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Culture and People in Margate, UK

The Handsome Freaks crew (clockwise from back left): Evie, 14, sales assistant, Becky, 17, sales assistant, Ally Blackgrove, 29, owner, Rebecca, 18, sales assistant

With ever-increasing house prices pushing ‘creatives’ out of London, seaside towns like Margate (laboriously labeled Shoreditch-on-Sea) in Kent are seeing an influx of Londoners drawn to its plentiful period properties, affordable rent, amazing sea views and sense of freedom. Add a contemporary art gallery into the mix and creative hubs are bound to thrive – and Margate is thriving.!

Events such as the “Margate Festival” and “By The Sea” (a music festival set up by Moshi Moshi Records), and the revamping (by Hemingway Design) of the Dreamland theme park are aiding the regeneration process. A certain grubbiness still remains, but the cobbled streets are now lined with cool cafes and vintage shops that have transformed the old town into a mini-fashion haven. Even the rough edges of neighboring town Cliftonville (Margate’s East End) are slowly being smoothed out with cool hipster hangouts.

Bubbling with a colossal and almost tangible community spirit, this once neglected seaside town boasts a rapidly developing art and music scene, great social hang outs, rentable studio spaces, a love for local ingenuity and appears to openly welcome aspiring DFL’s (Down From London).

Margate’s landmark art gallery, the Turner Contemporary, offers world-class art exhibitions (and stunning views), while Tom Thumb screens offbeat theatre, films and live music. Pop to Dreamland for workshops, vintage markets and club nights and keep your artistic flame alight with roaming events from the creative Plinth Space.

Luke Brennen, 39, artist & Amy Redmond, 29, founder of Sink the Pink
Luke Brennen, 39, artist & Amy Redmond, 29,
founder of Sink the Pink


Vintage cool thrives with retro denim shapes, checked shirts or jackets and grandma-style knitwear!


Ex Londoners Ed and Kier’s love for coffee and music gave birth to an amazing coffee shop/hairdressers/record shop, where vintage (and yoga) reign. Behind a humble bottle green façade lies a friendly social club and art space dedicated to live music, DJs, performance, art, dance, theatre, workshops and of course a (locally sourced) bar! A small yet perfectly formed shop selling a great range of luxury British wardrobe staples from both established and small independent designers. A creative hub of co-working spaces and studios for burgeoning artists, designers, photographers, illustrators, printmakers and micro businesses, housed in a charming Victorian warehouse.


Easy-to-wear menswear silhouettes, inspired by the calm waters and burning sunsets of Margate. For the ultimate local touch, the organic cotton garments are dunked into the sea providing a unique handle and smell. Minimalist handcrafted jewellery created in both silver and bronze using traditional silversmith and casting techniques. Fun, hand-painted plant pots, retro-inspired jewellery and an on-going love affair for cactuses, the light-heartedness from This Way To The Circus is almost tangible. Popular culture and the natural world collide in brightly coloured vivacious work that uses a variety of mediums including drawing, sculpture, painting, screen and lino print and bold collages.

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