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Weekend Staycation Alert! 30 Hours in Margate and Whitstable

Weekend Staycation Alert! 30 Hours in Margate and Whitstable

Escape to the seaside with a weekend staycation in Margate and Whitstable. Discover the towns' revival and our tips for a killer 30-hour trip.

April 14th, 2016

We had heard great things about Margate’s revival and dragged our other half and buddies for a weekend at the seaside back in November. We learnt to book things in advance (grr!) but still had a killer time and look forward to having more organised fun next time…

(Photo disclaimer: some of these are from more recent trips, on sunnier days!)


11:00: Getting out to the Kent coast from London is super easy. We travelled from King’s Cross getting the high speed train that speeds through Stratford International. We’d always recommended hitting up the Sourced Market at the station for Monmouth coffee and treats from Yeast Bakery and Kooky Bakes.

12:30: After a chilled and quick journey we arrive at the seaside! One of the main pulls for our trip was to visit Dreamland, the amazingly restored retro funfair. Don’t mess up like we did and always check their site for opening times and any special events. Sadly it was shut when we went as Foals were playing and we couldn’t get tickets. More on that later.

13:00: The Old Town is a short walk from the train station so get your novel snaps of the neon outside of Dreamland and wander on down to The Greedy Cow for the best pulled pork we’ve ever had. And we are pulled pork snobs! Leave space for sweet treats afterwards and a local Kent cider.

14:30: Even chucking it down with rain we ran between independent boutiques and vintage shops. Madam Popoff is a MUST. The owner also runs this blog which is a great go to for a lowdown to help you prioritise the best places to go to.

16:00: In one vintage shop our lil’ old school indie hearts stopped when literally bumping into Yannis from aforementioned Foals. OMG.

16:01: We realised he was chatting to Alex from Franz Ferdinand.

16:02: We die and chicken out of getting a picture.

16:10: We recovered from our star struck moment by retreating to the Turner Contemporary, past Tracey Emin’s work on the Tourist Info and enjoy a complex and intriguing mix of modern art for just a donation.

16:30: We bumped into Alex Franz Ferdinand again watching a film of steel scaffolds being dropped into cement. Margate is lovely and small.

17:30: We popped to The Lifeboat , a great dark wood and vintage paraphernalia kind of place, for some pre-dinner Kent ciders and are promptly joined by the entirety of Foals. Told you Margate was small! Warning: if you are a wine drinker they honestly have a red, white and pink. Stick with cider or ale!

19:00: Accommodation is limited in Margate so we jumped on the train to Whitstable to stay in an Air BnB.

20:00: We attempted to get in somewhere to eat for dinner in Whitstable but nowhere had space. We had to eat in Zizzis and couldn’t use any discount vouchers. This #TeamCoco writer was absolutely devastated.

21:30: We had a nightcap at the kooky tiny microbrewery ale pub The Black Dog (again, wine drinkers beware!) Tonnes of instagrammable creepy things…


09:00: We were up nice and early to explore Whitstable and suffered a similar fate as the night before looking for breakfast. We happened upon The Whitstable Coffee Company who proudly serve local food and only use local ingredients. Look out for the lovely map on the wall with details of where their meats and cheese come from.

11:00: The best thing next is to go for a walk. We got onto the seafront and got walking. Be sure to walk along to Tankerton and, on a clear day try and get a sight of the amazing and slightly spooky Red Sands Maunsell Forts.

13:30: Heading back into the main town we couldn’t pass up on some fish and chips. We popped into VC Jones for deliciousness and a cuppa, all at proper chip shop prices.

14:30: There are plenty of little galleries (and charity shops!) on the way back to the station so take your time wandering in and out of independent businesses.

15:30: If you have any time to kill pop into one of the most glamorous Wetherspoon’s we’ve ever seen; The Peter Cushing which is housed in a classic old cinema and has played up its roots with film stills on the walls.

We remain obsessed with Margate, it’s like Brighton 10 years ago. Tatty and exciting!

Anna Willatt

Anna Willatt

Living on the sunny Kent coast you'll find Anna tracking down the best new coffee shops and craft beer dens. With a penchant for vintage, she's more likely to be exploring thrift stores than Bond Street but she'll never say no to a little touch of creative luxury.

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