The Shell Grotto

Discovered in 1835, Margate's Shell Grotto is an astonishing find; 21 metres of winding passages decorated with 4.6 million shells. The walls are covered in images of gods and goddesses, trees of life and patterns of whelks, mussels and oysters. Some think it is an ancient Pagan grotto, others that it is simply an ornate Regency folly; but with no definitive explanation or history, the Shell Grotto is Kent's greatest mystery.

Opening Times

Open daily 10am to 5pm, from 19 March to 30 October 2016.
Open weekends only in Winter, 11am to 4pm, plus daily during February Half Term, 11am to 4pm.


  • Groups welcome
  • Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs and Registered Assistance Dogs welcome
  • Gift shop
  • Restaurant / Cafe / Tea shop
  • Pets welcome
  • Credit cards accepted (not American Express)