10 Best Things to do in Margate (Kent, England)

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Written By Emma Parker

Emma Parker essays on her experiences in the United States and other global experiences, alongside other pursuits related to traveling and teaching in the World.

Margate has been a popular seaside resort for over 250 years in the Thanet District. The town can be described as both traditional and modern, with its signature English traits in every corner. From sandy beaches to amusement arcades or theatres that play bingo halls, there isn’t much this little Kent city doesn’t offer.

Margate is a town in England that was once known for its fishing industry, but today it’s most commonly associated with Tracey Emin and JMWT. The two lived here while growing up together; they became famous artists who mainly worked within their own country’s borders – until Turner Contemporary returned during his lifetime.

Things to do in Margate

If you’re looking into what might be worth seeing around this area, I’ve got some ideas on the top attractions below. Let’s explore 10 of the Best Things to do in Margate.

10 Best Things to do In Margate

Margate Main Sands

Margate Main Sands is a perfect place for people looking for a traditional English seaside experience. This Blue Flag-winning Margate beach is ideal for basking in the sun, taking a dip in the North Sea, or enjoying a lovely walk along the shore.

Margate Main Sands
Source: Thanet

When the tide is out, there’s plenty of room to set up your deck chair or sun lounger and relax.

There are many things to keep you entertained, so I don’t find any reason for not adding Margate Main Sands to my list of the Best Things to do in Margate.

Old Kent Market

The Old Kent Market is one of the newest indoor markets in Margate. The market is located inside a grand old cinema building from 1911. The Parade Cinema’s former auditorium has raised galleries and a soaring vaulted ceiling.

Old Kent Market in Margate
Source: Trip Advisor

After becoming a bingo hall and then a snooker club, the Old Kent Market has found a new lease of life as a twee shopping emporium.

The Old Kent Market also offers various goods, including fresh produce, handmade crafts, and vintage items. It is the place I loved visiting.

Turner Contemporary Art Gallery

The Turner Contemporary Art Gallery is one of Margate’s most popular tourist attractions. The gallery was designed by world-renowned architect David Chipperfield and opened in 2011.

Turner Contemporary Art Gallery
Source: Community21

The gallery has dedicated the work of British artist J.M.W. Turner, who stayed in a boarding house on the site of the gallery during his visits to Margate.

The Turner Contemporary gallery also features works by other contemporary artists, including Tracey Emin, who grew up in Margate.

Visitors can enjoy a variety of exhibitions and events at the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery throughout the year. Again, one of the best independent art galleries to visit in Margate.

Margate Winter Gardens

The Margate Winter Gardens is a historic theatre and music venue in the seaside town of Margate, Kent. The Grade II listed building opened in 1911 and has been entertaining visitors to the city ever since.

Live Concert in Margate Winter Gardens
Source: Kent Online

Today, the Winter Garden is still a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a variety of shows, events, and concerts throughout the year.

It is the best place for people looking for a family-friendly show or a night out with friends. A worth-adding place to your list when you visit Margate.

We have added a detailed guide on this place. You will love to check it out—a Full One Day Trip to Margate Winter Garden.

Margate Old Town

Margate Old Town is the perfect place to explore if you’re looking for something different to do during your visit to Margate. You will find many things that keep you busy with its abundance of independent shops, cafes, galleries, and inns in the old town.

People sitting in Margate Old Town
Source: Kent Live

And, because it’s set against the Margate main sands, you can enjoy stunning sea views.

I can believe and see why this place has been added to the UK’s Trendiest Quarters, and all I can say is the old town is the best place I have ever visited during my time in the United Kingdom.

Related: Hitchin: 20 Things to see and do in Hitchin, England

Westbrook Bay

Westbrook Bay is a great place to enjoy Margate Beach. There are plenty of things to do, including swimming, sunbathing, and strolling along the promenade. You can also enjoy the views from the nearby cliff top.

Westbrook Bay
Source: Visit Thanet

In summer, there are ice cream stands along the promenade so that you can enjoy a refreshing treat after a day in the sun on overlooking Westbrook bay.

However, do not forget to check upon the tide times before visiting.

Shell Grotto

The Shell Grotto is a 30-meter subterranean tunnel, dome, and rectangular “altar chamber” hewn from a chalk hill and decorated with a mosaic of roughly 4.6 million shells.

Shell Grotto
Source: Shell Grotto

It is one of the most mysterious places in Margate and still puzzles historians and archaeologists today.

People interested in knowing about the historian’s puzzles can mark Shell Grotto on our list of Best Things to do in Margate.

Related: A Walk from Margate to Broadstairs (Viking Coast Trail)

Margate Harbour Arm

Looking for things to do in Margate? The Margate Harbour Arm #7 place on our list. Once a fishing hub, the Margate Harbour Arm is home to lighthouse bars, cafes, pubs, and artists’ studios.

Margate Harbour Arm
Source: Flickr

There’s also a lively calendar of exhibitions at the Harbour Arm Gallery. And don’t forget to check out the bronze statue of a “Shell Lady” at the end of the arm.

This sculpture is a scaled-up version of the many shell figurines sold in Margate souvenir shops. The statue is a beautiful tribute to Margate’s history and place as a seaside resort town.

Margate Museum

Margate Museum is a great place to learn about Margate town’s history as a tourist resort. You can explore exhibits on shipwrecks, paddle steamers, and bathing machines. Plus, you can check out the former police station and magistrates court.

Margate Museum
Source: Visit Margate

The museum is located in the Georgian Old Town Hall, Margate Kent which also housed the magistrate’s court and police station at one time.

There is an exhibition on bathing machines, which Victorian tourists used to bathe in modesty and a look around the former police station.

The museum is maintained by enthusiastic volunteers and is worth visiting if you’re in Margate.

Dreamland Margate

Dreamland Margate is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kent. The theme park has a rich history, dating back to the 1880s when the first amusement rides were introduced to the area.

Dreamland Margate
Source: The Guardian

The Scenic Railway, which is still in operation today, is one of the most iconic and popular attractions in Dreamland.

Dreamland has undergone a significant transformation in recent years, with millions of pounds pumped into the park to create a world-class attraction.

Today, Dreamland Margate is home to a wide range of rides and attractions, making it the perfect place for a fun day out. That is why it got listed in our best things to do in Margate.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for things to do in Margate, Kent, you’ll be spoilt for choice. From exploring the Shell Grotto to enjoying the views from Margate Harbour Arm, multiple options exist.

So why not add Margate to your list of places to visit in England? Any comments on this place are welcome.

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