While Margate’s Old Town delivers a good old-fashioned British seaside day out, Cliftonville buzzes with a different kind of energy. It’s home to one of the UK’s most thriving artistic communities, largely due to an influx of creative ex-Londoners who’ve flocked to the area’s affordable housing and studio spaces, plus the massive tidal ocean pool at Walpole Bay. The neighbourhood’s spine is Northdown Road, which is a block back from the coast and stretches from the Old Town to Palm Bay. Until recently a parade of charity shops and bookies, Northdown is now home to record shops, cafés and conscious groceries, as well as game-changing community-funded venues like queer bar CAMP and gallery Quench.
The perfect day Wake at the iconic Walpole Bay Hotel and walk along the beach to the Dalby Café for the town’s best fry-up. From there, explore the Margate Caves and the mesmerising Shell Grotto before grabbing an epic focaccia sandwich at Forts. Browse Northdown Road’s vintage shops and galleries, stopping for drinks at Margate Off Licence and Daisy, before a boogie at Margate Arts Club.
Plan your trip Margate Pride takes place in August every year. Not just a big party, this week-long, arts-led Pride festival sees Cliftonville come to life with one-off exhibitions, parties and events. —Sophie Brown
📍 Check out the best things to do in Margate