Turner Contemporary's hometown is Margate, on the Isle of Thanet.
Thanet is rich in history and Margate is renowned for being 'the original seaside'
The gallery is on the seafront next to Margate Harbour Arm
, home to Thanet Visitor Information Centre
, where you can find out about the area and the many events taking place throughout the year.
Turner Contemporary is just a short distance from Margate Old Town and the town centre, where there are a number of boutique shops, artists' studios, galleries and lively cafés and restaurants.There is a lot to see and do whilst visiting Margate and the neighbouring resorts of Ramsgate and Broadstairs. From embracing cycle rides around the coast, eclectic attractions, live arts and music venues and independent places to eat, drink, shop and stay.
For culture lovers, take a look at the Theatre Royal
, Winter Gardens
, Margate Museum
and Shell Grotto
, all of which are a short distance from the gallery.
The New York Times in their summer 2014 article ‘The Art Crowd Return to Kent,’ says: ‘This coastal stretch on the North Sea has become a redoubt for tuned-in Londoners — London’s answer to New York City’s artsy satellites of Hudson and Beacon, N.Y. — aided by a new high-speed rail link and an expressway linking the British capital with Kent.’
In 2015, Dreamland
will reopen as a vibrant amusement park with many thrilling historic rides. Nearby, Hornby Visitor Centre
and Quex Park & Powell-Cotton Museum
in Birchington-on-Sea are great attractions for an extended visit.
Download the Discover Margate map at the bottom of this page to find attractions and follow a heritage trail around the town.
Thanet is a lively coastal isle and there is always something to see and do that will enhance your visit to Turner Contemporary. To see a full events diary, please go to visitthanet.co.uk
. To find events that are happening across the county, please visit visitkent.co.uk
Canterbury city is only a half hour drive, or 45 minute bus journey away (26km). We’re also only a few miles from other main attractions in Kent such as Leeds Castle
.Are you a group visiting Thanet?
See our groups information
, and find full travel itineraries at visitthanet.co.uk/groups36 hours in Margate >
Londoners have been escaping to the Isle of Thanet for more than 200 years … for the laidback seaside vibe … breathtaking sandy beaches … fresh sea air… and romantic Turner skies …
Here at the very edge of the Garden of England, three Georgian and Victorian resorts, each with its own distinctive character – Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate – cluster around the bays at the far end of a peninsula.
There’s a retro feel to these harbour towns, with their remarkable 18th and 19th century architecture, their classic seaside heritage and kitsch, their eclectic attractions and live arts and music venues. And there is a variety of independent places to shop, eat, drink and stay.
Miles of low chalk cliffs edge the peninsula, sheltering a string of secluded, unspoilt sandy bays. Chalk rockpools, chalk stacks and rare chalk reefs teem with wildlife. These are the closest surfing beaches to the capital city: a popular choice with south-east boarders.
Artists, writers and musicians have long been inspired by this almost-island … and continue to be drawn here. Turner said Thanet had “the loveliest skies in all Europe” … for Dickens Broadstairs was “the freshest, freest place” … and Tracey Emin declares in pink neon on Margate seafront: “I never stopped loving you”.
The Isle’s a historic landing place steeped in symbolism for the story of Britain … the first Saxons Hengist and Horsa arrived and settled here … and St Augustine first stepped onto these shores on his way to nearby Canterbury.
For this is the furthest south east you can go in Britain … almost touching mainland Europe … yet these days only 75 minutes (124km) from central London …
And now with Turner Contemporary and high-speed trains from the capital … a new generation is discovering this original seaside escape.