Margate on the North coast of Kent is the perfect budget summer getaway from London. It’s an ambling 1 hr 45 minute train journey from Victoria through the suburbs and along the coast. Margate doesn’t have the best reputation; everyone in our carriage decided they needed to comment on what a bad decision we were making.
They were wrong; Margate is amazing.
Margate’s Old Town is vintage shop after vintage shop. The prices are a fraction of London’s, the quality of the stock is top notch, and the interiors are exquisitely thematic.
Margate’s Rough Trade is a unique and large store acting as a collaborative trading space for independent designers and artists. Featuring vintage clothing, hand made jewellery and it’s own hair salon, this is a must visit stop when shopping in the Old Town
We spent the weekend stuffing our faces. I’d recommend Fort’s Cafe for massive cooked breakfasts in probably the most hipster setting in the County, while the Cupcake Cafe does a lovely cream tea, especially if you want to dine in floor to ceiling Cath Kidston style kitsch.
It;s origins are unknown, but somehow a magical grotto was carved underground and decorated with over 4 million shells in swirling patterns, and it’s got only a £3.50 entrance fee.
We were in Margate for two days and during that time there were two festivals and a carnival. The council have gone full force to create an thriving atmosphere all summer long, so be sure to check what’s going on to make the most of your trip.
Of course there is. A lovely long golden bay of sand and sea. Not the best in the world, but it does everything it needs to! This is was very welcome when escaping from the endless bustle of London. Nearby Broadstairs is meant to be a great choice if sand based activites are your top priority.
With the infamous Dreamland due to reopen in the next few years as a Heritage focused theme park featuring vintage rides, it won’t be long until Margate is heavy with tourists. It was already given 7th place on Rough Guide’s Must Visit Destinations of 2013, and it won’t be long until every publication is singing it’s praises.