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Our Favourite Things to do in Thanet

Our Favourite Things to do in Thanet

Header image via @marvellousmargate on Instagram 

Planning a trip to visit our seaside shop in Margate? Well you're in luck! Margate, as well as the rest of Thanet, is packed full of fun and unusual things to do. Whether you're bringing the whole family or planning a solo trip, there is plenty here to keep you entertained. 


(image via dgezzer on Flickr) 

Ramsgate Tunnels, Ramsgate  

A truly fascinating day out, Ramsgate Tunnels is the UK's largest network of civilian wartime tunnels. The tunnels were originally constructed as a railway to connect the harbour of the town with the main train line back in the 1800's. The second phase of construction on the Tunnels was during the Second World War, when the Mayor or Ramsgate ordered that some of the tunnels were to serve as underground shelters to protect the residents of Ramsgate from bombing. On 24 August 1940, 500 German bombs were dropped on Ramsgate in just 5 minutes. Despite the bombing, the tunnels saved a lot of lives. This bombing destroyed roughly 1,200 homes and as a result around 300 families started living in the tunnels on a permanent basis. The tunnels became an underground town with shops, barbers, canteens, concerts and even an underground hospital. After the end of the war, the tunnels were slowly sealed and abandoned. Today, you can go on a guided tour of these fascinating tunnels, hear the stories of the real people who lived in them and even enjoy a bite to eat in the on-site cafe! 

Book your tour online here


(image via Treehugger)

Shell Grotto, Margate 

The Shell Grotto in margate is an intriguing series of underground tunnels covered in 2000 square foot of mosaic made up of over 4.6 million shells. The grotto was discovered by chance back in 1835 and since then the origin of these tunnels and mosaics have remained a total mystery. The Shell Grotto is a totally unique experience that is bound to spark conversation and debate over what it's true purpose was. Some people believe it was a place of worship, others a smuggler's cave, and some simply believe it to be a decorative folly. The grotto was first opened to visitors in 1838 and was Grade 1 listed in 1973. We highly recommend you visit this unique piece of Margate history for yourself and see what shapes and patterns you can spot amongst the shells. 

Book your visit online here


(image via Garden Visit) 

Quex Park, Birchington 

Quex Park is just 15 minutes west of Margate and this historic Kent estate is one not to be missed! Established in the 19th Century by John Powell Powell and his successors, John Powell Powell rebuilt the estate home and also began the programme of tree planting and commissioned the building of the three unique towers on the estate. The park is bursting with a beautiful array of trees as well as manicured gardens and a tropical greenhouse. You'll be able to spot many different species of birds, including the infamous ring-necked parakeets. As well as the beautiful gardens, there are many activities to keep the whole family entertained. There are children's play areas, a craft village, a garden centre, farm shop, adventure golf and even alpaca trekking! 

For more information, click here


(image via Miry Giramondo) 

Botany Bay, Broadstairs 

Botany Bay is a much-loved beach here in Thanet by tourists and locals alike, and it is easy to see why! This hidden cove has beautiful expanses of impressive white chalk cliffs and a unique structure that creates an isolated area of beach. When the tide is out it is great for fossil hunting and exploring rock pools and there is plenty of sand to enjoy when the tide is in. This beach was named after Botany Bay in Australia as local smugglers were caught on the beach and deported to Botany Bay, hence the name. Botany Bay is ideal for kayaking, canoeing, swimming, sunbathing, fossil hunting, body boarding and kite-flying; there really is something for everyone! There is a small car park near the bay but we recommend parking further afield and taking the Viking Coastal Trail to enjoy some stunning coastal views on your way there. 


(image via Explore Kent)

Monkton Nature Reserve, Ramsgate   

A real oasis, Monkton Nature Reserve is situated in an old chalk quarry that was last excavated in 1958. The nature reserve is managed by the Thanet Countryside Trust, a registered, not-for-profit charity who strive to preserve the natural habitat on the Isle. The reserve stretches across an impressive 16 acres and is home to over 350 species of flowering plant, including 8 species of orchid, and 25 species of butterfly have been recorded there, along with a plethora of other species of insect, mammal and bird-life. The reserve is also home to the first artificial bat cave to be constructed in the UK. On-site you will find a Field Study Centre, which contains a number of different exhibitions, including a large geological collection including fossils, rocks and minerals from the Mesozoic, Cainozoic,and Pleistocene periods. There is also a library and second-hand bookshop on-site. There are also a number of different nature trails as well as a whole range of different activities for kids of all ages. 

For more information, click here.


Looking for shopping inspo? You can read more about Margate independents we love here.  

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