15 Best Things To Do In Margate, England

15 Best Things To Do In Margate, England

By will

When it comes to seaside getaways in England, Margate is a hidden gem that should not be overlooked.
As someone who recently had the pleasure of visiting, I can confidently say that this charming town offers a plethora of activities and attractions that will delight any traveler.
From its sandy beaches and captivating Old Town to its vibrant art scene and historic landmarks, there is something for everyone in Margate.

One of the highlights of my trip was exploring Margate’s sandy beaches.
With their soft golden sand and stunning views of the sea, they provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day in the sun.
Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the shore, these beaches offer a little slice of paradise.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at some water sports or activities at Margate Main Sands, where you can go kayaking, paddleboarding, or even take a thrilling ride on a jet ski.
With so much to offer, Margate is truly a destination that should not be missed.

Exploring Margate’s Sandy Beaches

Margate Beach
Photo by David Dixon

If you’re looking for a perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun, you can’t go wrong with Margate’s sandy beaches! These beaches offer the ideal setting for a day of fun and relaxation. Whether you’re a sunbather, a swimmer, or a beachcomber, there’s something for everyone here.

The beaches in Margate are known for their cleanliness and beauty. The sand is soft and inviting, perfect for lounging on a beach towel or building sandcastles. The water is calm and refreshing, making it ideal for a leisurely swim or a splash in the waves. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even try your hand at water sports like paddleboarding or kayaking.

But it’s not just the sand and water that make Margate’s beaches special. The surrounding scenery is breathtaking, with dramatic cliffs and stunning views of the sea. Take a stroll along the promenade and enjoy the fresh sea air, or sit on a bench and watch the world go by.

The beaches are also well-equipped with facilities like cafes, restaurants, and beach huts, so you can grab a bite to eat or rent some beach equipment if needed.

So, whether you’re a beach lover or just looking for a peaceful escape, Margate’s sandy beaches are the perfect destination. With their beauty, cleanliness, and range of activities, you’re sure to have a memorable day by the seaside.

Discovering Margate’s Charming Old Town

Tudor House Margate
Photo by Dave Walsh

Explore Margate’s charming Old Town and immerse yourself in its quaint streets lined with colorful buildings and unique shops, transporting you back in time to a bygone era.

As you stroll through the narrow cobblestone lanes, you’ll be captivated by the rich history and vibrant atmosphere that fills the air.

The Old Town is a treasure trove of independent boutiques, art galleries, and antique stores, offering a delightful shopping experience for all.

From vintage clothing to handmade crafts, there is something for everyone to discover and take home as a memento of their visit to Margate.

One of the highlights of the Old Town is the iconic Turner Contemporary gallery, which showcases contemporary art and exhibits by renowned artists.

The striking architecture of the gallery, with its floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the stunning Margate beach, is a sight to behold.

The Old Town is also home to a variety of charming cafes, where you can stop for a cup of tea and indulge in delicious homemade cakes or freshly baked pastries.

As you wander through the streets, you’ll come across hidden gems like the Shell Grotto, a mysterious underground chamber adorned with intricate shell mosaics.

Exploring Margate’s Old Town is a delightful journey into the past, offering a unique blend of history, culture, and creativity that will leave you enchanted.

Visiting the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery

The Turner Contemporary Art Gallery, Margate
Photo by pam fray

When you step into the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery, you’ll be mesmerized by the breathtaking contemporary masterpieces and the awe-inspiring views of Margate beach. The gallery showcases a diverse range of artwork from both established and emerging artists, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts.

As you wander through the gallery, you’ll encounter thought-provoking installations, striking sculptures, and vibrant paintings that challenge traditional notions of art. The spacious and well-lit exhibition halls provide the perfect backdrop for these captivating works, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the artistic experience.

One of the highlights of visiting the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery is the opportunity to witness the ever-changing exhibitions. The curators constantly refresh the displays, ensuring that there’s always something new and exciting to discover.

Whether you’re interested in contemporary photography, abstract paintings, or multimedia installations, you’re bound to find something that speaks to your artistic sensibilities. Additionally, the gallery offers workshops, talks, and events that provide further insight into the world of contemporary art.

