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  • Shell Grotto, Margate

    Shell Grotto, Margate

    Copyright Thanet Tourism
  • Botany Bay, Broadstairs

    Botany Bay, Broadstairs

    Photo Rod Edwards. Copyright Thanet Tourism
  • Seals off the Thanet coast

    Seals off the Thanet coast

    Photo Thanet Tourism
  • Viking Bay, Broadstairs

    Viking Bay, Broadstairs

    Photo Thanet Tourism
  • Viking Bay from pier

    Viking Bay from pier

    Photo Rod Edwards. Copyright Thanet Tourism
  • Theatre Royal Margate

    Theatre Royal Margate

    Copyright Theatre Royal Margate
  • Quex Park and Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington

    Quex Park and Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington

    Copyright Quex & Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington

    Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington

    Copyright Powell-Cotton Museum
  • Tudor House, Margate

    Tudor House, Margate

    Photo Thanet Tourism
  • Dickens House, Broadstairs

    Dickens House, Broadstairs

    =Copyright Thanet Tourism 
  • Joss Bay Surf School

    Joss Bay Surf School

    Photo Rod Edwards. Copyright Thanet Tourism
  • Spitfire and Hurricane Museum

    Spitfire and Hurricane Museum

    Copyright Thanet Tourism
  • The Grange, Ramsgate

    The Grange, Ramsgate

    Photo Rod Edwards. Copyright Thanet Tourism
  • Overlooking Ramsgate Royal Harbour

    Overlooking Ramsgate Royal Harbour

    Copyright Thanet Tourism

Visit > Explore Thanet (Margate, Ramsgate and Broadstairs)

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 RoyalWinter GardensMargate 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.’

Also on Margate seafront is Dreamland, 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 To find events that are happening across the county, please visit

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

36 hours in Margate >

The Isle of Thanet

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.