“Dowwwwwn to Margate”sung in my best cockney accent
Well, I hope you got the ‘Chas and Dave’ reference, they were singing icons to Londoners in the ‘70s. Gary and I even got to see them at the Margate Winter Gardens a couple of years ago. Poor old Chas is now no longer with us.
Sorry, I digress, let me tell you a little about Margate in southeast England.
If you’re looking for a bit of “bucket and spade” old England, golden sandy beaches and a seaside town on the up, then Margate is for you.
It may seem a little weathered in places but aren’t we all. However, you can clearly see that over the past few years a concerted effort has been made and still being made to bring this slice of Victorian Kent, back to life.
Where is Margate?
Need a car?
Discovering MargateA little bit of history
Margate can trace its roots back to the 13th-century; however, it was when it became a ‘limb port’ to Dover and formed part of the “Cinque Ports” that it became more prominent.
The Cinque Ports are a small collection of harbours along the Kent and Sussex coast and were protected under the Royal Charter for military and trade purposes.
Explore Margate's BeachFeel the sand in your toes
Where to stay in Margate
Dreamland, MargateThe fun of the fair
The Jolly Boys OutingOnly Fools and Horses...
A bit of UK TV gold, which screened as the Christmas Special back in 1989, saw a group from the 'Nag's Head' take a beano down to Margate on a charabanc (Okay, coach to you and me.)
The gang have a great day out in Margate, including a ride on Dreamland's famous wooden rollercoaster, that ends with a bang.
A great reason to visit MargateThe Old Town
If you continue along King Street, you’ll stumble upon the 16th-Century timber-framed Tudor House.
It was built in 1525 it was once home to mariners, Flemish weavers and cordwainers.
This is also open to the public at weekends.
Visit some of Kent’s coastal towns
Margate CoastlineI can hear the harbour calling!
Modern MargateA little bit of culture
Margate's Tourist InformationThe Harbour Arm
We stroll further around watching the boats bobbing in the harbour, and we pass by new “pop-ups” of a cafe, gallery and a microbrewery, no, we’re not allowed to stop for a beer yet.
We head to the end of the Harbour Arm by the lighthouse and come across the shell lady. Curious to find out more about the 9ft bronze statue, we discover that she was created by a local sculptress, Ann Carrington. It was in honour of JMW Turner’s landlady Mrs Booth. There’s certainly a theme here.
How to get to Margate
You can catch a train from London St. Pancras International direct to Margate Station, which takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, on the Highspeed service.
Or alternatively, you can do it all on a road trip, the car hire comparison website Rental Cars covers all budgets and allows you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.
Wandering Margate's SeafrontThe Parade
Across from here is the Old Kent Market, on the site of the old Parade Theatre.
It’s now been lovingly restored and houses independent local stalls
Where have you been?
Margate Winter GardensLet's be entertained
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
Where to eat & drink in MargateOur sustenance
A famous Margate residentA bit of a carry on
Another couple of Margate’s well-known residents during the 1960s was Hattie Jacques, famed for the “Carry-On” films and her English actor husband, John Le Mesurier.
They lived in Trinity Square.
Our video of MargateThe view of this coastal town through our eyes
We have created a little YouTube video of Margate Why not take a look?
Also, why not subscribe to our YouTube channel and get the latest clips as we post them?
Margate CemeteryWell I had to visit
Now, you didn’t think I’d visit Margate and pass up on the chance of visiting another cemetery.
I thought we’d quickly pop in as there’s an area dedicated to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which is always very poignant to wander around. Also, here are graves to those who lost their lives in the Dunkirk evacuation.
A love of MargateI’ll be back!
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I LOVE a dollop of bucket and spade England, especially when you throw in a side of Victorian history. And of course, Turner was a Margate man, I loved all those scenes from the film. I will have to pop by and say hello to Mrs Booth one day. #farwayflies
It does feel very traditional and the town is certainly making an effort to revamp its image. Have a great time when you do visit.
I really want to visit Margate! You’ve managed to get some lovely blue sky shots, it looks lovely in the sunshine. So much quintessential Englishness on display! #FarawayFiles
Yes, it was a fantastic day when we visited, it certainly hasn’t lost its charm.
I really want to visit the Tate there and I’m a little obsessed with the British seaside too. You had another amazing day for your trip too, didn’t you? You’ve certainly made me think about a trip to the coast. Thanks for sharing on #farawayfiles
Yes it was a fantastic day, there are some really lovely towns around the Kent coastline and they’ve all got something a little bit different.
Pleased to see this write up of my old home town where i was born and educated and trained in the electrical industry with a local margate firm still going today E saunders back in 1963. Left years ago through my work, but revisited visiting family many times and got quite depressed to see margate so derelict at one time. But now. Wow factor has struck. Turner contemporary is responsible for Margates success. It turned margate into a Niche area for the arts which blend in nicely with its old vicorian architecture. Margate is alive, rebirth of my past. My late Father was chief electrician at the winter Gardens theatre, so as a child I remember meeting several of the old iconic characters all sadly gone. Danny laroue to Kenny lynch and lonny donegan. Certainly good times. Margate now the Hotspot of the south east. Thanks to all those who have invested in the area and may it continue as more silk to be done. Good to see far fewer empty shots.
Thanks for your comments, Kenneth. I think you’re right about the Turner Contemporary, it has certainly given Margate a new lease of life. It’s just wonderful to see investment into an area with so much to offer, and it’s sometimes the simpler things, like regenerating the harbour arm into a social location.
It’s great to hear your memories, particularly meeting the old greats at the Winter Gardens. We are back there in a few weeks to see Dr John Cooper Clarke.
We visited Folkestone recently, and that has also been transformed. The old Harbour Station, viaduct and harbour arm are incredible. They also have the UK’s largest urban contemporary art exhibition on display all through the town. Certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.
We went to Margate many many years ago now, before the current sprucing up, and it really was a particularly English seaside experience, complete with highly quirky B&B owner. Good times, good times. I’d really like to go back because it does look as though there’s been some interesting developments there, especially the Tate.
It’s great having theses memories, nowhere is perfect and its encouraging to see the improvement. I’ll bet you’ll notice some differences, it’s still a fun town though.
Loved this article on Margate. I lived at Fort Mansions, a block of flats along from the Winter Gardens from around 1991. I lived in Margate for around 20 odd years. Lots of great memories. The town gets in your blood.
Thanks very much, you must have seen a few changes over the years. We saw Chas & Dave at the Winter Gardens, that was great fun.
It’s strange at times living in a seaside town, I used to live in Shanklin on the Isle of Wight, and the soul of the town changes so much through the seasons. I loved it though, I imagine it was similar to living in Margate.
Pre-Covid I noticed that there were some great independent eateries popping up, I’ll have to go back and check a few out.