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5 things to do in Margate

Steve the Seagull

 

If you’ve followed me on Instagram or Twitter (or have seen my latest review of GB Pizza Co) you probably haven’t been able to hide from the fact that I went to Margate last weekend and that I was very excited about it. I’ve wanted to go there for a long time now, and as my summer holidays this year have been pushed to August, I knew I needed to get some sea air before that.

 

Margate is located in the South East Coast of England, close to other popular seaside destinations such as Whitstable and Broadstairs (I actually think it could be fun to combine all of these for a longer weekend trip!). It takes about two hours to get there from London, and as the train station there is very central, you won’t have too far to walk to any of the main attractions either.

 

Even though we only spent about 24 hours in Margate, we managed to squeeze in quite a lot. I’ve compiled a little list of my favourite things below – hopefully it’ll be helpful if you’re planning a trip to the seaside too!

The obvious: Enjoy the sea air

 

Things to do in Margate: SeasideThings to do in Margate: Seaside Things to do in Margate: Seaside

 

I know it’s so obvious, but I just couldn’t leave it off the list. If you could see all the pictures I took in Margate, you would realise that most of them were of the sea… I grew up in Helsinki, which is surrounded by the sea in most directions, and I miss it constantly when I’m in London. That’s why I always get so ridiculously happy when I get to do a little trip to the coast!

 

The shoreline in Margate is long, but it is pretty busy during the daytime. We found a bay just behind the Turner Museum that was completely empty (probably because we had to cross a little puddle to get there…) and it was nice to almost get this little bit of the beach to ourselves. However, if you don’t want to cross puddles to get a bit of peace and quiet (understandable), my tip would be to wake up early and go to the main beach then – it was much emptier at around 10am! 

 

The fun: Visit Dreamland

 

Things to do in Margate: DreamlandThings to do in Margate: Dreamland Things to do in Margate: Dreamland  Things to do in Margate: Dreamland  Things to do in Margate: Dreamland

 

If I’m not completely mistaken, I believe the renovation of the Dreamland amusement park is one of the biggest reasons for the recent popularity of Margate. It’s free to get in and it’s such a fun place to have a little stroll and take in all the retro signs and colourful rides. There’s also quite a few food stalls selling things like soft ice cream, tacos and cotton candy, as well as an old fashioned diner selling American food. I didn’t go for any of the rides or other activities, but it was still really fun to walk around and take in the atmosphere, so I would definitely recommend popping in.

 

The shops: Vintage & Antique

 

Things to do in Margate: Shopping

Things to do in Margate: Shopping

 

Margate has a plethora of independent shops to choose from, and most of them sell second hand or vintage clothes and antique furniture too. We visited quite a few (my friend actually even bought a lovely wooden coffee table for a very reasonable price from one of them!), but there was still so many left to explore. The shops are a lot cheaper than similar ones in London, so if you’re into retro clothes or furniture, they’re well worth a rummage through.

 

The food: Eat Thai in a traditional pub

 

Things to do in Margate: Eating out

 

I have a confession to make: we actually went here twice during a 24-hour trip – it was that good!

 

Bow’s Kitchen is a super cosy Thai restaurant at the top of a traditional English pub called the Wig & Pen. Now, I don’t claim to be an expert in Thai food, but the cooking here seemed very authentic and the menu had quite a few different options too, not just your usual green and red curries (and this is coming from someone who really, really loves green curry). 

 

I tried something I’d never tried before – a spicy noodle dish (I wish I remembered what it was called!) with peppers, sweet corn and lots of other veggies. And – my favourite bit – halloumi! It was so different from anything I’ve had before (again, I’m usually the boring one who has the same dish – the green curry – every single time…) and I absolutely loved it! I can’t wait to go back (for the third time) one day!

 

The dessert: Cupcakes!

 

Things to do in Margate: DessertThings to do in Margate: Dessert Things to do in Margate: Dessert  Things to do in Margate: Dessert

 

Margate has quite a few lovely looking cafes and places to get dessert in (still gutted I didn’t get a hot donut from one of the stalls by the beach!), but the one we tried has probably the cutest decor and crockery of them all.

 

The Curious Cupcake Cafe has a vintage look and serves cupcakes (of course) and other sweet treats from lovely mismatched vintage plates and cups. From the cupcakes we tried the lemon one (SO good!) and the red velvet one (loved the frosting but the actual cupcake was slightly dry), and my friend also had the scones with butter and jam (verdict: good with jam but weird with butter – would’ve preferred clotted cream!). Overall our experience was a positive one – the atmosphere was lovely, the decor right up my street and the sweet treats (mostly) yummy. 

 

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10 comments so far.
  • You look like you had the best weekend, I am so jealous of all that delicious food you tried! I really need to head to Margate on my next visit to Kent especially now they have re-vamped Dreamland.

    As always, photos are gorgeous! xx

    Lynsey || One More Slice

    • Laura Torninoja

      Thank you so much Lynsey! The food was super delicious indeed – especially the Thai! Hope you get to visit soon! xx

  • Your photos are beautiful and making me really want to go to Margate! I grew up by the sea too, so going to the seaside always gives me a feeling of ‘home’. Dreamland looks so quirky and fun, and how amazing are the little shops!

    • Laura Torninoja

      Thank you so much! Being by the seaside as often as possible is definitely so important to me – there’s something about the big sea that just calms me down! xx

  • Ellie Adams

    First of all, can we talk about how stunning your photos are please? Seriously the dream! Secondly, this is making me want to go to Margate right now, such a fun place!!

    Elle
    http://www.theellenextdoor.com
    xx

    • Laura Torninoja

      Thank you so much Elle, that means a lot!

      Margate was SO much fun. Hope you get to go soon – make sure to visit that Thai place on the top of the pub, it was ridicuuulously good! xx

  • Your photos are so dreamy, absolutely stunning! I love a good staycation break, and nothing beats a holiday beside the sea side! Dreamland looks like such an exciting and quirky place to go, I love the look of the signs. Those sweet treats look blummin’ delicious as well – I love a good scone! xx

    hannatalks

    • Laura Torninoja

      Thank you so much Hannah!

      Staycations are the best – they’re such a lovely spark of joy in the middle of your every day life! Plus the weekends always feel so much longer when you go somewhere haha. xx

  • Lovely photos! I would recommend that visitors looking for a quieter beach day just set out on a walk around the coast – there are so many bays around and most of them are largely empty! Botany Bay is a favourite with locals and then there are some gorgeous spots further around towards Broadstairs too xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Life, Travel, Italy

    • Laura Torninoja

      Thank you Lucy! And great tips – I actually really want to go to Broadstairs one day, I’ve heard good things! Locals also actually recommended Botany Bay to us but we didn’t have time to unfortunately. Definitely next time! xx