How to spend a weekend in Margate, UK

Looking to spend a weekend in Margate, in the UK? This charming seaside town is a haven for artists and home to a fantastic theme park. Read on to discover the best things to do in Margate.

Heading to Margate for the weekend? This is a very good idea.

There’s heaps of things to do in Margate, making it the perfect destination for a quick city break by train from London.

Rising house prices in London have seen many flock to the seaside town, bringing with it a breath of fresh air (and unfortunately, rising house prices).

Margate is the perfect mix of history, fashion and fun.

Here’s what you can get up to during a weekend in Margate.

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How to spend a weekend in Margate

Where to stay in Margate

Here are some of the things you can get up to over a weekend in Margate.

Have the time of your life at Dreamland

Dreamland, a retro theme park, is a great reason to visit Margate alone.

The park first opened in the 1870s under the name ‘Hall by the Sea’ and was rebranded to Dreamland in the 1920s, when the Grade II listed Scenic Railway wooden rollercoaster opened.

Dreamland closed in 2003 and it seemed for awhile that it might fall victim to public developers. Thanks to community efforts, it was saved and reopened in 2015.

These days, it’s the sight of much fun and frivolity in Margate, hosting concerts, shows, festivals and gigs. And of course, you can head to the park just to go on its rides.

I visited during Halloween when Dreamland became Screamland, which is as fun as it sounds…

The park has free entry, but you’ll have to pay per ride, which is around £6 each. And don’t miss out on the onsite roller disco.

Drop into the Turner Contemporary

Margate has long been a haven for creative sorts and counts renowned artist JMW Tuner among its numbers.

This free museum is built on the site of the boarding house where Turner stayed while in Margate. This gallery is inspired by his life and works.

Check out the latest exhibition or drop into the cafe for a sweet treat. There’s great views of the town’s harbour from here.

Hit the beach

Well, this is fairly self-explanatory. Margate is a seaside town and it’s beach is actually pretty decent. There’s sand!

When a couple of warm days are forecast, it would be the perfect thing to pack your togs, towel and a sun brolly and jump on the train for a weekend break in Margate.

Check out the Shell Grotto

Here’s a truly unique thing to see in Margate. And the best bit is… no one quite knows what it is.

Discovered in the 1830s, this subterranean Grotto’s chalk walls are studded with 4.6 million shells, creating a mosaic of sorts, in patterns and symbols.

Before descending underground, you have a chance to explore the Museum Room. There’s a bit of an explainer about the Grotto here, along with details about the fascinating conservation work required to keep it in shape.

Tickets are £4.50 for adults and £2 for children between 4-16.

Explore the Margate Caves

This is a newer attraction Margate, one that wasn’t even open when I last visited.

The Margate Caves have been a place of public interest since 1863.

Originally dug as a chalk mine, the caves have been used for various purposes over the last 300 years. They’re covered in strange wall paintings and graffiti and are a sight well-worth seeing.

They now host a range of events, from silent disco, to pup quizzes.

Entry is £4.50 for adults and £2 for children between 4-16.

Visit the oldest building in ‘Meergate’

Like many destinations in the UK, this seaside village has a history stretching back centuries. And during a weekend break to Margate, you can uncover quite a lot.

Tudor House is the oldest building in old Meergate, built in 1525. Grade 2 listed, it’s been lovingly conserved, after being saved for demolition by a savvy builder in the 1930s.

It’s open weekends and entry is £2, although you can buy admission as a joint ticket with the Margate Museum for £3.

Learn about the town’s past at the local museum

As the town’s eponymous museum is only open weekends, it is an ideal spot for a weekend away in Margate.

You’ll find the museum in the middle of Margate Old Town. Inside, there’s a fascinating history of the area, covering everything from the town’s sea bathing past to the two World Wars.

Entry is £2 for adults and free for kids aged under 16. Free guided tours are also available.

Check out one of the smallest theatres in the world

This gorgeous little theatre was originally built as a coach house. It was transformed into one of the smallest theatres in the world in 1984 and still puts on regular shows.

Check out the programme for a wide range of performances, from theatre to comedy and even cabaret.

Shop vintage threads

Op shop enthusiast? Pick up some preloved threads from any of Margate’s vintage stores.

Handsome Freaks and Peony Vintage are both a great place to start.

How to get to Margate from London

Getting to Margate from London is super simple. Hop on the train from Victoria Station (via Southeastern). You’ll be there in around an hour and a half, to 1.45.

Training is way faster than driving, which can take around two hours. And this is with good traffic, which is not always guaranteed in the UK.

Should you spend a weekend in Margate?

Weird, whacky and wonderful – and easy to access, Margate is the perfect place for a weekend break.

Looking for other places to travel to in the UK? Here are some ideas:

Have you visited Margate? If not, will you?

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Looking to spend a weekend in Margate, in the UK? This charming seaside town is a haven for artists and home to a fantastic theme park. Read on to discover the best things to do in Margate.

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