MARGATE AND ITS HIDDEN TREASURES

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Normally when the sun is shining and the temperature is quite high ( which is not as common in this country) we want to go to the seaside. As it`s widely known the most popular seaside destination would be Brighton however I am not really considering that in here. When something is so popular it means one thing: many, many people everywhere. When it comes to me the way I relax I need to have a nice quiet spot not too overcrowded what normally happens in Brighton.

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That was the reason why I decided to choose another place which is not really an attraction number one when we look at the seaside destinations within England. I didn` really want to spend 5hrs travelling to the place and another 5hrs to come back home. I took a map and I started doing my research for ideal location near the water.

Bingo! Margate was a perfect match. What`s even more amazing I paid only £10.00 back and forth. I think it couldn`t be any better. London-Margate is around 2hrs by coach ( I took National Express). Cheap, quick and by the seaside. Amazing!

Margate is not the most popular city however I would say it can surprise a lot.

One of the obvious advantages we can mention is surely access to the sea. Ideal place to have a rest and work on suntun (if possible). England doesn`t really have that many sunny days so we should enjoy it while it lasts.

The seaside is only the beginning of the list in Margate which has so much more to offer.

Talking about the access to the sea it`s worth mentioning that the beach is very sandy. That`s why lying down and enjoying the sun brings even more joy and children (not only) have so much fun building sandcastles and digging holes everywhere. Comparing the beach in Brighton and the one in Margate the second one wins definitely (unless you like stones, maaaaaaaaaaany stones).

Let`s have a look at some attractions you may find interesting. That`s my list:

🐚 THE SHELL GROTTO

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The place which is on the top of my list will be definitely Grotto which honestly stole my heart. I truly believe that it is the most interesting and mysterious thing to see in Margate and only in Margate. You won`t find anything like this anywhere else which makes this place so special. Even the fact that there is not many things known about this place makes it more unique and brings thousands of people to visit it.

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When it comes to the shell grotto nothing is sure and fully discovered yet. There are many speculations about this place but they always end up with big question marks without any solid evidence or proof. It`s really hard to understand that in the era of advanced technology and different methods helping us to date things we know so little about this grotto. Even supposable time of creating this place is not determined. The mystery hasn`t been solved yet and we still don`t know what was the real purpose of the shell grotto itself. What really surprises is also the amount of shells collected in there and placed on the walls. The question how and where they were found is still unsolved. Too many question and not enough answers. Maybe that`s why this place is so popular and makes people to come and admire it for themselves. It really does take your breath away.

My advice: Going there make sure you have another layer. The Shell Grotto is located underground and the temperature is very low. Otherwise it would be very chilly experience.

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You can also visit the little shop with souvenirs and stop for a cake and coffee in the cafe.

🎨  TURNER CONTEMPORARY

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Art Gallery. Quite interesting place in quite interesting building. Just after few first steps inside it`s easy to say that this place can surprise a lot. Art gallery which doesn`t`have any boundaries when it comes to imagination. Everything in there is very special and unique.

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Most of the art gathered in gallery is a mixture of different styles and techniques which makes all the pieces very original. I`ve heard many opinions about this place which were not the greatest ones. That`s why I wasn`t sure if the visit in there was worth my time. I thought that the only way I can see if it`s good or not was just going there and checking everything by myself. I don`t really understand why there were so many negative comments about this place. I suppose sometimes it`s hard to understand the message included in the piece of art. The art normally expresses feelings or experiences of the author that`s why it`s not always clear what we see. Obviously there were weird things as well but also things showing problems which we face nowadays.

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My favourite one was definitely the turtle which really attracts attention sending important message to the everyone looking at it. Gallery organises also workshops where everyone can join in and take part in a project. Workshops are free and everyone is welcome. Every time there is a new project which involves different techniques and themes. Despite bad opinions about this place I can only say good things about my visit which was very enjoyable.

Advice:

I couldn`t find any public toilet around so if you are really in need go to Turner Contemporary

👟  STRETCH YOUR LEGS AND WALK

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When you walk around Margate you can see that it`s quite an old city. Well, being one of the first sea resorts I think couldn`t be any different. However it`s not a downside at all but a big advantage I would say. This fact definitely makes the city more special and it reminds me Canterbury a bit where most of the architecture brings you back in time.

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Small buildings, narrow streets that`s the image of Margate you will get. Walking around is very enjoyable and every time you turn into a different street you will find something surprising and unique.

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I love walking and I always say that`s the best way to explore places and in this case exploring the city on foot works even better. One thing which is very noticable is graffiti. I found so many places covered with graffiti and some of them were placed in really random spots.

