JUN 30,2013 - JUN 30,2013 (1 DAYS)
Margate is not "high class" or poshy city. It relys upon its past glamour, nostalgia and seaside amusements. It is still called "Merry Margate". I visited the town at a sunny weekend day. The town was packed with day-trippers after long winter months and many years of decline...
The opening of the Turner Contemporary gallery in 2011 gave Margate a big wake - followed by openings of many retro shops and small galleries. I found Margate fueld with new energy, atristic buzz, clean beaches and roads and big expectations.
Weather: Come only in a sunny day.
Duration: One day is enough...
Start & End: Margate train station. 5 minutes walk to the beach. 7-8 minutes walk to the OLd Town. 12 minutes walk to the Turner Museum.
Margate's Marine Terrace is a shabby one with rough charm. The seafront is very picturesque from the hill opposite the train station (Buenos Aires Rd.), from the Harbour Arm evoking the city's 19th-century heyday. Walking from the train station to the Turner Gallery - the sea is on your left and the Old Town on your right. You pass the famous Flmingo bar, Margate's iconic Dreamland (a past theme park which is under refurbishment and reconstruction which will last for years). It is currently restored to be a site of seaside entertainment.
On your left the golden Margate Sands beach: a family-friendly delight. Looks more as an amusement park.
Behind the Turner Gallerry, along the beach starts a steep climb from the main town to a the suburb of Cliftonville with its famous historic Walpole Bay hotel, sandy Walpole Beach and bandstand (live music every Sunday) and Farmers Market (every last Sunday in month) - all during the summer. Far more remote are the Botany Bay and Minnis Bays beaches.
The Harbour Arm:
Margate's stone pier stands opposite the Old Town and Turner Gallery. It is lined with small cafe's, bars, studios and galleries (past old coal stores). In its end stands the famous lighthouse and the bronze statue "Shell Lady" - a homage to Mrs. Booth Turner's lover and landlady.
The Old Town:
Margate reputation and beauty relies upon its compact old town as well: retro shops, small sunny squares, narrow alleys, studios, galleries, flowers, packed cafe's and good restaurants. The undisputed hub here is the small square - Market Place:
Turner Contemporary Gallery:
A white house on the east side of the harbour. It is a modern art gallery. No pictures of Turner ! Fantastic vies of the sea, pier and harbour from its enormous, light-flooded windows. Eclectic place with interesting changing exhibitions and relaxing atmosphere. Free admission. Do not miss !
Views of the harbour from Turner Galley's windows:
The Shell Grotto:
A private attraction with a small gigt-shop run by the Newlove family sons. Reached by a short walk of 10 minutes from the Old Town. It is an extraordinary experience which lasts for no more than 5-15 minutes. Hallways and chambres walls covered with millions of shells. Admission: 3 GBP. Daily 10.00 -16.00. Fabolous gift shop.
Bentley's Lounge & Grill:
13-15 High Street. Old Town. A few steps from Market Place. A new, clean restaurant (opened start of 2013). Bentley's food is excellent. The decor and atmosphere are respectful. The staff are polite and friendly and smartly dressed. The prices are great too. Generous portions. You get attention from the minute you step in until the minute you leave.