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Delve in to Margate's seaside history and learn about the original seaside

Delve into Margate's Seaside History

Start your visit to Margate - the 'Original Seaside’ - at Dreamland, the UK's original pleasure park. Take a ride through the decades on the Gallopers, Big Wheel, and Grade II* Scenic Railway alongside a dazzling array of arcades, side shows, events, eateries, and a Roller Disco.

Make your way along the seafront to Margate Old Town, which in recent years has come alive with independent galleries, niche shops and a range of cafes and restaurants. Walk through the cobbled streets and discover Margate Museum, located in the old police station, and choc-full of local history and tales. 

Stop for lunch at one of the many cafes and small restaurants, eat traditional seaside-style at the fresh seafood stall, or enjoy fish & chips straight on the beach or seafront. There's also a choice of shops and delis where you can make up your own picnic to eat with the view of your choice!

Take a stroll up to Cliftonville to discover the not-to-be-missed local enigma that is the Shell Grotto, uncovered in 1835. Follow 70ft of winding underground passages and chambers decorated with millions of shells. Can you unravel the mysterious patterns and symbols? Was it designed as a secret meeting place, a pagan temple, or something else?

If mystery's your thing, why not take a wander through a range of collectibles, antiques, and bric-a-brac at Scott's just up the road. You never know just what you might find! Continue the theme at Margate's latest re-discovery - Margate Caves. Deep underground, find a cave system carved out of an 18th century chalk mine, adorned with paintings and graffiti left behind by the people who worked and played there!

Take a break in fine Edwardian style with a cream tea at the Walpole Bay Hotel, which dates back to 1914. Enjoy veranda views or visit the napery art in the dining room - donated by previous hotel guests. Travel in the working 1927 Otis trellis-gated lift to see period displays and exhibits around the Hotel, giving a tantalising glimpse into Margate's past.

Promenade along the Cliftonville seafront or enjoy the beach at Walpole Bay, which has its own Tidal Pool for swimming once the sea retreats too far for a lazy paddle. Carry on to Botany Bay for spectacular views and bracing sea air!

Get cosy at one of the UK's smallest venues, Cliftonville's Tom Thumb Theatre, which sits in a clifftop Victorian Coach House, and even has it's own cocktail bar. Or stroll back down to the Old Town to find snug seaside pubs, lively modern bars, or some live entertainment.

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Contact Us
Visitor Information Centre
The Droit House
Stone Pier
Kent CT9 1JD
Te: 01843 577577
Official website of Visit Thanet, Thanet District Council.