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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.