When we got to Broadstairs (by train) and started to walk to Margate, we realised that the Viking Trail looked familiar. Then we remembered that we had walked the trail in reverse last year!
Last year, the UK was coming out of lockdown in May and therefore the beaches and trail were largely deserted. This time, it was hot and everyone had decided to go to the beach — as is usually the way in a country where sunshine is not as frequent as some would like it.
As we stood above Broadstairs beach, we got talking to a local. He said that if we went around the corner, the other beach was largely deserted. It was — but we had an appointment in Margate.
Our first stop in Margate was the Turner Contemporary, a good-looking art gallery with spacious interiors. It has free entry but you must pre-book online for a specific time. Despite it’s size, there aren’t that many exhibitions but we enjoyed the ones we saw. There was one about how immigrants were represented in the past. You can see one photo of a sign (Black Boy Greene King) below. Greene King last year renamed three pubs called Black Boy and one called Black Heads because of the “racist connotations of the names”.
Time changes everything and Margate is no different. There is a part of town that now has independent shops, boutiques and a bookshop. The “old” Margate is still there, with chip shops, gaming machines and other traditional seaside attractions.
No trip to the seaside is complete for me without eating chips. When we were sufficiently hungry, we spotted a long queue outside a chippie, which we took to be a good sign. We enjoyed the chips on the beach before heading for the train back to London.