"dawn clouds to the east and glorious sunsets to the west...the loveliest skies in Europe"
As the first seaside resort in the country, Margate has drawn visitors ever since the 1730s. The 700 year old harbour had been extensively used by the sailing hoys which regularly plied their trade from London. However, a new cargo inundated the town in the 18th century when boatloads of holiday makers came to try out Benjamin Beale's wonderful, new innovation. A local inventor, he patented a bathing machine which allowed for therapeutic and modest bathing. Little, wooden huts were pulled into the sea and the bather could then descend into the water covered by a canvas. The introduction in 1814 of 'Steam Yachts' caused rapid expansion which continued throughout the 19th century. The wooden jetty was constructed in 1824 and the famous iron jetty in 1855 which allowed visitors to disembark from the visiting steam packs. Margate's fate was sealed and before the advent of overseas tourism, Margate remained a popular and affordable destination for Londoners.
Margate now presents a pleasant if anachronistic amusement for a weekend The waterfront is lined with all the typical, British seaside amusements; tacky amusement arcades, Wimpy, gelaterias, cafe's and restaurants. Of course there's no shortage of fish 'n' chips and if you're feeling game you can also sample some local fresh jellied eels from one of the stalls by the beach. This is a place the kids will love. There's a large, kids pool and a colourful playground all on the beautiful, golden beach. If you get tired of the beach, you can divert yourself with a stroll around the Old Town and Market Place.
Margate : Sightseeing and Attractions
Margate's star attraction since the 1920's, Dreamland totters on the brink of extinction. The coastal leisure park offers all the traditional, adrenalin thumping rides from rollercoasters to water rides and bumping cars or 'dodgems'.
Address: Marine Terrace, Margate, Kent
Postcode: CT9 1XL Street Map
Contact: PH +44 (0)1843 299 244
This controversial gallery for the visual arts is set to open in 2010 after a hefty 25 million pound investment. The state of art gallery is a collaboration of Norwegian architects, Snohetta and Stephen Spence. It aims to provide galleries, a creative space, cafe and shop with changing exhibitions from contemporary artists. Beckoning from the far side of the seafront, the Visitor Centre for Turner Contemporary welcomed 38,000 visitors in its first three years. The centre's ethos is 'to embrace JMW Turner's pioneering, challenging approach through a diverse and changing programme of exhibitions, events and activities.' JMW Turner, one of the greatest painters of seascapes was educated in Margate and lived here with his mistress and landlady Sophie Booth between 1827 and 1847. Here, he said, he could paint, 'dawn clouds to the east and glorious sunsets to the west...the loveliest skies in Europe'.
Address: Stone Pier, Margate, Kent
Postcode: CT9 1HB Street Map
Contact: PH 01843 294208
The Shell Grotto provides a classic example of English understatement. While
tourists are forever deluged with the glories of British Royal Palaces, stone
circles, Gothic/Georgian/Victorian architecture, the Shell Grotto is a
mysterious, marvel. First discovered accidentally in 1835, the shell grotto has
only experienced a modest amount of fame... more
Admission: £2.50 Adults £1.50 Children
Address: Grotto Hill, Margate, Kent
Postcode: CT9 2BU Street Map
Contact: PH 01843 220008
Margate's Museum illustrates the history of the town with photos, displays and other memorabilia which focuses on the history of the town from the 18th century to the present. Housed in the former police station, you can visit the police cells on the ground floor which were in use between 1858 and 1959
Admission: £1.00 Adults £0.50 Children
Address: The Old Town Hall, Market Place, Margate, Kent
Postcode: CT9 1ER Street Map
Contact: PH +44(0)1843 231213
|Margate Tourist Information Centre|
For information on accommodation, booking tours and details of Margate Rocks, the annual festival held in the last week of July, celebrating contemporary artists with works ranging from paintings to sculptures, film and live performances.
Address: 12-13 The Parade, Margate, Kent
Postcode: CT10 1QS Street Map
Contact: PH 0870 264 6111
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