The Turner Contemporary opening in 2011 was the long-neglected Margate’s invitation to the ball. Today, the Kent coast’s most famous Cinderella story is awash with cold-brew coffee and craft beer, with just enough salty charm to still give it an edge. Start at the Turner, then mosey over to retro theme park and roller-disco Dreamland. Once the effects of the Waltzer have worn off, head to Hantverk & Found for a lunch of the freshest seafood and natural wines. Spend the rest of the afternoon shopping: browse immaculate vintage piece in Breuer & Dawson, and stock up on seaweed-based skincare at Haeckels.
Hanging out on the sandy beach sure beats the morning commute, but there’s so much more than the seaside to Margate. Arcades, independent cafés and unusual cultural attractions line the streets; thanks to the galleries, vintage shops and hipster hangouts, this arty town has been dubbed ‘Shoreditch-on-Sea’. It’s where creative city vibes meet coastal relaxation. A trip to Margate from London takes one hour 30 minutes by train from St Pancras International or two hours by car – and it’s totally worth the trek