First Seaside Resort in Britain

By: Douglas Scott

Margate has the proud heritage of being one of Britains first seaside resorts. Margate is a town in Thanet, Kent, England it was once an old fishing village, it was developed in the mid 1700s as the earliest coastal and sea bathing resort. The pier which was known as the jetty, has now gone.

The town has much to offer the holiday maker, with its Blue Flag beaches and lovely coastal scenery.

The water front is lined with all the typical, British seaside amusements, tacky amusement arcades, Wimpy, cafe's and restaurants. The beach how ever, is still an impressive stretch of golden sand with donkey rides, a bouncy castle and boating pool, making this a very popular place for families with young children. It was the first resort to have donkey rides, in 1890, and the first to introduce deck chairs, in 1898.

It is also one of the best beaches on the East coast of England.

It was infamous for gang violence between mods and rockers in the 1960s. In May 1964, most major southern seaside resort in England were turned into a battlefield by the warring factions.

The Old Town Hall is a local History Museum which displays Margate's history during the 18th and 19th century with original paintings, prints, photographs and other items. The court room and old Victorian police station can also be seen.

The Shell Grotto is one of the worlds most mysterious places, a series of under ground rooms and passageways covered by 2000 sq ft of exquisite shell mosaic. Nobody knows who created it, although many believe it is a 2000-year-old temple.

The Margate Caves, were discovered around 1798. The caves were carved out of the chalk more than 1000 years ago and have a fascinating history including being used as a prison, a smugglers hideaway and even at one point as a secret place of worship.

The Tudor house in Margate, is thought to be one of the oldest of its kind in Kent, it was open to the public on certain dates during the 2006 summer season. The house was built around 1525. The oldest deed for the house can be traced back to 1802, when the Tudor House was a farmhouse owned by Francis Cobb. During the Second World War, the roof was damaged and vibration from bombs led to it tilting forwards. In 1951, restoration work started to return the house to its former glory.

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