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Creative Coast Inspiration

The South East coast is full of cultural adventures, all easy to reach via our train services with many just a short walk from the train station. 

England’s Creative Coast is the perfect escape for mind, body and soul, with world-class art, galleries, outdoor artworks, theatre, music and a stunning scenic coastline, click the video below to be inspired.

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The Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries, situated on Margate seafront overlooking the North Sea, where the painter JMW Turner stayed when visiting the town in the 1800s. The gallery celebrates Turner’s spirit with an exciting programme of temporary exhibitions showcasing contemporary and historic artworks. From leading contemporary artists such as Grayson Perry, Antony Gormley, Jeremy Deller, Tracey Emin, Yinka Shonibare, Paula Rego, Phyllida Barlow, Ai Weiwei to masters including Leonardo da Vinci, Auguste Rodin, William Blake and John Constable.

Spend time on Margate’s golden beaches with winter walks or swimming when the weather is warmer, then venture to the Old Town where you’ll find vintage shops, cafes, restaurants and historic buildings.Take a stroll along the seafront to Cliftonville, a bustling creative area full of artists’ studios, gallery spaces and independent shops.

Frequent high speed trains from London take around 1 hour and 30 minutes from St Pancras International, with other services from London Victoria or Charing Cross.

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Folkestone 1

Folkestone’s Creative Quarter

Uncover why artists have flocked to Folkestone for centuries to create, make and experiment. Nestled on the southern edge of the North Downs, on the English Channel in a valley between two cliffs, this vibrant creative coastal town has an abundance of art and events to discover. From the permanent public art collection of outdoor Artworks by internationally acclaimed visual artists including Mark Wallinger, Cornelia Parker, Richard Wilson, to the Creative Quarter where historic buildings have been transformed into new spaces with independent shops, cafes, art businesses and galleries.

The Quarterhouse showcases the best in contemporary performance, theatre, dance and music all year round, and in 2020 the town turns into a living canvas, as artists from across the world create artworks for Folkestone Triennial – one of the UK’s biggest outdoor visual arts exhibitions.

Folkestone Central and Folkestone West stations are just under 1 hour 50 minutes away from London Cannon Street. Or you can take our high speed services to St Pancras International in just under an hour.

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hastings contemporary

Hastings Contemporary

Hastings Contemporary, formerly the Jerwood Gallery champions modern and contemporary art in an international context through an ambitious expanded programme and explores all forms of modern and contemporary art, as well as continuing to champion the medium of painting, for which it has built a strong reputation.
The building was designed by HAT Projects, and completed in 2012. The gallery presents a broad range of works by historically important and internationally renowned artists, emerging practitioners, as well as exploring the rich cultural history of artists from the South East.

Wander through the passageways of Hastings’ Old Town, where you’ll find artists’ studios, galleries, antiques and charming half-timber houses at every turn, explore bohemian St Leonards just along the sea front, and breathe in the sea air with a wander along the pier. Grab a bike and continue your cultural adventure by visiting De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea just a 30-minute ride away. 

Our trains run from from Charing Cross or Victoria to Hastings in just two hours.

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Whitstable Biennale

This quaint Kent seaside town has lots to offer its visitors, from fresh seafood and oysters to pastel-painted houses and beautiful seaside walks.
The towns busy Harbour Street boasts a wealth of independent shops, boutiques and restaurants. If you a searching for a true delicacy of the sea, The Royal Native Oyster Stores is a seafood restaurant offering the freshest fish and delicious Whitstable oysters. There’s also a thriving arts scene and every two years, Whitstable Biennale transforms the town into a festival of performance, film and sound. Emerging and established artists present thrilling, new site-specific works and major commissions, woven into the fabric of the town itself.
High speed trains from St Pancras International to Whitstable takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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Image Credits in order of appearance
Image: Another Time XXI, 2013 © Anthony Gormley. On Fulsham Rock on the Margate foreshore. Photogrpahy by Thierry Bol.
Image: Cornelia Parker, The Folkestone Mermaid 2011. Image courtesy of The Creative Foundation
Image:  © Jerwood Gallery