Take the train to Margate, enjoy its beautiful golden beaches and soak up some culture at the Turner Contemporary.
Trains to Margate
This seaside town is a firm favourite for families, foodies and art lovers, offering the perfect mix of sandy beaches, great independent bars and restaurants and galleries together with adrenalin-fuelled amusements. Buy your train ticket now.
Getting here: There are frequent high speed trains to Margate from London, which take around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Hop on at St Pancras International, London Victoria or Charing Cross.
A+C Studios based in Margate have created a fantastic map highlighting their 101 things to do around the town, for the full key download a PDF copy of the map.
Fun things to do...
Explore a fairytale shell grotto
Be transported into a mysterious maze of underground passages decorated with 4.6 million shells, leading to a mosaic-covered chamber. Like something plucked from a fairytale – no one knows how this incredible grotto was built. Found in 1835 by a young boy and his father while digging a duck pond, the origins of the grotto are rumoured to be many things: an ancient pagan temple? A meeting place for some secret cult? Nobody can explain who built this amazing place or why, but since its discovery visitors from all over the world have been intrigued by the beautiful shell-lined mosaic walls and the tantalising unsolved mystery.
Retro rides with modern thrills
Margate’s Dreamland pleasure park is your classic vintage seaside amusement park that’s been stylishly restored and retro-fitted to give it a new shine. The park is chocked full of rides, slides, playgrounds and fun to delight all ages. It’s even home to the UK’s oldest (and recently refurbished) wooden roller coaster. Dreamland is hosting a series of special events for people of all ages. Visit their website to check out all the rides available and events on.
Sandy toes and salty air
Beaches aren’t just for summer. There is nothing nicer than a blustery walk across the sands, then warming up with a delicious hot chocolate from one of the many cafes nearby. Less than five minutes’ walk from the train station and the first thing you see as you turn left towards the town is Margate’s main beach.
Explore Margate Old Town
Take a wander around the cobbled streets, unearth a hidden treasure in one of the many the vintage shops or browse the quirky independent boutiques. If it is raining, get lost for hours in Scott’s Furniture Mart, housed in the old ice works it is a real emporium of everything.
Be a ‘Culture Vulture’
Margate is packed with vibrant galleries including, Turner Contemporary, one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Situated on the seafront and the same site where JMW Turner stayed when visiting the town. The gallery presents a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions and world class art.
Enjoy a bite
If all the sea air makes you hungry there is plenty of delicious food to be found. Just by Turner Contemporary, stop off at Mannings Seafood stall. This long-established family business serves traditional seafood such as cockles and whelks. Plus, mussels, crab and locally caught oysters – eat them on the steps overlooking the beach.
Use one of these offers and book your tickets in advance for a cheap day out.