A day trip to Margate

16 October, 2016 8 Comments

As a special treat for Betsy, to wish her well in her school days, I took her on a trip during the bank holiday weekend. She had been asking to go on a long train ride for ages and I wanted a day that would be maximum fun for her, so a trip to the beach is what we went for. I’ve been wanting to visit Margate for years, I love the sound of Dreamland and the whole vintage scene that has popped up there, and so very early on a Saturday morning, Betsy and I blearily made our way to St Pancras station and jumped onto a Javelin train and travelled into Kent.

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Betsy hadn’t travelled on a train that had a toilet before (poor deprived child!) and she was so excited that loos on a train was even a thing that she insisted that we sit next to it on our journey. It takes just over an hour and a half to get from Margate to London and it’s a lovely train trip with lots of nice scenery and we were lucky enough to have the nicest train guard in the world who chatted to Boo and gave her a special ticket so she could go on the beach.

The beach at Margate is beautiful. A long stretch of golden, clean sand that you can see as soon as you step outside of the train station, although the first thing that will catch your eye is the massive brutalism flats to the right. It was still pretty early when we arrived and Betsy and I found a good spot on the beach. We popped a towel down, found a couple of nice looking shells and then walked down to the water.

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

The water was bracing, but it remains shallow for quite a length and is excellent for wave jumping. I regretted not taking my own swimming costume so had to do with paddling, but Betsy took full advantage of being in her gear and splashed and swam and just had the best time. Next to our towels we dug a big hole (Betsy called it her seat), decorated it with shells (there are lots of good specimins dotted in the sand), and even made a cup holder for our drinks. That’s my girl!

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

After a while, we popped over the road to Dreamland. Dreamland is a pleasure park that dates back to the 1920’s and was one of the biggest tourist destinations in the country, but fell into disrepair in the 70s once package holidays became popular. Last year it was reopened and redesigned by Hemingway Design, and it looks like an Instagrammer’s dream. Full of pastel yellows and pinks, the place evokes nostalgic childhood memories without it ever being cheesy. Rides are vintage, including Britain’s oldest roller coaster (sadly not working at the moment as it’s waiting for a new rope to be installed) and there’s something for everyone. You pay by token, with tokens costing Β£1 each, but some rides cost up to three tokens each so it is well worth investing in some wristbands that can give you unlimited rides (and they’re 10% cheaper if you buy them online.). I think we did all the rides that Betsy was tall enough for, and then we went on them again, and again!

I’m not very good with fast rides, but Betsy loves them and I had to swallow my cowardice to accompany her. I’m not ashamed to admit I had to squeeze my eyes shut the first time we went on the Cyclone Twist, but Boo’s obvious enjoyment of the ride made me open then on the second go. There are quite a few other attractions too, including a roller disco and the Octopus’ Garden (an indoor play area for under eights).

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

There quite a few food choices at Dreamland, but you can’t visit a seaside town without eating fish and chips. I had heard that Peter’s Fish Factory was the best place in town so we queued up there. It’s very popular, we had to queue for a good twenty minutes, but it is well worth the wait. Fish was perfectly cooked and chips crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. There’s no seating, but it’s right on the seafront, so Betsy and I sat on the steps next to the beach looking out to sea and making sure the greedy seagulls don’t steal our food.

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

After lunch, we went back into Dreamland for a few more rides and an enormous amount of candy floss before catching our train home. Betsy cannot wait go back there again though and neither can I – we have yet to explore the Turner Contemporary gallery and there are a number of bars and vintage shops that look brilliant. I feel the need for a weekend break coming up.

Visiting Margate and Dreamland

Nature Mum Blog

11 October, 2016
17 October, 2016

Charlotte

Mama, music lover, London dweller, baker, maker, wanderer.

8 Comments

  1. Reply

    OddHogg

    17 October, 2016

    Its lovely when something so simple as a train ride can please them! Dreamland sounds fun too – I\m glad its been re-opened! #marvmondays

  2. Reply

    Lisa

    17 October, 2016

    It looks like you had a fantastic time. I really should take my girls to Dreamland as we live in Kent and I spent many a happy day their in my teens. The Turner Contemporary is well worth a visit. Keep an eye on their website for a diary of events as I think they change quite regularly x #MMBC
    Lisa recently posted…My Doggy DoubtsMy Profile

  3. Reply

    My Petit Canard

    22 October, 2016

    Lovely post! I used to go to Margate and Dreamland with my family on weekends and in the holidays when I was a littlle girl. It has so many happy memories for me there. I havent been for probably 10-15 years but had heard it has reopened recently so would love to go back and see what its like now, although your post has given me a bit of an idea πŸ™‚ Such a lovely mummy daughter day, thanks for sharing it on #MarvMondays. Emily

  4. Reply

    Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs

    29 October, 2016

    Wow what a fun filled day! Dreamland looks like such a lovely place to visit.
    Loved your little video too πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC hope you can make it next week x

  5. Reply

    Ashley Beolens

    8 November, 2016

    Love Margate (helps that we have family there) so many great little shops in the old town now, and some wonderful places to eat (try Bernies Chocolate shop for Waffles next time).
    Ashley Beolens recently posted…Winter is ComingMy Profile

  6. Reply

    Kelly Robinson

    12 November, 2016

    What a wonderful day out. I have never been to Margate before but it looks lovely. Your daughter was brave entering the sea. I find it so cold now I’m no longer under the age of 25 haha! The pleasure park looks adorable and what a beautiful memory for your daughter. #ChasingNature
    Kelly Robinson recently posted…Discovery Box (Magazine) ReviewMy Profile

  7. Reply

    Tamsin Mathias

    12 November, 2016

    Gorgeous photos! I absolutely love the beach. Margate looks so lovely!
    Thanks for joining in with #ChasingNature! πŸ™‚ <3
    Tamsin Mathias recently posted…Should the burqa be banned?My Profile

  8. Reply

    Nicole @ yumsome

    19 November, 2016

    How have I only just discovered your blog, Char? LOL!

    I also used to go to Dreamland as a child… and loved every minute! My son and his family live a few mins’ walk from the Turner, BTW, and I’ve still never been!

    Lovely pics – looks like you both had a smashing day out! xx
    Nicole @ yumsome recently posted…Vegan Paneer Butter MasalaMy Profile

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