So, whether you’re a seasoned art lover or simply curious about the art scene, a visit to the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery is sure to leave you inspired and captivated by the beauty and creativity on display.

Enjoying Watersports and Activities at Margate Main Sands

Get ready to dive into an adrenaline-filled adventure at Margate Main Sands with a wide range of exhilarating watersports and activities waiting for you!

Whether you’re a seasoned water enthusiast or a beginner looking to try something new, there’s something for everyone at this beautiful beach.

From jet skiing and paddleboarding to windsurfing and kayaking, the options are endless.

Feel the rush as you hop on a jet ski and zoom across the crystal-clear waters, feeling the salty breeze against your face.

Or, if you prefer a more leisurely experience, grab a paddleboard and explore the coastline at your own pace, taking in the stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and golden sand.

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For those seeking an adrenaline rush, windsurfing is the perfect choice. Harness the power of the wind as you glide across the water, feeling the thrill of speed and freedom.

And if you’re looking to get up close and personal with the marine life, kayaking is a fantastic option. Paddle your way through the calm waters, spotting seals and seabirds along the way.

No matter which activity you choose, Margate Main Sands offers an unforgettable experience for water lovers of all ages. So grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and get ready to make some unforgettable memories on the water.

Taking a Stroll along Margate Harbour Arm

As I stroll along Margate Harbour Arm, I’m immediately captivated by the charming blend of colorful boats, bustling cafes, and the gentle lapping of the waves against the harbor walls.

The harbor arm stretches out into the sea, offering a picturesque view of the Margate coastline. It’s a perfect spot to take a leisurely walk and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.

The harbor arm is lined with a variety of cafes and restaurants, each offering a unique dining experience. From cozy seaside cafes serving freshly caught fish and chips to trendy bars with panoramic views, there’s something to suit every taste.

As I pass by the open-air seating areas, I can’t help but be tempted by the delicious aromas wafting through the air.

The colorful boats bobbing in the harbor create a captivating sight. From small fishing vessels to sleek yachts, the harbor is a hub of activity. It’s fascinating to watch the fishermen preparing their boats for a day at sea or the sailors expertly navigating the waters.

The gentle lapping of the waves against the harbor walls adds a soothing soundtrack to the scene, creating a truly serene ambiance.

As I continue my stroll along the harbor arm, I can’t help but feel a sense of tranquility wash over me. The combination of the vibrant atmosphere, delicious food, and picturesque views make it a must-visit spot in Margate.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely walk, a delicious meal, or simply a place to relax and enjoy the beauty of the sea, the Margate Harbour Arm is a delightful destination that won’t disappoint.

Exploring the Shell Grotto, a Unique Underground Wonder

As I continued my exploration of Margate, I couldn’t resist the allure of the next intriguing site on my list: the Shell Grotto. Tucked away underground, this unique wonder is a true hidden gem that promises a fascinating experience like no other.

Descending into the underground passageways, I was immediately captivated by the intricate mosaic of shells that adorned the walls and ceilings. It was like stepping into a secret world where every surface was covered in a mesmerizing display of intricate patterns and designs. The sheer dedication and artistry that went into creating this underground marvel is truly awe-inspiring.

As I ventured deeper into the grotto, I couldn’t help but wonder about its origins. The true purpose and meaning behind this underground wonder remains a mystery, adding to its allure. Some speculate that it was a place of worship, while others believe it could have been a private folly. Regardless of its original purpose, one thing is for certain: the Shell Grotto is a testament to human creativity and imagination.

Exploring the Shell Grotto is a truly unique and immersive experience that is not to be missed when visiting Margate. From the intricate shell mosaics to the air of mystery that surrounds it, this underground wonder is a true testament to the beauty that can be created by human hands.

So, if you find yourself in Margate, be sure to take the time to uncover this hidden gem and let yourself be transported to a world of wonder and enchantment.

Riding the Historic Margate Railway

Venture back in time as you ride the historic Margate Railway, immersing yourself in the charm and nostalgia of a bygone era.

The Margate Railway, also known as the Isle of Thanet Light Railway, was a narrow gauge railway that operated from 1898 to 1965. Today, a section of the railway has been restored, allowing visitors to experience a glimpse into the past.

