Turner Contemporary


“One of the most beautiful, naturally lit galleries in Britain" Evening Standard

Finalist in Beautiful South Awards 2014

Admission to Turner Contemporary is free

Opening times
Tuesday - Sunday plus bank holidays 10am - 5pm 
We are closed Mondays except bank holidays

Christmas opening
Open Christmas Eve 10am - 4pm
Closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day
Open Monday 29 December 10am - 5pm
Cafe open until 4.30pm
We are closed Mondays except bank holidays

Current exhibitions 
Jeremy Deller English Magic  Until 11 January 2015

Turner Contemporary
Kent CT9 1HG

Tel: + 44 (0) 1843 233000
Email: info@turnercontemporary.org

Turner Contemporary is fully accessible for visitors
There is a ramp to the main entrance and café, as well as an internal lift to all upper floor galleries. Seven disabled parking spaces are available on the piazza at the front of the gallery, as signposted. We have two wheelchairs available for visitors to use. 

Audio descriptive tour 
An audio tour for visually impaired visitors is available on request. Please call 01843 233000 to book prior to visiting.

Our cafe offers modern seasonal cuisine with views overlooking Margate harbour.

Cafe opening times:
Tuesday to Sunday 10am - 4.30pm
Friday & Saturday Evenings 6.30pm - 10pm (last orders 9pm)
Make a booking on 01843 220253
Find out more >

Find a wide range of gifts, accessories, books and exhibition mementoes in our shop. 
Open Tuesday to Sunday and bank holidays 10am - 6pm.

"I've been several times since the gallery opened and have never been disappointed. Architecturally, I think the building is a great success, borrowing the sea views that Turner drew inspiration from. It's large enough to hold interesting exhibitions but small enough that you can do a whole exhibition in one visit. I've had great conversations with friends following each visit - art is supposed to stimulate the senses and the mind and the Turner Contemporary's certainly do that. Remarkably it's free. A fabulous addition to Margate. And well worth a day trip from London - or anywhere else for that matter." Visitor

"I never imagined that my family and grandchildren would have the opportunity to walk into a local gallery to view world-class art. Now they do."  Local resident
"It’s a joy to have Turner Contemporary on our doorstep." Margate resident

“The Turner is beautiful. The entrance hall, shop and café are illuminated by vast windows which look out over the sea. It is flooded with light.”
Editor, Sunday Express

We are a charity and need your support to continue our work. Donate today >

How to find us / getting here

Turner Contemporary
Kent CT9 1HG

Tel: + 44 (0)1843 233 000
Fax: + 44 (0)1843 233 029
Email: info@turnercontemporary.org

Situated on the North Kent coast, Margate is only a 90 minute drive or train journey from central London.

The gallery is just over half a mile along the seafront from Margate train station and close to all main bus routes in the town. The gallery is just a short walk from Margate town centre and the Old Town, where there are a number of artists' studios, galleries and lively cafés and restaurants.

Canterbury city is only a half hour drive, or 45 minute bus journey away. We’re also only a few miles from other main attractions in Kent such as Hornby Visitor Centre and Quex Park & Powell-Cotton Museum in Birchington-on-Sea.

By car
Plan your journey using AA's routefinder


The gallery only has onsite disabled parking (seven spaces), on the piazza at the front of the gallery. These spaces are signposted. The seafront piazza is for pedestrians and cyclists only and must be kept clear at all times for the RNLI lifeboat in case of emergencies.

There is on-street parking near the gallery (on the Harbour Arm next to the gallery, charges apply), as well as pay and display car parks close by:

- College Square (Morrison's multi storey) CT9 1QA

- Trinity Square CT9 1HR

- Free parking every Saturday at Mill Lane Car Park, Margate (number 10 on the map).

For a map of parking in Margate, please see below or click here.


By Train

High speed trains from London St Pancras and Stratford International run every hour and take just 90 minutes. 

Mainline trains from London Victoria, Cannon Street, Charing Cross and London Bridge, which take a little longer. Victoria offers a frequent service with trains running approximately every half hour.

By Bus

Direct buses to Margate from all surrounding towns in East Kent. Visit Kent County Council's Public Transport website to find your most direct bus route. There you can also download a map of Kent and all available bus routes in the county.

Eastonways Island Hoppa Bus E83 route offers a direct service from Margate station to Turner Contemporary and the Old Town. Find out more.


For school visits click here

Please fill in and return the group booking form available to download at the bottom of this page to visit@turnercontemporary.org prior to your planned visit.

Our friendly team of Navigators have been trained to lead group tours of the exhibition, inspired by your questions. 60 minute sessions £3 per head (minimum of 8 per group). Please book at least two weeks in advance.

Coach parties

There is a drop off and turning point for coaches in front of the gallery. There is a nearby coach park in Cliftonville, along the seafront from Turner Contemporary, and also at Dreamland.

To request information about group visits or to book a visit, please email us at visit@turnercontemporary.org or call 01843 233000.

You may also like to combine your trip to Turner Contemporary with a visit to nearby attractions Hornby Visitor Centre and Quex Park & Powell-Cotton Museum, for a full day itinerary.

For any further information about the area, accommodation,  a complete events listing for Thanet and itineraries, please visit the Visitor Information Centre at Droit House (next door to Turner Contemporary on Margate Harbour Arm) or go to visitthanet.co.uk.

'This is just a note to thank you on behalf of my fellow NADFAS members for organising for us such a good visit to Turner Contemporary. Your colleagues were all friendly and helpful. And what a splendid gift shop! We were very happy with our visit. Thank you.'

Vanessa Shenton, Visits Secretary Beckenham Decorative and Fine Arts Society

Frequently Asked Questions


How much does the gallery cost to enter?
Admission to Turner Contemporary is FREE.

