After moving to London in September last year, I had only one goal – to spend some time by the sea before autumn and winter come with their rain and cold. Busy with looking for a flat (I moved countries with an Airbnb booked for just 5 weeks – I needed something permanent ASAP!), I could only afford to leave the city on the first weekend in between flat viewings. I had one Sunday afternoon to spare – and I decided to use it wisely and see the sea and catch the last rays of sun. What a great idea it was!
I had plans to revisit Margate this spring, but coronavirus ruined this and many other ideas. I’m glad I managed to make this trip back when it was still possible.
The first item on my agenda was the Shell Grotto. Discovered in 1835, it’s a long passage leading to a rectangular chamber, covered in 4.6 million shells. Its origin remains unknown and you can sense the mystery in the air.
The town itself is really charming too. To my surprise though, it seemed very empty. Off-season, but the weather was lovely and I was expecting more people enjoying the last moments of sun and summer.
Used to the Baltic Sea, I completely forgot about the tide – the water level of the Baltic Sea stays pretty much constant. When I arrived at Margate, the beach was a fairly narrow strip of sand. I sat down for a while, then went to explore the town and the Shell Grotto. When I returned to the beach, I felt like something was off, but I didn’t fully realise what it was. It took me a while to figure out that it was the sea… the sea that was missing! Well, not entirely, as I could still see it, but it was way, way further away than just 2 hours earlier. You can tell from the photos below that the sea level had decreased by a good few meters.
A while later, I could walk up to the lighthouse – it used to be surrounded by water!
I’m looking forward to summer, there are a few other seaside towns I’d love to visit – hopefully, lockdown will be over before winter starts again. The trip to Margate was very short – just a few hours on a Sunday afternoon – but definitely worth it, on the very last warm weekend in 2019! And the ice cream was top class too. 🙂
A year earlier, I went on a trip to London. Check out the photos from that travel too!