Trip to Margate on Saturday

We wanted to continue our exploration of English seaside towns and chose Margate – no special reason really, but it turned out to be a good choice as it is quite different to Hastings where we went on our last trip. For one thing, it has beautiful golden beach sand and have to say that people were making the most of the warm and sunny weather. The train filled up gradually as we got closer to our destination until there were people standing.

The train to Margate starts at Victoria Station. Stephen booked the tickets online the day before and we picked them up from a ticket machine when we got to the station. We left the house at about 9.30 a.m. and arrived home at 10.00 p.m. – a 12 hour day with around 5 hours of travelling, but still easier to organise than staying overnight. It gave us a chance to experience the seaside experience though we didn’t explore all that Margate has to offer.

My step count for the day was 19,000, and that equates to 10kms. There were lots of stairs as we went up and down from the beach front. We had lots of time for sitting around (on trains and in cafes) and it didn’t seem arduous at all, until we got home and I went straight to bed.

At lunchtime we found a pub with outdoor seating and reasonable prices. A shared bottle of alcohol free beer (.5 instead of the usual .4 alcohol, so called alcohol free beer wouldn’t work for a recovering alcoholic), a baked potato with cheese and salad for me and a green curry and rice for Stephen. There was a breeze and we almost put our jumpers on. You may see some photos of Stephen with his jumper on. By evening, the breeze had dropped and it was quite warm.

The most amazing natural feature was the difference between high tide (12.30 p.m) and low tide (6.30 p.m.). We left just as it reached peak tide to catch our train home. Days like this do not necessarily occur all that often and there were places that hired out deck chairs, beach umbrellas and wind breaks. Some people on the train brought picnics with them, but there was no need to bring other beach equipment, even if you had it.

IMG_4592.jpeg

low tide with boats on sand (1 of 1).jpg
Low tide with boats on the sand
high tide with boats floating (1 of 1).jpg
Taken at around 6.30 p.m. with boats afloat.

The day was a little misty, especially noticeable over the sea.

Another phenomenon was a statue of a man looking out to see, which gradually disappeared as the tide came in.

man in the sea (1 of 1)

man in the sea as tide coming in (1 of 1).jpg

man in the sea as tide disappeared (1 of 1).jpg
So completely gone that we had difficulty locating where he was.
man in the sea sign (1 of 1).jpg
There was a museum nearby where we spent some time, viewing the exhibitions and having afternoon tea. We spent so long there that although I got one photo through a viewing window of the sea rising on the man, it had completely disappeared by the time we went out again. I wish I had gone out early enough to catch another glimpse of him being swallowed up.
England now (1 of 1).jpg
The water was fairly shallow and you had to go out some way for swimming, both in the bay and here on the outer beach. A little bit of social commentary… England is very black and white these days – and people of all colours mix socially (except at Glynbourne, which was overwhelmingly white, including the cast on stage). We hear about racism here, but it seems very integrated to us.

Our longest walk was after the museum visit and afternoon tea. We walked along the beach on a paved path, then up through a gap in the cliffs to the path along the top.

cliff gap (1 of 1)

flowers and sea (1 of 1).jpg

As usual, we find travelling in trains very comfortable and restful. Stephen bought some Kentish Gypsy Tarts to enjoy on the way. He was excited to find we could buy two for 1.5 pounds (I’ll have to find the pound sign on my laptop keyboard, it must have one).

IMG_3835.jpeg

Our dinner consisted of a shared, very expensive hot dog, these tarts, 2 small apples and a stick of Margate Rock. The tarts were very light and I couldn’t pin down the flavour of the filling, perhaps mocca.

high tide water at steps (1 of 1).jpg
Sea lapping at the foot of these steps at the end of the day. The steps were a long way from the water when we arrived.

Matt rang us at 11.30 a.m. today (Sunday). I was just setting up the laptop for blogging and it was a good time to see him. He seems, as usual, very happy and relaxed.