Beside the Original seaside

Delve in to Margate's Seaside History

Start your visit to Margate ‘the original seaside’, at Dreamland Margate, the UK's original pleasure park. Take a ride through the decades with rides such as Gallopers, Helter Skelter, the Big Wheel, Jumping Tower and Grade II* Scenic Railway alongside arcades, side shows, events and roller disco.

Make your way along the seafront to Margate Old Town, which in recent years has seen a revival with individual galleries, niche shops and a range of cafes and restaurants. Walk through the cobbleds streets and discover Margate Museum, located in the old police station. Look out for markets and events taking place during the year.

Stop for lunch at one of the cafes and restaurants, where you can chose from Indian, Thai, pizza, Caribbean, fresh fish stall, ice cream parlour, locally produced meals, enjoy traditional award-winning fish and chips sat on the Piazza, with a view out towards Margate’s golden sands.

Not to be missed is a visit to the mysterious Shell Grotto, which is somewhat of a local enigma. Discover 70ft of winding underground passages, decorated with strange symbos mosaicked in millions of shells. Can you solve the reasoning behind the grotto – is it a meeting place, a pagan temple or something else?

Finish your visit with a cream tea at the Walpole Bay Hotel dating back to 1914. Sit on the veranda watching the world go by or sit in the dining room admiring the napery art work from guests who have visited and stayed at the hotel. Around the hotel, view period displays and exhibits including the working 1927 Otis trellis gated lift.

Extend your visit enjoying a show at the Margate Winter Gardens. Opened in 1911, over the years it has played host too many famous entertainers, big band names and comedians including Laurel and Hardy and The Beatles. As the second oldest in the UK with the oldest stage, the Theatre Royal Margate, grade II* listed offers a busy and varied programme, whilst one of the smallest, in a converted Victorian Coach House, Tom Thumb Theatre includes a cocktail bar