I’ve been to Margate a few times now, visiting my brother, but every time I go, there seems to be something new for me to discover. Last time, I took my first trip to Dreamland, a lovely pleasure park opposite the beach, with one of the world’s oldest roller coasters. And, currently, Dreamland have free entry (though you have to pay if you want to go on any of the rides), so we popped in there for a drink and a wander, and even if you have no interest in rides, it’s well worth a look. There’s usually something going on, and there’s lovely spots to just sit and have a drink, enjoying the atmosphere.
This visit, we also went to Whitstable, a lovely seaside town with plenty of food for any seafood lovers to enjoy, and a brilliant market with a variety of crafts for sale.
But mainly, we visited bookshops. As it turns out, Margate has a brilliant selection of second-hand bookshops and considering the amount of times I’ve been, I’m actually upset I didn’t realise this earlier.
Firstly, Pilgrim’s Hospice, a charity bookshop in an old bank. The building is lovely, and they have a huge selection of books, mostly for under £2 (including some excellent hardbacks selling for £1.50!). The layout is wonderful, bright, and very well organised, making it easy to find something to your taste.
Not far from here is a small comic book shop (should have noted the name down!) with a mix of second-hand and new graphic novels., comics, and merch From here, I picked up Sandman and Spider-Man/Deadpool. So eager to get stuck into both of them.
We also visited Hooked by Books, again a really nice, well-laid out second-hand bookshop, with a range of true crime, history and fiction books. It was hard to just pick out a few to buy here.
And, lastly for book shops, that evening we visited Broadstairs. Broadstairs is a small area not far from Margate, with a variety of bars and restaurants. Perfect for a night out. We were hoping to visit Houdini’s, but after food and a few drinks we were all exhausted, so decided to call it a night. But not before one very particular pub my future sister-in-law was very keen on me seeing.
My love of books is no secret in my family, and although my brother does enjoy reading, he doesn’t do it as much due to lack of time, whereas I will always make time for it (he always makes a point of reading my stories). So, my brother and future SIL – who have also seen the books spilling down the stairs leading to my attic bedroom – knew how much I’d love the bar.
The Chapel is, well, a former chapel, but after it finished being a place of worship, it became a bookshop. Then, eventually, a bar, owned by Brewdog. But rather than stripping the place of all those lovely books, they simply sell the books. They’re reasonable prices, and even if not buying one, you’re welcome to sit and browse, read them, as long as you put them back in the correct places. All books are for sale. My only complaint was that, in the evening, it was too dark to see some titles on the shelves, and I couldn’t exactly start climbing over people to get a closer look at certain books.
We will definitely have to visit again during a quieter time – maybe daytime, so there’s more light!
Overall, I came home with the books pictured above, as well as picking up a present for Dad (a book about Tommy Cooper) and a lovely stories and rhymes for every day for a friend’s little girl. So far, I’ve only managed to read one book (The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School), and I cannot wait to get stuck into the rest, some of which have been sitting on my virtual to be read for ages.
So, if you’re looking for a picturesque seaside town, with plenty to do and various choices for picking up books, I really do recommend Margate. It’s a brilliant place for book lovers (and dog lovers, too!), as well as having a lovely beach and plenty of places to sit, talk, drink, read, or ride a roller coaster! And if you are planning a trip, I also recommend my brother’s cabin, which includes a pool table and hot tub, and allows plenty of room to enjoy your own space, as well as the best shower I’ve ever been in! Details on Airbnb.