As you step aboard the vintage carriages, you can’t help but feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. The train chugs along at a leisurely pace, giving you ample time to admire the picturesque coastal scenery that unfolds before your eyes. The rhythmic sound of the wheels on the tracks and the gentle swaying of the carriage evoke a sense of tranquility and relaxation.

As the train makes its way along the route, you’ll pass through quaint villages, rolling countryside, and breathtaking sea views. The conductor provides fascinating commentary, sharing stories of the railway’s history and the communities it once served. You can’t help but be captivated by the tales of a time when the Margate Railway was a vital lifeline, connecting people and places.

Riding the historic Margate Railway is a truly unique experience that allows you to step back in time and appreciate the beauty of this coastal region. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a leisurely ride with a touch of nostalgia, the Margate Railway is a must-visit attraction in Margate, England.

So, hop aboard and let the past come alive as you embark on a journey through time on this enchanting railway.

Trying Local Delicacies at the Margate Market

While exploring Margate, don’t miss the chance to tantalize your taste buds with the delightful local delicacies at the Margate Market. As you wander through the market stalls, the aroma of freshly baked goods and sizzling street food fills the air, enticing you to explore further.

The market offers a wide variety of culinary treats, from traditional British fare to international flavors.

One of the must-try delicacies at the Margate Market is the famous Kentish oysters. Known for their exceptional taste and freshness, these locally sourced oysters are a true seafood lover’s delight. Served on a bed of crushed ice, with a squeeze of zesty lemon, they are a true taste sensation.

Another local specialty that shouldn’t be missed is the Kentish ale and cider. Produced by the region’s artisan brewers, these beverages are crafted with passion and expertise. Whether you prefer a smooth and malty ale or a crisp and refreshing cider, there’s something for every palate.

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The Margate Market also offers a range of international flavors to satisfy your cravings. From fragrant curries to mouthwatering sushi, you can embark on a culinary journey around the world without leaving Margate. Indulge in a spicy Thai curry, with its aromatic blend of herbs and spices, or savor the delicate flavors of sushi rolls made with fresh, locally sourced seafood.

Whatever your preference, the Margate Market is a food lover’s paradise, offering a diverse range of delicious treats to satisfy any craving. So, be sure to take the time to explore this culinary treasure trove and experience the unique flavors of Margate.

Learning about Margate’s Maritime History at the RNLI Margate Lifeboat Station

After indulging in the delicious local delicacies at the Margate Market, I was eager to continue exploring the rich history of this charming seaside town.

My next stop was the RNLI Margate Lifeboat Station, where I could delve into Margate’s maritime past and learn about the brave individuals who risked their lives to save others at sea.

Stepping inside the lifeboat station, I was immediately struck by the sense of dedication and heroism that permeated the air. The knowledgeable staff greeted me warmly and offered to guide me through the exhibits, sharing captivating stories of daring rescues and the evolving technology of lifeboats.

As I listened to their tales, I couldn’t help but feel a deep admiration for the courageous men and women who had served as lifeboat volunteers throughout the years.

The highlight of my visit was undoubtedly the chance to step aboard an actual lifeboat and experience what it must have been like for these brave volunteers. The sheer size and power of the vessel were awe-inspiring, and I couldn’t help but imagine the adrenaline rush that must have coursed through their veins as they battled treacherous waves to save lives. It was a humbling experience that truly brought Margate’s maritime history to life.

As I left the RNLI Margate Lifeboat Station, I couldn’t help but reflect on the incredible resilience and bravery of those who had dedicated their lives to saving others at sea. Margate’s maritime history is a testament to the indomitable spirit of the human will, and visiting the lifeboat station was a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made by these unsung heroes.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about Margate’s past, a visit to the RNLI Margate Lifeboat Station is an absolute must.

Enjoying Family Fun at Dreamland, Margate’s Vintage Amusement Park

Immerse yourself in the nostalgic charm of Dreamland, where you’ll find an array of vintage rides and attractions that will transport you back in time.

As soon as you step into this vintage amusement park, you’ll be greeted by the vibrant colors and retro signage that adorn the entrance.

