Nothing like a sunny September weekend to visit the seaside. The emptiness gives a nostalgic feeling, the temperature is just cold enough to make it bearable and to bring a crisp clear light. Margate and Broadstairs were sought-after destinations in the 50’s, before plane tickets became affordable and people decided to go to warmer and more exotic places. The newly built Turner Contemporary Gallery brings a few week-enders to Margate, but everyone is still hopefully looking for signs of a revival that seems to never come. That makes the place very special and full of charm.

We were lucky to spend some time with locals who gave us good tips to enjoy our visit to this very unique part of the UK.  Thanks to Ann, Rick, Jonathan and Sophie for their warm welcome and for their tips.

How to get to Margate/Broadstairs

From London : Trains from Victoria or St Pancras are only 1.30 minutes (about £18 each way)

From France : Eurostar train to London, change at Ashford international (add an 1 hour to reach Margate)

Local taxis : 0843 333 333 – 0843 601 601 – 0843 291 291 (A local taxi from Margate to Broadstairs costs approximately 8 pounds)

What to see in Margate/Broadstairs

Shell Grotto : A cavern discovered in 1835 and layered with some  4.6 million tiny shells. It is really worth a visit!

Turner Contemporary Gallery : For great contemporary Art Exhibits. On show in September : Tracey Emin. From October : Alex Katz

The Shell Lady : Statue by Ann Carrington on the Margate Harbour Arm

Where to stay in Margate/Broadstairs

Reading Rooms, Margate – Chic boutique hotel in the old town

Walpole Bay Hotel, Margate – Eccentric place with a museum. The place is old, with Victorian charm and clutter that makes you feel you are in an Agatha Christies novel…Fun with kids.

Belvidere Place, B&B, Broadstairs – Charming B&B

Where to eat in Margate/Broadstairs

Turner Contemporary Cafe, Rendez-vous, Margate

Eddie Gilberts,  32 Kings Street, Ramsgate – The restaurant is located above a fish monger; the ideal place for fresh and delicious seafood. You will need to book.

Osteria Posillipo, 14 Albion Street Broadstairs

Festival Cafe  For afternoon tea, 15 Oscar Road, Broadstairs

Morellis, famous 50’s ice cream parlour, 14 Victoria parade, Broadstairs