- For other places with the same name, see Margate (disambiguation).
Margate is on the whole a rather depressing mixture of fading Georgian and Victorian seaside grandeur and squalid 'bedsit-land' although there are some pleasant residential suburbs. There has been a decline in the tourism industry for which Margate was famed until the 1980s when many families opted for overseas holidays as living standards rose.
The best way to make the comparisons is by bus if you do not arrive by car. There is a bus called the 'loop' which runs a circular route around the Isle of Thanet as well as Margate. Fares are cheap and the service runs every 10 minutes in each direction linking with Broadstairs and Ramsgate.
Margate is easily reached by train from London Victoria in under 2 hours or from St. Pancras International HS1 in under 90 minutes.
Margate was served by nearby Manston Airport, which offered daily flights to Edinburgh and Amsterdam, connecting to the world, as well as seasonal flights to Jersey and a small number of other European destinations. However in 2015 it was apparently decided that more houses would be better for the area than having a gateway to the world and Manston was closed as an airport for redevelopment.
The nearest major international airports are at London Gatwick (approx 84 mi/135 km) and London Heathrow (approx 104 mi/168 km).
- The seafront and clock tower area are close to Margate rail station and is a typical example of a busy but 'tacky' English seafront with a string of amusement arcades, chip shops and bingo establishments. The beach is frankly a let down but is nonetheless sandy and proves popular with Londoners who often come for day trips.
- There is a link with the artist Turner and a visitor centre close to the harbour where you can examine the facts behind his links with the town.
- 1 The Shell Grotto, Grotto Hill, CT9 2BU. Tucked away in one of Margate's most squalid back streets is the shell grotto, a mysterious cave decorated from floor to ceiling in shells.
- 2 Turner Contemporary Art Gallery, Rendezvous, CT9 1HG. Modern art gallery (opened in 2011) near the harbour, with a small selection of paintings by J.M.W.Turner (1775-1851), who for a while stayed on the site of the gallery. A good gallery with changing exhibitions that takes an hour or so to see. Admission free,Tues - Sun and bank holidays 10am-6pm.
- 3 Walpole Bay Hotel Museum, Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville, CT9 2JJ. A whacky collection of twentieth century everyday objects are dotted around this hotel. Open to non-residents during the daytime.
Apart from visiting the beach, you can enjoy the British standard arcade amusements, venture into the old town to visit one of 100 duplicated shops, or simply head to a private beach along the coast.
Margate is famous for its stick of rock and novelty items such as printed t-shirts with expression logos.
There are many places to eat near the seafront. They operate with low food hygiene and are quite laid back on cleaning. For better food, head into town for a better quality of restaurants.
There are many pubs and clubs throughout the town but beware of rowdiness and aggressive behaviour late at night in the town centre.
Many bed and breakfasts line the shore. With expensive hotels on the high street and a budget one near Margate Train Station.
- Whitstable for a different kind of coastal town.
- Faversham for the national fruit collection and breweries.