The U.K’s seaside towns have had something of a bad rep over the years, they’ve been passed over as outdated, dull and grey. Well while the skies might still be cloudy our beach towns are becoming a must do staycation for many as they truly embrace this retro image and making it an enduring feature. Margate could be argued to have done this with the most success, with it’s brightly coloured shops, vintage style amusement park and enough kitchy touches to fulfil your Instagram dreams. At just an hour and a half’s train journey from central London it’s a great place to get your fix of sea air so here’s how you can make the most of a (rather rainy) day in Margate. You’ve probably gathered from my Virgin Seat Sale Tips post that I love a good train bargain and these are often available on the London to Margate route. We managed to get a return for just £10 so up to the South Eastern trains newsletter to keep catch these deals.
If you are greeted with the typical British Summer weather myself and my fellow bloggers Haydy and Maryam then you do have options. We were stepped off the train into the mother of all rain storms so rocking the drowned rat look we ran straight for Dreamland, which thankfully has an indoor amusement area. There’s the standard arcade games but the real highlight here is the roller disco, sadly there weren’t enough skates for all of us (I think a lot of people had the same idea we did) but I was happy to watch from the safety of the sidelines while the girls made their way around. The retro feel of the disco is adorable and totally in fitting with the theming of Dreamland, we had a lot of giggles as the girls made their way around!
With the sky finally cleared we headed into the outdoor theme park area of Dreamland, this is a great place to visit if you are a thrill seeker or just want some adorable Instagram shots on the vintage rides with candyfloss in hand. Sadly everything was still too wet for us to ride on anything but we did find the exotic animal area, another indoor activity for those wet days and it’s free to enter. It has an amazing variety of animals and friendly, informative staff who happily talked us through all the different species and let us hold them. We spent hours here but you can spend as much or as little time as you like, personally I fell in love with the skinny pig and now I really want my own!
By now your probably ready for food and Margate has lots of choice, after some deliberation we decided to head to the Duke Street Diner, a 50’s themed burger bar which clearly speaks to my soul! It provided the perfect backdrop for mine and Haydy’s outfits and our burger and frie baskets were exactly what we needed to fuel us for the rest of the day!
One thing Margate is known for is its colourful independent shops which are well worth exploring. It’s vintage fashion stores are particularly great was well as it’s quirky homeware boutiques and tearooms. There’s something for everyone and if you’re anything like me it will make you want to live somewhere just as colourful! We even spotted a real life unicorn on its way to a child’s party (OK it was a pony painted up to look like a unicorn but it was pretty convincing!)
Before your short day is through you have to check out some of Margate’s amazing bars. Fancying a cider we made Fez our port of choice, where it’s wide range of ciders and quirky fairground theme makes it a perfect pitstop. Grab a cherry cider and take a spot on the real waltzer car seating to relive your teenage dreams.
In the need of one more bar before grabbing the train home? Check out Ziggy’s rooftop bar that opens during the Summer months and provides some amazing views of the beach and seafront. If the weather is as blustery as when we were there fear not, there is shelter where you can still check out the amazing views without being battered by the wind and rain complete with heaters, they know what they are dealing with here!
All together I don’t think we could have had a more British summer time seaside trip! Have you ever been to Margate? What’s your favourite thing to do there? If you want to see more check out this Youtube video of our adventures.