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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 10 February, 2024
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe

Spectacularly located right on Margate Sands, part of the joy of Turner Contemporary is discovering a gallery of such quality in such an unexpected location. The painter JMW Turner was a regular visitor to the town in the 19th century, and the dramatic skies and coastline were the inspiration for many of his paintings.

The gallery hosts a rolling list of temporary exhibitions – including works by Turner himself – of sculpture, painting and visual arts. There are no permanent collections.


Price: Free
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

Driving from London to Margate takes about two hours; there is plenty of parking close to the gallery. There are excellent train connections from London King’s Cross station, taking about 90 minutes.

Entry is free but you need to book tickets in advance to guarantee entry. For refreshments, the in-house café serves locally-sourced food and nice views of the harbour.

When to do it

It’s open all year round, Tuesday to Sunday. Closed on Monday, and on Tuesdays in winter months.

If possible, avoid the school summer holidays; Margate itself is a popular beach resort and the town (not the museum) will be over-run with families and tourists.

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