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  • Writer's pictureMary Smith

Margate Rain Or Shine

Autumn has arrived and here at Broadstairs Apartments we continue our focus on the three main Isle of Thanet towns. Last time we told you all about Ramsgate and this week it's the turn of Margate to take the spotlight. Even on the rainy Sunday just gone we found plenty of colour and life on our late morning stroll around this seaside town of seaside towns. Read on to find out how Margate is guaranteed to keep you amused all year round!

Once famous for the good old British seaside holiday, 21st century Margate has succeeded in shrugging off its 'Kiss-Me-Quick' image, with artsy, creative vibes instead. Since the much-lauded arrival of the acclaimed Turner Contemporary modern art gallery in 2011, a burgeoning art scene began to thrive and so did the town itself. These days Margate is a cultural hub that ensures there is always something exciting to see and do.

Arriving in Margate, the wide seafront steps sweeping along from the Old Town to the water's edge are a great place to sit and watch the world go by. Margates' Main Sands are vast and it is this bright open space that helps to create the sublime sunset skies the town is so famous for. You also get a great view of the Stone Pier opposite, with the beautiful Shell Lady bronze statue wistfully looking out to sea. The ultra-modern Turner stands proudly to your left, next to the Grade II listed Droit House, now housing the Visitor Information Centre.

In the middle of the Old Town, in the old magistrates' court on Market Place, Margate Museum has all sorts of fascinating exhibits and displays exploring the town's seaside and maritime past. The Picture Margate project running there at the moment gives us fascinating insight into Margate's development spanning centuries. Just across the way is the very pretty Margate Bookshop, stocking all manner of fiction and non-fiction, new and second-hand.

When dinnertime calls, Margate is certainly not lacking on the food front. From the quintesessential fish & chip shops and traditional seafood stalls to trendy grills and world cusuine, there is definitely something for everyone. If you want to spoil yourself you won't go wrong with the likes of Bottega Caruso, The Ambrette, or Angela's. Booking essential!

Great for a drizzly day is the Old Kent Market, just opposite the Turner. You won't miss it, as the chosen colour for the street facade is pillar-box red! Once a seafront cinema, the cinema was refurbished to create a two-storey indoor market specialising in food & drink, perfect for those rainy days. You will also find clothes, art and lifestyle independents vying their wares to tempt you.

Browsing is a must in Margate too. Vintage and antique shops abound and you will certainly find irresistible things you didn't know you were looking for. Right in the centre of the Old Town is Paraphernalia, which does exactly what it says on the tin. The Old Fort Junk Yard up the hill is a labyrinth of curiosities not to be missed - who knows what you will go home with! Further into Cliftonville is Scott's, an Aladdin's cave piled high with you name it. It is no exaggeration to say that you could lose yourself for hours in there.

A stroll past Margate's clocktower and along Marine Parade is also in order of course, where you will see the the rows of colourful Georgian buildings hinting at Margate's rich heritage. Tucked behind is Dreamland, its Big Wheel peeping above the rooves. The train station is conveniently placed just around the corner too and you will find Margate well-connected for travel. Whether rain or shine, its a great destination to sample the delights of the modern British seaside. We hope to see you soon!

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