Margate is a seaside town with a roller-coaster history. It was an immensely popular excursion destination for Londoners in Victorian times, and it continued to pull the crowds in the first half of the last century. Fashions changed and Margate slipped into obscurity only then to experience a fascinating resurrection in the last few years. Suddenly Margate is back in vogue.
The turning point was the opening in 2011 of Turner Contemporary in Margate. This seafront art gallery has quickly claimed a place in the premier league of art venues; it has also worked wonders in renewing community pride in Margate. A new chapter in the Margate success story started in 2015 when Dreamland, the town’s traditional seaside amusement park, reopened its doors to the public. Margate still has a long way to go, but the winning combination of candy floss and contemporary art has fostered impressive urban renewal.
Margate railway station was built in the mid-1920s. It has a lovely monumental booking hall flanked by classical pavilions. It is worth a visit in its own right! Long gone are the trains which brought holidaymakers from as far afield as Merseyside and the Midlands. But high-speed Javelin trains now dash to London in under 90 minutes, using the new fast line into St Pancras station. There is a slower (and cheaper) London option, with hourly trains from Margate to London Victoria.
Margate also has a good range of regional services to other parts of Kent with frequent departures to Canterbury, Chatham, Dover and Ashford International – connecting at the latter with direct Eurostar services to Brussels, Paris and the south of France.
Travel to Margate by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
Avg 0 changes 1hr 25m
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Image credits: © Ian Woolcock