Dreamland Margate
Dreamland Margate

Culture Lovers’ Fix

Take your Turner Prize visit up a notch - immerse yourself in one of the UK’s most burgeoning creative scenes, finding art in unexpected places across the Isle of Thanet. From timeless inspiration to genre-defying contemporary practice, the creative connections across Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate will thrill and surprise in equal measure, making for an incomparable day, 48 hours or mini break

Debate and admire the work of the Turner Prize 2019 nominees at Turner Contemporary, this year’s host and the Isle’s iconic contemporary art gallery. It’s the first time that the prize, hosted outside of London, has a direct connection to JMW Turner, undoubtedly one of Britain’s greatest artists and the namesake for the gallery and prize.

Stand on the site where Turner found the inspiration for some of his most famous works (and fell in love with his landlady Mrs Booth!).

Patrick Heron & Akram Zaatari. Private View. Photography by Manu Palomeque

Patrick Heron & Akram Zaatari. Private View. Photography by Manu Palomeque.

Connect with your own creativity at the gallery’s many workshops and activities, then witness the town’s artistic verve in full force as it comes alive with the Turner Prize-inspired Margate NOW festival, full of electrifying events and exhibitions by local artists and makers and guest curated by actor and art collector Russell Tovey (daily from 28 September to 13 October 2019 then weekends to 12 January 2020)

Feel the vibrancy of the London art scene beside the seaside - venture to the newly opened Carl Freedman gallery in the town centre’s Union Crescent (and spot Tracey Emin’s studio in progress next door). Stumble across artist studio collectives such as Resort, Bon Volks, and Marine Studios to see contemporary art in the making. Let the many independent galleries and studios in Margate Old Town, Broadstairs and Ramsgate tempt you to start your own art collection, meeting artists and makers as you browse.

Limbo

Saunter to Cliftonville’s Northdown Road, Margate’s bustling creative and shopping area with artists’ studios, gallery spaces and independent shops rich in character. Every day something new appears, and it’s here that you’ll truly scratch the surface of the town’s artistic community – the perfect complement to your Turner Prize exhibition visit.

Turn(er) your cultural adventure into a culinary delight. Whether it’s brunch with mates in an old bus, a seafood dinner overlooking spectacular golden sands, fish and chips, street food or a micropub tour – Thanet has a feast of places to sup and devour local award-winning food and drink including allergen-friendly, veggie and vegan options

Fish and Chips on Margate Steps

Fish and Chips on Margate Steps

Add some drama with a performance at England’s second oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal, the country’s smallest - the Tom Thumb, or where the Beatles have played and entertainment abounds - Margate Winter Gardens. Fill your ears with soulful seaside sounds, party the night away and discover the Isle’s vibrant music scene at Ramsgate Music Hall, Elsewhere Margate, Dreamland, and The Libertines’ newly opened Albion Rooms The Waste Land bar.

Gryff Rhys at Ramsgate Music Hall. Credit Dik Ng

Banish that morning after feeling with a brisk walk or cycle on the Viking Coastal Trail to Broadstairs and Ramsgate, travelling back in time as you discover why the Isle has inspired artists, writers and architects for centuries. Follow Charles Dickens’ steps in Broadstairs, and the Pugin Town Trail for gloriously Gothic architecture at The Grange and St Augustine’s Church in Ramsgate, taking one of the many self-guided or guided walks to enhance your heritage discovery. 

Then return to Margate via the Turner and Dickens walk to capture a famous Turner sunset – settle on the seafront steps to watch hues dance across the sea and sky – it’s the picture-perfect moment to make your followers Insta-ntly envious.

All this and more, from just 75 minutes away from London by Southeastern’s High Speed train