The best resort to visit this summer with huge sandy beaches, live music entertainment and the UK’s oldest theme park

OFTEN nicknamed Shoreditch-on-Sea, after London’s trendy postcode, the artistic seaside town of Margate in Kent is booming, with new bars, restaurants and attractions.

It also has a huge golden sand beach to tempt you.

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The artsy seaside town of Margate, Kent, often dubbed Shoreditch-on-Sea, is boomingCredit: Getty
Margate's sandy beaches are huge and golden

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Margate’s sandy beaches are huge and goldenCredit: Getty

Here, Kara Godfrey offers the top ten reasons to visit. . .

CLASSIC VIEW: When entering Margate, you cannot miss the Dreamland Ferris wheel, one of the oldest theme parks in the UK. Reopening from today, it’s free to enter, with rides bought by the ticket and arcades to spend the pennies on.

It also has gigs – this summer, including Craig David, All Saints and De La Soul. See dreamland.co.uk

UPPER TOWER: Pick up a free city tour map at the Visitor Information Center and enjoy a self-guided tour of the city.

With 27 sites to explore, you’ll visit the Old Town, home to quaint shops and restaurants, the Turner Contemporary art gallery, and the Shell Lady statue by the harbour. See visitkent.co.uk

CULTURAL FIX: The arrival of a local girl and artist at Tracey Emin’s Turner Gallery sparked a revival of the city’s cultural fortunes.

There is currently an exhibition of his work at the Carl Freedman Gallery in the city.

And there’s more modern art to enjoy at the striking Turner Contemporary.

Or catch a live performance at the Winter Gardens. For comedy lovers, there is always something to do too. Previous acts include Ed Gamble and Nish Kumar, and there are upcoming shows from Jason Manford. Music fans can enjoy talents such as Texas. See margate-live.com.

FUN NEIGHBORHOOD: Margate’s old town is a popular haunt for tourists, but locals believe the Cliftonville area has the best-kept secrets.

Start the day with a coffee and cake from Skinny Dip, go vinyl shopping at Ghost Papa and have a drink at one of the many new bars, such as Daisy for a Cardamom Espresso Martini or Stingray for a brewed beer locally.

Opt for showbiz opulence at the fabulous Albion Rooms, owned by rockers The Libertines

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Opt for showbiz opulence at the fabulous Albion Rooms, owned by rockers The LibertinesCredit: Les chambres d’Albion
The hotel was opened by the rockers in 2020

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The hotel was opened by the rockers in 2020Credit: Les chambres d’Albion

THE WOW MOMENT: Weird and wonderful, the Margate Shell Cave was discovered in 1835, but the purpose and age of the Grade I listed building remains unknown to this day.

Made up of 4.6 million seashells, the cave is open to the public and well worth a visit. See shellgrotto.co.uk.

NEW FOR 2022: Test your nerves at the newly opened Margate Leisure Center where you can throw an ax at a target with Black Ax Throwing Co, or try bocce – a form of boules – with Klak.

Finish with a drink at the bar and grab a burger and fries from Radburger on site.

FANTASTIC PARTY: Savor great food with great views at Waverley House Restaurant, with a rooftop terrace overlooking the beach.

The seasonal menu changes often, but you can expect dishes such as freshly caught shrimp with aioli or seared sea bass, and finish with a delicious caramel and chocolate mousse. See waverleyhousemargate.co.uk.

ONE MORE PLEASURE: Put on your wetsuit and head to one of Margate’s two lidos.

The main one, Margate Lido, is closer to the station, but Walpole Bay Tidal Lido has the largest tidal pool in the UK.

Go for a swim and then head to the tiny wooden sauna just steps from the beach, run by local skincare brand Haeckels.

GREAT OUTSIDE: If you’re tired of sunbathing on the beach, – weather permitting – head to Margate Sup and Surf, hire a board and hit the waves.

Lessons range from beginner to expert – but the best is the Sunset Sup Club for watching the sunset. See margatesupandsurf.co.uk.

THE GRAND HOTEL: Opt for showbiz opulence at the fabulous Albion Rooms, owned by rockers The Libertines.

Opened in 2020, each room has vintage furnishings and an Apple Beats sound system, with moody decor to match the grunge vibe.

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The kitchen is popular with locals for its Sunday roast, but head there on Mondays for a burger and a pint for a ten. There’s also The Arcady Coffee House cafe bar and The Waste Land bar which hosts live music, comedy and – as it’s named after a poem by TS Eliot – poetry.

It offers two exclusive drinks – BrewDog’s Wasteland IPA and The Libertines’ Gunga Gin.

The local girl and artist's arrival at Tracey Emin's Turner Gallery was the start of a renaissance in the city's cultural fortunes.

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The local girl and artist’s arrival at Tracey Emin’s Turner Gallery was the start of a renaissance in the city’s cultural fortunes.Credit: Getty

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