The park is a treasure trove of classic amusement rides, from the iconic wooden roller coaster to the spinning teacups and the timeless carousel. Each ride is meticulously maintained to preserve its original charm, taking you on a whirlwind journey through the history of amusement parks.

But Dreamland is more than just a collection of vintage rides. It’s a place where the whole family can create lasting memories together.

There are plenty of games and attractions for all ages, ensuring that everyone can find something that sparks their interest. From the thrilling arcade games to the classic sideshows, there’s never a dull moment at Dreamland.

One of the highlights of this vintage amusement park is the live entertainment. You can catch live performances from talented musicians and entertainers, adding an extra layer of excitement to your visit.

And when you need a break from all the excitement, there are various food stalls and eateries where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a refreshing drink.

Dreamland truly captures the essence of a bygone era, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the golden age of amusement parks.

Whether you’re a fan of classic rides or simply want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, Dreamland is the perfect place to spend a day with your loved ones, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Taking a Boat Trip to Explore the Beautiful Thanet Coastline

To fully appreciate the stunning beauty of the Thanet coastline, hop on a boat and embark on a memorable journey of exploration.

The boat trip along the Thanet coastline is an absolute must-do when visiting Margate. As you sail along the crystal-clear waters, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of picturesque cliffs, golden sandy beaches, and charming seaside towns.

The boat trip offers a unique perspective of the stunning coastline, allowing you to see hidden coves and caves that are inaccessible by land. You can also spot a variety of wildlife, including seals, dolphins, and seabirds, making it a perfect adventure for nature enthusiasts.

The knowledgeable guides on board provide interesting commentary about the history and geology of the area, enriching your experience and giving you a deeper understanding of the coastal landscape.

As you cruise along, you’ll have the opportunity to stop at different points of interest, such as the famous White Cliffs of Dover or the quaint fishing village of Broadstairs.

Whether you choose a leisurely sightseeing tour or a thrilling speedboat ride, the boat trip along the Thanet coastline promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

So grab your camera, feel the wind in your hair, and get ready to be mesmerized by the beauty of the Thanet coastline.

Visiting the Margate Museum to Learn about the Town’s Heritage

While exploring the Thanet coastline, don’t miss the chance to delve into the rich heritage of Margate by visiting the Margate Museum. As soon as you step inside, you’ll be transported back in time, as the museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of Margate’s past.

From the early days as a fishing village to its transformation into a popular seaside resort, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the town’s history.

One of the highlights of the museum is the collection of vintage photographs and postcards, which provide a glimpse into what life was like in Margate decades ago. You can admire the Victorian architecture, the bustling promenade, and the iconic Dreamland amusement park, which has been a beloved attraction for generations.

The museum also features interactive displays and audiovisual presentations that bring the past to life, allowing you to immerse yourself in the stories of the people who lived and worked in Margate.

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As you explore the Margate Museum, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the town’s heritage and the role it has played in shaping the local community. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the past, this museum is a must-visit attraction in Margate.

So, take a break from your boat trip along the Thanet coastline and step into the Margate Museum to discover the fascinating stories that make this town so special.

Discovering the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, an Art Deco Gem

Step into the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, an Art Deco gem that will transport you to a bygone era and offer a unique swimming experience.

As you enter the pool area, you’re immediately struck by the stunning architecture and design. The pool itself is surrounded by beautifully curved walls, adorned with intricate tiles that depict scenes from Margate’s rich history. The pool’s Art Deco style is evident in every detail, from the geometric patterns on the floor to the elegant ironwork that lines the pool’s edge.

But the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool isn’t just a feast for the eyes, it also provides a one-of-a-kind swimming experience.

The pool is filled by the ebb and flow of the tide, creating a natural saltwater swimming pool that’s both refreshing and invigorating. As you swim, you can feel the gentle current moving beneath you, connecting you to the power of the sea.

The pool’s size is also impressive, stretching a whopping 50 meters in length, giving swimmers plenty of space to enjoy a leisurely swim or even practice their laps.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique swimming experience, the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool is a must-visit in Margate.

