Quirky-cool Margate with its retro aesthetic and reinvigorated art scene has families flocking to the coast
Leona Thrift-ola, 40, runs luckydipclub.com, a subscription box for colour-lovers designed by indie artists. She’s mum to Lola, two.
Margate is a hotspot for vintage and my favourite is Fort Road Yard. They specialise in reclaimed fairground rides and artwork, such as Dreamland surplus and neon lights.
Lola and I love Cliffs in Cliftonville. Upstairs you’ll find a set of vintage sofas by the huge window next to a toy cupboard bursting with retro games.
We head for the Nayland Rock Shelter, where TS Eliot wrote The Waste Land, and just beyond you’ll find the Bus Cafe and Sundeck, where there’s a free bucket and spade box if you forget yours.
Built on the site where Margate’s most famous artistic patron once stayed, the Turner Contemporary is a world-class gallery with a dynamic programme. Kids will love the hands-on workshops. turnercontemporary.org
Promising ‘little bits of joy’ in the form of gifts, treats and stationery, this colourful boutique and its awesome edit of designers will soon have you scrabbling around your beach bag in search of your credit card. littlebitmargate.com
GB PIZZA CO.
This award-winning pizza company started life in the back of a campervan in 1974. Now it brings its wood-fired, crispy creations to Margate’s seafront. Dee-lish. greatbritishpizza.com
Britain’s oldest surviving amusement park has undergone a serious makeover in recent years. As well as restored vintage rides and quirky art installations, there’s delicious street food and kids will love the roller disco. dreamland.co.uk
Nobody knows who created this mysterious ‘Shellhenge’ or why, but exploring its 70ft of winding underground passageways is a must-do. shellgrotto.co.uk
On the Move
BUY: A four or five-bedroom detached family home with direct sea views costs about £600,000.
SCHOOLS: Local schools are improving but a 10-minute drive away in Broadstairs, you’ll find Haddon Dene Prep (co-ed, 3–11), which boasts a high pass rate in the 11+. St Lawrence College in Ramsgate (co-ed, 3-18) is a good independent.
Photography: Getty, Sheradon Dublin, Peter Cook