In just over 90 minutes from London by train you can be in Margate. It's about the same time by car, with the motorway now running unbroken all the way from the Blackwall Tunnel to Margate.
Margate is no longer just a 'Kiss Me Quick Hat' seaside resort either. There is a lot to see and do here we have some great pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants catering for all tastes, but we also have stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and some great walks and bike rides.
Hopewell House is a 10-15 (depends on you) minute walk from the Turner Contemporary Art Centre which is an exciting and long overdue attraction. It provides a focus that Margate has been seeking for many years, and one that doesn't portray Margate as just drunken beano's or Mods and Rockers or Punks and Skinheads punching lumps out of each other.
Margate Old Town. The nation's high streets may be declining but here they are definitely open for business. Margate Old Town is at the bottom end of the High Street opposite the harbour. Margate Old Town is a place for creativity and the arts, with a range of galleries, cafes and niche shops. Set back from the harbour the Old Town combines history with regeneration. Walk through the cobbled streets to find the old Market Place, where markets are still held on Sundays through the year. Visited by Her Majesty the Queen 2011.
Quex Park is a 15 minute bus ride away with its unique Country Park of 250 acres set within an estate of 1800 acres around Birchington, Acol and Richborough. The Park is an oasis of parkland and trees in a Thanet landscape of open topography and urban development. All the trees were planted in the 19th Century by John Baden-Powell and his successors, who realised when planting, that they would never live to see the true beauty of their vision. The Park is a haven for birdlife with over 50 species recorded in the last few years. Within the Park is Quex House built in 1805, a bell tower (Waterloo Tower) built 1819 with its extremely rare secular peal of 12 bells. Like many traditional country estates, the profitability of farming alone was not able to provide for the upkeep of the various historic buildings and parkland. As a result the Estate has diversified its many redundant outdated agricultural buildings. Within the Park there is a Childrens Indoor and Outdoor Play Centre (Jungle Jims), a Craft Village, a Garden Nursery (The Secret Garden), Quex Park Livery, a Farmshop and Butchery (Quex Barn Farmer's Market) and in the summer, a giant Maize Maze. Quex Park is also the home of the Trust for Thanet Archaeology.
If you feel the need for some fresh air there is nothing between Margate and the North Pole, except sea. The Victorians believed Margate had recuperative powers because of the sea and the fresh air, we think they were probably right then, but even more so now with modern life being so stressful.
Hopewell House is well situated for access to all of the amenities of the local towns, 100 yards from our front door is the bus stop of the Thanet Loop service which runs around the Island, but if you prefer, an £8 taxi fare will take you to most places in Thanet.
15 minutes on the bus is the Westwood Cross shopping centre
We are a 2 minute cycle ride to the Viking Way cycle route that runs along the coastal path taking in some of the loveliest beaches from Reculver Towers to Sandwich. Whether you're an experienced cyclist or a novice, you'll find plenty to enjoy along the 43.2 km (27 miles) long route as it winds its way past sandy beaches and bays, spectacular chalk cliffs, lively seaside resorts and quiet country villages.
A 5 minute walk to the Winter Gardens theatre where top acts appear regularly, JLS, Paul Weller, Status Quo, the Osmonds, Lulu, ELO, Simple Minds, 10 CC. Example, and many more have played here in the last couple of years.
We have the Shell Grotto just around the corner, and some great fishing spots off the beaches or the harbour walls.
After a long day enjoying the scenery or shopping until you are dropping, you can relax in a quiet house, in a quiet street, and recharge your batteries.
Some of the places to eat and drink
Barnacles PH, Margate Harbour. 01843 293316 - All the team make you feel welcome, they sell some excellent real ales. If you want to see a romantic sunset, then the view from the front of Barnacles is often very special.
The Ambrette 44 King Street, Margate. 01843 231504. firstname.lastname@example.org. Probably some of the finest meals we have ever had. You need to book!
Cinnamon Spice, Indian restaurant, Margate Harbour well priced, good service, and very good food. Opened 2011.
The Westcoast - bar, music venue, live gigs, eating, dancing, private parties, shows, events and bands. A club and bar that has excellent entertainment all year round, a 10 minute(ish) walk from Hopewell House.
The Hoy - bar and restaurant, good food, reasonable prices, and all of our guests have said they had a good meal here, as indeed have we.
Harbour Cafe bar- Jazz nights, great food, really nice people. "The hip Harbour Cafe..provides the perfect midday bite" - Mail on Sunday "An arty bohemian interior that wouldn't look out of place in Camden or Islington" - Isle Magazine
Oh! and who could forget Broadstairs - lots of pubs, numerous restaurants, and nice beaches for around £2.00 return on the bus