Step back in time as you marvel at the Art Deco architecture and soak in the natural saltwater pool. It’s an experience that will transport you to a different era and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

Exploring the Quirky Vintage Shops and Art Galleries in the Old Town

As I wander through the charming streets of Margate’s Old Town, I stumble upon a treasure trove of quirky vintage shops and art galleries that transport me to a world of nostalgia and creativity.

Each shop and gallery I explore has its own unique charm and character, filled with a delightful mix of vintage clothing, antique furniture, and one-of-a-kind artworks.

One of my favorite stops is the Vintage Emporium, a whimsical store that feels like stepping into a time capsule. From retro clothing to vintage home decor, this shop is a treasure trove of hidden gems. As I browse through racks of colorful dresses and shelves of antique trinkets, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement and wonder. The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to share the stories behind each item, making the experience even more enriching.

Another highlight is the Turner Contemporary, a stunning art gallery with a modern twist. The gallery showcases works by both established and emerging artists, and the ever-changing exhibitions ensure there is always something new to discover. As I walk through the bright and airy space, I’m captivated by the vibrant colors and thought-provoking pieces. The gallery also offers workshops and events, allowing visitors like myself to engage with the art in a more hands-on way.

Exploring the vintage shops and art galleries in Margate’s Old Town is a truly unique experience. With its charming atmosphere and eclectic mix of treasures, this hidden gem is a must-visit for anyone seeking a dose of nostalgia and a glimpse into the vibrant art scene of Margate.

Relaxing and Soaking up the Sun at Botany Bay Beach

After immersing myself in the vintage shops and art galleries of Margate’s Old Town, I find myself yearning for some relaxation and sun-soaking at the breathtaking Botany Bay Beach.

As I make my way down the sandy path towards the beach, I am immediately captivated by the stunning views that unfold before me. The crystal-clear turquoise waters stretch out as far as the eye can see, with the golden sand glistening in the sunlight. It’s a picture-perfect paradise that instantly puts me at ease.

Once I find my spot on the soft sand, I can’t help but marvel at the natural beauty that surrounds me. The towering chalk cliffs provide a dramatic backdrop, while the gentle waves lapping against the shore create a soothing soundtrack. I spread out my towel and settle in, feeling the warm sun on my skin and the cool breeze in my hair. The beach is not overly crowded, allowing for a peaceful and serene atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation.

As I lay back, I can’t help but appreciate the simplicity of this moment. There’s something incredibly therapeutic about being able to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and simply be present in this tranquil setting. Whether I choose to take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, dip my toes in the refreshing water, or simply close my eyes and let the sounds of nature wash over me, Botany Bay Beach offers the perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life.

It’s a true hidden gem in Margate that I’m grateful to have discovered.


In conclusion, my time in Margate, England was nothing short of incredible. From the moment I set foot on the sandy beaches, I was captivated by the beauty and tranquility of this seaside town.

Exploring the charming Old Town was like stepping back in time, with its narrow streets and historic buildings. One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery. The stunning art collection and thought-provoking exhibitions left me inspired and in awe of the talent on display.

And let’s not forget about the exhilarating watersports and activities at Margate Main Sands. Whether it was taking a dip in the crystal-clear waters or trying my hand at paddleboarding, there was never a dull moment.

Taking a leisurely stroll along Margate Harbour Arm was also a delight, with its picturesque views and bustling atmosphere. And for those interested in the town’s rich history, the Margate Museum provided a fascinating glimpse into the past. I was particularly enamored with the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, a true Art Deco gem that was a sight to behold.

The vintage shops and art galleries in the Old Town were a treasure trove of unique finds and hidden gems. I spent hours exploring these quirky establishments, immersing myself in the local art scene and finding one-of-a-kind souvenirs.

And last but not least, Botany Bay Beach was the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. With its golden sands and breathtaking views, it was a slice of paradise.

Overall, Margate, England exceeded all my expectations. It’s a town that offers something for everyone, from art enthusiasts to nature lovers. The combination of its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant arts scene make it a must-visit destination.

So, if you’re looking for a charming seaside getaway, I highly recommend adding Margate to your travel bucket list. You won’t be disappointed.

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About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.