Mini guide to Margate

Jenessa Williams

Travel to a new place and discover all Margate has to offer with our mini-guide

Fancy a classic British getaway? Just 90 minutes from London by train, Margate is fast making its name as a low-key but no less creative alternative to the capital. With beach, independent eateries and quirky boutiques galore, it’s the perfect location for a last minute summer weekend.

 

Stay: The Reading Rooms

The Reading Rooms is no standard bed and breakfast. Situated within a restored, Grade II listed Georgian townhouse, there are only three guest rooms, ensuring a cosy, personalised experience.

The rooms themselves are elegant and freshly decorated, with high beams, period windows and iron roll-top baths. Mealtimes are highly flexible, and cater to vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diets via local produce. Best of all, it’s just a stroll away from Margate’s Old Town, the ideal base for exploring.

Also recommended: Sands Hotel, Walpole Bay Hotel

 

Embrace Your Inner Child: Dreamland

A mid-century mecca, Dreamland has a long history as the UK’s longest surviving amusement park. Completely redesigned following significant investment in 2017, classic rides have been restored in a way that is sympathetic to the history full of nostalgia and colour.

Take a spin around the roller rink, fly through the air on a chair-o-plane or enjoy one of the many independent food stalls—there truly is something for everyone.

Also recommended: Shell Grotto, Margate Beach

 

Learn and discover: Turner Contemporary

Museum Right on the seafront, The Turner Contemporary Museum is a must-visit for anybody who likes to be challenged and inspired by multi-medium art.

With a constantly revolving programme of exhibitions, the summer showings include “Animals And Us” (a look at extinction and evolution), and artwork by Yin Xiuzhen and Duan Jianyu as part of an ongoing celebration of female chinese artists.

Alongside the exhibits, The Turner Contemporary hosts a fantastic hop and café, perfect for picking up stylish souvenirs or taking stock of your visit over a plate of Turner Hash—a hearty blend of local sausage, chorizo, new potatoes and fried egg with a dash of Worchester sauce.

Also recommended: Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum, Lombard Street Gallery

 

Dine out in style: Buoy and Oyster

When by the coast, dine as the locals do! Buoy and Oyster is known in the community as one of the best places to sample the local seafood—Broadstairs crab dressed in lemon mayonnaise, wild halibut with saffron mashed potatoes and spiced monkfish curry are just some of the delights on their current menu.

Dressed with humble, rustic furniture and exposed brick, the holiday atmosphere is palpable, and instantly relaxing to those looking to unwind from city life. Visit for lunch or enjoy dinner with coffee and cocktails right through to 11pm—they’re open Tuesday-Sunday every week.

Also recommended: The Greedy Cow Café, GB Pizza

 

Embrace plantlife at Etc.

Picking just one stellar boutique in Margate is a very difficult decision, but Etc. is well worth the mention as a go-to for the green-fingered.

Selling plants, vases and organic beauty products, it’s a little more sophisticated than the average gardening store, part of the “concept” style of shopping fast becoming popular in the Scandinavian countries.

For those who like to sift for a bargain, there is no shortage of vintage stores. As the name suggests, Paraphenalia is a cornucopia of retro delights you never knew you needed, while Madam Popoff Vintage will answer all of your sartorial needs with reasonable pricing and expert advice from owner Deborah Ellis.

Also recommended: Peony Vintage, Haeckels