How is the gallery funded? 
Turner Contemporary is a charity. Our core funders are Kent County Council and Arts Council England. We fundraise and generate income through our commercial activities (café, shop and venue hire).

We are grateful for all support, however big or small. You can donate online at www.turnercontemporary.org/support. Alternatively, you can speak to our Development Team on 01843 233000.

Getting here
Road signage to the gallery needs improving. When will road signage updates take place? 
We are aware that road signage can be improved along major routes to the gallery. We are working closely with Kent County Council and Thanet District Council to improve road signage. Road signage projects are managed by the councils, who schedule updates alongside many other development projects. We take a regular, proactive approach to encourage improvements, but are unable to determine when updates will occur as this is led by the councils. Please visit www.kent.gov.uk and www.thanet.gov.uk for details.

Where is the entrance sign showing the way into Turner Contemporary?
The gallery is an iconic architectural landmark on Margate seafront. To indicate its position, there are large signs outside of the gallery on The Parade. There is also signage on the external wall of the building with opening times and notifying you that admission is free.

Why is there no parking?
The gallery has onsite disabled parking (seven spaces), on the piazza at the front of the gallery. These spaces are signposted. No parking was a condition of our planning permission, as stipulated by Thanet District Council, to encourage pedestrian movement throughout the town, thereby maximising the regenerative effect of Turner Contemporary.

The RNLI Lifeboat Station is positioned next to the gallery and it is vital that there is access to the sea from the station at all times. The seafront piazza is for pedestrians and cyclists only and must be kept clear at all times for the RNLI lifeboat in case of emergencies.

There is parking nearby (see below).

Where is the nearest parking?
There is on-street parking near the gallery (on the Harbour Arm next to the gallery, charges apply), as well as pay and display car parks close by:

- Trinity Square CT9 1HR)

- College Square (Morrison's multi storey) CT9 1QA

For a map of parking in Margate, please go to http://en.parkopedia.co.uk/parking/building/turner-contemporary-margate/.

Art and exhibitions
We aim to offer our visitors a new experience each visit and to illuminate Turner’s work in new and exciting ways.

Through our Public and Learning Programmes we offer visitors a range of opportunities to engage with and be stimulated by art, from events, workshops and projects to talks, film screenings and performances.

We are determined that every person we engage with has a unique and meaningful experience at the gallery. We work closely with schools, children and young people, offering unique opportunities for team building and skills development.

Can I see a permanent collection of Turner works?
We do not have a permanent collection, but show a rolling programme of temporary exhibitions. We are committed to showing at least one work by Turner at all times, which can be a painting, sketch or sketchbook, as well as major exhibitions of his work: such as Turner and the Elements in 2012, Turner and Constable in 2013 and Making Painting: Helen Frankenthaler and JMW Turner in 2014.

We work closely with Tate and other world collections to show Turner works not regularly on show, such as Colour Beginnings, which featured in our 2012 Turner and the Elements exhibition.

Visitors often remark “Why is that art?” 
This is an eternal question for gallery visitors. There is no right and wrong answer when viewing art. At Turner Contemporary, we invite you to enjoy a range of art and artists, both historical and contemporary, and a variety of artistic mediums. We are not asking you to think in a particular way, or to ‘like’ everything you see. We aim to make world-class art accessible to all, for free.

We hope through our changing exhibitions and our events, that you have the opportunity to see, think and learn differently, every time you visit the gallery.

Do you show work by local contemporary artists?
Turner Contemporary is an exhibiting gallery (a gallery that displays art), rather than a commercial gallery (a gallery that sells art). We show works by leading national and international artists.

We plan our exhibitions up to 5 years in advance, and our aim is to show a diverse range of historical and contemporary art. This can include local artists, such as contemporary artist Hamish Fulton who is based in Canterbury and was exhibited in the gallery in 2012.

Why doesn't Turner Contemporary sell work by local artists?
Turner Contemporary is a publicly funded exhibiting gallery. We are not a commercial gallery (a gallery that sells art). Artworks we show are not for sale.

Who chooses which artists will have their work displayed and how are they selected?
We have a dedicated programming team which includes our Director Victoria Pomery, Head of Exhibitions Sarah Martin, Head of Learning Karen Eslea, as well as curators and learning officers. Many factors are considered when devising the exhibition programme. Our mission is to present world-class art, to inspire, challenge and engage visitors, and to show a diverse range of artists, artworks and art forms. Alongside this, we consider the cost and logistics of showing the artworks, and how audiences will respond to the art. We aim to make great art accessible to all.

Can I take photographs in the galleries?
The copyright of every artwork is owned by an individual or organisation. Depending on a lender’s specification determines whether photography of an artwork at Turner Contemporary is allowed. We follow copyright procedures as advised by the artists and lenders.
Whilst many exhibitions have a no photography policy due to copyright, commissions and artworks displayed in our Sunley Gallery and corridor often are ok to photograph.

A no photography symbol is displayed to indicate that photography is not permitted, and our Gallery Assistants are always available to advise you.

Please check before taking photographs.

In spaces where no artworks are displayed, we welcome visitors to take photos and share memories of your visit with us on Twitter @TCMargate, Facebook and Flickr.

Are there signs telling me not to take photos?
Yes, we show the symbol below at the entry of an exhibition to inform visitors that photography is not permitted. Our Gallery Assistants are also there to advise, please feel free to ask them what can be photographed. 
Which local cafes and restaurants would you recommend?
There are plenty of independent cafes and restaurants in Margate, in the Old Town and High Street which are both a short walking distance from the gallery. From sit down meals to light bites and coffee specialists, there’s something to suit every taste and budget. Turner Contemporary also has a café, next to the entrance of the gallery which serves hot and cold food, cakes, snacks and a range of drinks.






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