An inspirational setting for T S Eliot's masterpiece & the setting for Del's Jolly Boy's day out & therein lies the beauty of Margate. The yin & the yang the rough & the smooth, this jewel of Kent has both sides in spades. Like much of the UK coastal scene, Margate has fallen on hard times & now there are signs that this peninsula of North East Kent is starting to flourish. A creative scene is most evident as you wander through the coffee bars dotted around its cobbled streets with just a hint of the previous nights shenanigans in the form of a discarded pair of stilettos that lie tucked up against a drainpipe.
If sweet & saccharine is what you're after - Margate is not your bag. Yes, its beaches invite you & the sun paints a vista round the harbour you'd happily settle for...but as the line goes "they say it changes when the sun goes down around here". But thats the charm. This Coastal Town is full of allure with its family fun factory at Dreamland, the culture vultures & their love of the Turner Gallery & hipsters are never disappointed in the coffee bars & vintage boutiques. But the absolute beauty of Margate is its dark side, the underbelly, the stories from the night before that stain the cobbled streets of this sinister seaside town.
So don't be put off, embrace it. Margate's charm is all year round. In fact the best days are often when the storm clouds gather & the mood of the town is a bit grim. A different mood to the sun kissed beaches of July when the arcades are winking & Dreamland screams old school Coaster rides.
Yes, the Lido has obviously seen better days. Nevertheless the relics of its former glory still hold a charm & maybe a glimmer of what might be in the not so distant future. The town has inspired so many artists, film directors & now draws in theme park enthusiasts, bohemian hipsters, families from the South East lapping up its sun drenched beaches....it continues to inspire & delight.
So whatever your desires, dark or otherwise give Margate a chance. You won't be disappointed.