Things to do

There is plenty to see and do in Margate. There is a tourist office near the Turner Contemporary and you can pick up the excellent free local magazines Margate Mercury and Isle Magazine in local cafes which list upcoming events as well as the latest hotspots and happenings. If you are prepared to venture further afield there are numerous other options available. Some of our local favourites, all tried and tested, are listed below along with our pick of the fantastic local bars, pubs and places of interest. Enjoy!

Eating Out

Margate deservedly has a growing reputation for the quality of its dining and there are a great selection of local restaurants to suit any taste within a very short walk of Smugglers Cottage. Exciting new restaurants are opening all the time so we certainly recommend some research on the internet if you want to find the latest pop up! There is always enough on offer to keep our most demanding foodie guests fully satisfied and planning a follow up visit. The Taste of Margate website and blog keeps visitors and residents up to date with the ever changing local food and drink scene.

Shakey Shakey Fish Bar
The Cafe - Turner Contemporary
GB Pizza
Yama Thai Kitchen
Bows Kitchen
Buoy and Oyster
Mannings Seafood Stand
Waverley House
Masala Gate
Mullin's Brasserie
Pete's Fish Factory
Angela's / Dory's
Beet Bar
Bottega Caruso
Mama Jinny Thai Kitchen
Curve Coffee Roasters
The Bus Cafe
Olivio Margate
Seaside Cake Parlour

Bars & Pubs

The Lifeboat
The Fez
The Two Halves
The Glass Jar
Harbour Arms
Lighthouse Bar
Little Prince
The Clockwork Cocktail Company
The Sun Deck
The Rose in June
Mariachi Tequila & Mezcal Bar
The Bulls Head
Fort Road Hotel Bar
The George and Heart
Little Swift

Entertainment and Culture

Turner Contemporary
The Shell Grotto
The Tudor House

Temporarily closed.

Tom Thumb Theatre
Pie Factory
Ramsgate Music Hall
Margate Caves
Carlton Cinema
The Crab Museum
Where Else
Liminal Gallery
Carl Freedman Gallery


There are shops in the Old Town to suit all budget and tastes from bric-a-brac and retro finds at a fraction of London prices to designer homewares and from vintage clothing to top end designer fashion boutiques. The following Kent Live link gives a bit more background about some of the people behind the shops:
Thanet: Margate Old Town – The people and places making up the most underrated part of Kent – Kent Live

Lombard Street
Les Animaux
Margate Old Town Market
Junk Deluxe
The Old Kent Market
ZIGZAG Footwear
Albion Stores
RG Scott's Furniture Mart
Papillon Interiors

Other Activities

Margate is an ideal base to explore the wider Kent area and nearby towns of Broadstairs, Ramsgate, Sandwich, Deal, Whitstable and Canterbury. There are miles of wild and natural sandy beaches nearby and more things to do than we can list here, so here is a short 5 minute film showing Thanet’s wonderful coastline and beaches. To find out more is a great source of information or visit the helpful tourist office on the harbour arm. If you fancy travelling further then is another useful website to visit.

Ben's Photography Workshop

Want to capture the perfect sunset and make your Instagram page stand out from the crowd? Local photographer Ben Bowles (who has taken some of the summer season photos in our gallery and co-produced our videos) offers one to one or group coaching here in Margate.


Phone: 00 44 (0)7731 769601

Viking Coastal Trail

Some of our guests have enjoyed the wonderful scenic cycle path along the local coastline. Don’t worry if you didn’t bring your bikes, you can hire them here in Margate.

Botany Bay
Kingsgate Bay
Walpole Bay Tidal Pool
Minnis Bay
Sandwich and Pegwell Bay
Joss Bay Surf School
Magical Margate Walk

A great way to get acquainted with Margate on your first visit is to take this hour long walk. An audio guide can be downloaded from the website which also shows a map of the walk and main points of interest.

Sea Searcher Boat Trips