A busy holiday resort located on the Isle of Thanet. Margate has been a popular destination for day-trippers since Victorian times, who initially came by steamboat, later by train and now by car. The resort's long pier (original built as a landing point for London steamers) was closed long ago due to storm damage.

Margate Beach © Oast House Archive (CC2)

Margate is famous for the invention of the bathing machine, developed here in the 18th-c by a local Quaker named Benjamin Beale. Developed predominantly a pleasure resort, the town is now renowned as the Blackpool of the South.

Catering for more than two million visitors annually, the seafront is blessed with a vast expanse of golden sands, beautiful gardens, donkey rides, fair rides and amusement arcades. All the traditional seaside fun and entertainment can be enjoyed here, including a varied range of water sports, bowling, golf and dancing in the ballroom.

Margate caters for a wide range of tastes. There is a good selection of bars, cafes and restaurants, including traditional seafood stalls selling cockles, mussels, whelks and oysters.

The town centre boasts all the amenities for the holidaymaker, only a few minutes bus ride from the seafront. A great place to visit is the cultural quarter in the lovely Old Town area, where you can stroll along cobbled streets and squares and peruse its many independent shops and art galleries. The old Harbour Arm is another a good destination for shops, cafes and galleries.

The town has many fine Regency and Victorian buildings. Two historic premises include Salmestone Grange and the Tudor House, in King Street, which contains the town's museum. The Grange has a surviving 13th-c monks' kitchen, refectory and dormitory.

Standing on Fort Hill (formerly the site of a gun battery) the Winter Gardens has seating for 2,000. The stunning Turner Contemporary Gallery on the seafront is a celebration of the area's artistic heritage. Not to be missed are Margate Caves, a series of smugglers' caves and a grotto inlaid with shells, dating back over 2,000 years.

A pleasant walk along the cliff-tops looks down onto the seafront with excellent views of the harbour and the coastline. Cliftonville, just east from Margate, offers a slightly quieter character.

Map of Margate


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