Last weekend the fella and I needed a break from the relentlessly busy London town, so after a little bit of a snoop online, we decided to see what the seaside town of Margate had to offer us. Neither of us had been before and we thought it’d be a great chance to visit somewhere new, and it’s only a county away!
We were lucky to capture the sunshine and enjoyed the delights of the old town and walks along the beach.
We visited the wonderfully modern Turner Contemporary museum on the seafront as we had heard great things about it from locals (you can read my little review here). Then we found a fantastically quaint pub in the harbour, with traditional striped deck chairs and fabulous views (see the photo above!). We watched fishermen clean their boats and examine the day’s catches and the seagulls cheekily stealing small children’s fish and chips.
The Old town is definitely the gem of Margate. Comprised of just a few streets in the middle of town, the ‘old town’ is full of small vintage shops, rustic pubs and tiny galleries – three of my favourite things! Plenty of places to get loved ones margate themed presents, and when you’re tired of shopping there are many places to try out local ales and hearty British cuisine.
Slightly out of the old town is the famous Shell Grotto, the mysterious set of underground passages lined with approximately 4.6 million shells. Strangely, nobody is sure who built it and for what purpose – a secret cult or perhaps some sort of temple? Perhaps we will never know, however I do know that the strange shaped designs and shell mosaics are absolutely amazing, and the mystery adds a little spooky element to the whole experience too.
On our way back to our b&b was the abandoned seafront Lido, a key feature of the Margate skyline (if you could say Margate had a skyline!). Like much of Margate, it no longer serves its original purpose, and it reminds people of what Margate once was. It’s a shame it’s no longer open, as, overlooking the sea, it would be a fab summer spot.
The only downside of our trip was that our b&b was slightly too far away from the old town and the best of Margate’s attractions. If we were to go again, or if I were recommending Margate to someone, I would definitely book closer to all of Margate old town’s hidden gems.