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I am sure I didn`t even see half of that and probably every day the new ones are coming as well. So walk and you will see much more than the tourist attractions.

👀 HIDDEN TREASURE

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When it comes to old buildings and narrow streets that`s only the top of the iceberg. The city has so much more to discover. There are lots of old antique and vintage shops where you can find anything you want. For the people who love digging for some treasures Margate is the best place to be. I was only planning a brief look around because I didn`t really come for shopping there. Well, I spent ages looking around, visiting many places and checking amazing stuff they had.

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Honestly whatever your preferences are you will find the thing in there. Old books, vinyl records, vintage clothes, old toys, simply everything you wish for.

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Seeing an enormous teddy bear probably taller than me (170 cm) I wished I could take it with me. The idea of dragging it all the way to London was a bit too crazy. Maybe next time.

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An old type writer was unfortunately broken. Only £20 for the treasure like that was a pretty good offer. I could talk about another amazing things I found there but I think you don`t really want to spend entire day reading about my amazing experience with… antique shop. If I could I would stay there much much longer but I wanted to see some other places in Margate too. 

🖼  MARGATE MUSEUM

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Quite interesting place but many things in there were not really clear to me. Being born in 90`s I didn`t really know the purpose of some of the objects in the museum. Looking at the older people I could see how much enjoyment they have from their visit. Many items gathered in the museum were probably from the period before and during World Wars. Collection of old photos from Margate could show the difference between now and the time the photo was taken. It`s really interesting how the city has changed and developed. I really enjoyed my visit and for those who want to know something more about Margate and area the museum is a great place to come.

The entrance to the museum was really cheap only £1.50 however if you plan to visit Tudor House as well I would recommend getting it all together. Buying tickets separately you will spend more money so it`s worth considering that option.

🌊 SEAGULLS

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Obviously going to the seaside means lots of seagulls everywhere. There are some people complaining about their presence, others completely neutral or even happy to have them around. Which group I belong too? Seagulls can be annoying and they are quite specific kind of birds however as an animal lover I don`t really mind. They could be quite good models when it comes to taking photos of them. I had so much fun and pretty hilarious moments too. Photos as well of course.

👫 PEOPLE

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I don`t know if I am that lucky or most of the people in Margate are extremely nice. I had a chance to talk to many locals and that was very pleasant experience. They did not only help me to find what I wanted but also started conversation on various topics.

Before coming to Margate I did a little research about the place I am going to. According to some of the sources Margate is considered to be the city of elderly people. I wouldn`t say so. I would rather stick to diversity of the city without pointing at one particular group age.

I think Margate has changed a lot over a time and it`s still developing which makes locals and tourists really happy. What really satisfies is the fact that you can actually have a proper rest in there without overcrowded beaches and too many people around. It`s definitely not the most popular place to go however the time spent in Margate is really enjoyable.

🏠 TUDOR HOUSE

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It`s one of the oldest buildings in Margate probably dated back to 1st half of the XVI century. There are 2 chimneys on the top of the building which mean that only wealthy families could afford such a house.

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The state of the building is surprisingly good considering the fact how old it is. I would suggest going inside and having a look around. To enter the building you need to purchase the ticket which is only £1.50. As I said before it`s worth getting the ticket to the Tudor House and Margate Museum together as you safe money that way.

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Visiting the building you get to know the history of the house itself and people who lived there. There is also a chance to dress up using the clothes which were worn by people from that time. You will also have an access to the books and materials related to Tudor House and the time it was built.

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Tudor House is not only famous as a tourist attraction but also because of… ghosts. Probably the house is haunted which was examined by various people specialised in ghost haunting. It`s not sure if there is something in the house however according to few documents there may be some paranormal activity. People have different opinions if to believe or not however there are some who come just to experience this mystical place.

🍩 OLD MARKET

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The market is quite specific and even from outside attracts the attention of people who are passing by. The building has lovely vibrant red colours decorated with the huge graffiti on the side wall. Once you are inside you will be surprised with the glamour and loveliness of the place.

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The atmosphere in there is very unique and it moves you back in time. There are many weird and random things around such as unusual phone box or piano. Lots of little private cafes with delicious food and drinks. You just feel so great in there. You may have a coffee in the cafe located inside the bus. I think that`s a very original place and brilliant idea.

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The market is very unique itself and I don`t think you will see something like that in another place. Worth looking around even for a while.

I think the city is lovely and will be even better in the future. I had a great time in Margate and truly recommend going there. One of those nice peaceful places to go to.

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Have you ever been to Margate before? Maybe you have other suggestions about this great city or maybe you can just share your favourite places to go when it gets really hot.

Take care and see you soon !

Planning another trip in progress…stay tuned.

Caroline xx

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