, Cliffsend, Manston, Monkton, and Sarre. To the south of Thanet is Richborough and then Sandwich, Deal and Dover, and to the east Canterbury, Herne Bay and Whitstable.