10 Best Things To Do In Margate 2024

Nestled on the outermost corner of Kent, Margate is a historic seaside sensation that’s worth shouting about. Not only does this staycation favourite boast numerous beaches, including one right in the thick of it, but also a whole load of attractions, from mysterious, subterranean passageways mosaiced with shells to restaurants that need to be on your bucket list. Go on, take a look at our guide to the best Margate things to doyou know you want to.


Dreamland Margate

A hub of entertainment, Dreamland Margate is an amusement park reminiscent of traditional seaside funfairs, which comes as no surprise, considering the site initially was one in 1880, when its Grade II-listed Scenic Railway wooden rollercoaster first opened. Since those days, the site has undergone numerous refurbishments, relaunching yet again in 2017. Now? It isn’t just a place to get your adrenaline pumping on rides, it’s also home to a roller room, art installations and a range of food and drink vendors, with festivals and gigs on throughout the year too.

Dreamland Margate Things To Do Kent | DesignMyNight

Revel in all the fun of the fair at this rollicking spot.

The Shell Grotto

Though discovered way back in 1835, to this day, no one is quite sure of the origins of Margate's Shell Grotto. Was it a place of worship? A secret meeting place? Regardless, the mystery certainly adds to the charm of the subterranean passageway, which is honestly a sight to behold. Its cavernous walls are decorated with a mosaic of 4.6 million shells (yes, you read that right), including mussels, cockles and oysters, featuring unusual symbols and swirling patterns. Open from 11am to 4pm, Thursday through Sunday (with tickets ranging from £2 - £4.50), The Shell Grotto is an essential visit for any trip to Margate.

Margate Top Attractions Shell Grotto | DesignMyNight

This is certainly one of the more unusual things to do in Margate.

Relax On The Beach (With A Pint And Fish 'N' Chips)

It would be almost sacrilege to visit Margate and not hit up the beaches. The Main Sands is, as you'd assume, the main beach here, offering a long stretch of soft, inviting shoreline, where you can soak up the sunshine while getting lost in your book or enjoy a refreshing dip in the water (weather permitting, of course). Although we do believe that a trip here is in fact best complemented with an ice-cold takeaway pint courtesy of The Two Halves, not to mention a larger-than-life portion of fish and chips from our very favourite spot - Garlinge Fish Bar.

Margate Beach Kent UK | DesignMyNight

Don't miss out on the sandy shores of this beloved seaside town.

Turner Contemporary

For those of you who fancy a bit of culture, there’s no better place to scratch that itch than at the Turner Contemporary. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects, everything from the buildings to the art installations and paintings that line the walls are quite the sight. And the best bit? Entry is totally free (although you may still need to book a ticket in advance), with regularly changing exhibitions available for perusing from Wednesday to Sundays between 10am and 5pm.

Turner Contemporary Margate Culture | DesignMyNight

Soak up the culture while on your staycation.


All this sightseeing is of course going to work up an appetite, so make sure to take advantage of one of the town’s very best restaurants, Angela’s. The neat and petite seafood spot not only sources many of its vegetables and fruits from their own farm, but they also work closely with local fishermen. Swing by for a lineup of simple yet beautifully executed dishes, like Dover sole with green sauce as well as monkfish accompanied by clams and bisque, all in a relaxing, laid-back setting.

Angela's Best Margate Restaurants | DesignMyNight

One of the best things to do in Margate for couples? Enjoy a luscious lunch together.

Tom Thumb Theatre

Once a Victorian coachhouse, Cliftonville’s Tom Thumb Theatre is now one of the smallest theatres in the world, boasting a unique blend of Alpine and Japanese design. The family-run venue curates a programme showcasing the town’s up-and-coming creatives, from comedy and poetry to film, music and, of course, theatre. Make your way over and grab a drink at the charming bar before sitting down for a brilliant night of entertainment.

Tom Thumb Theatre Margate Kent | DesignMyNight

You can catch all kinds of brilliant shows at this long-running favourite.

Walpole Bay Tidal Pool And Museum

But for those of you looking for outdoor attractions in Margate? Head along to the Walpole Bay Tidal Pool. Famed as the UK’s largest saltwater pool (covering a whopping four acres), this scenic space is now Grade II-listed and a popular place for swimming. Just around the corner, you’ll also find the Walpole Bay Hotel Margate, which has been restored back to its original glory after being built in 1914 by the Budge family. Not only can you enjoy its five floors of exhibits, which take you on a trip back in time, but you're also welcome to stay the night in one of it's retro rooms.

Walpole Tidal Pools & Museum Margate | DesignMyNight

Enjoy a dip before exploring the quirky museum.

Margate Caves

Another underground adventure, the Margate Caves offer a fascinating look at the coastal town’s heritage and history, blending tales of anthropology, geology and more. Reached through a small chalk tunnel, this magnificent marvel showcases restored murals and cave paintings that date all the way back to the Georgian era, when it was originally dug out as a chalk mine. Since then, it’s been used for all manner of things, from a recreational den to an air raid shelter, and now a local tourist attraction.

Margate Caves Quirky Things To Do | DesignMyNight

They also host fun events, like local history fairs and flea markets.

Lovelys Gallery

Fancy checking out some local artwork while you're here? Then you’ll need to make a trip to Lovelys Gallery. Located on Northdown Road, this is Kent’s oldest art gallery, running since 1891. Not only do they host all kinds of exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing a diverse range of art from East Kent and Thanet-based artists, but there are also all kinds of prints and artworks to purchase as a fancy souveneir, including limited-edition prints, original paintings and lino cuts.

Lovelys Gallery Margate Things To Do | DesignMyNight

Head to Lovelys Gallery for an insight into the town's creative community.

Looking for more seaside fun? Check out our guide to the prettiest seaside towns in the UK right here and sign up to our UK newsletter for all the latest.