Margate, Kent

Two days in March exploring a coastal town famous for its artists

We arrived in Margate and everything was glowing in the golden evening sunlight. I'd been once before. The town features a fascinating mix of old and new, and everything in-between.

We photographed this old building, the 'Empire Cinema', and wondered why there were billboards and gig posters on a boarded up old amusement arcade which looked like they'd been there since the 1980s. It wasn't until we overheard something about filming, and found a local news article online, that we realised the whole scene was set up for the production of a new Sam Mendes film featuring Olivia Colman and Colin Firth.

That evening the sky glowed over a hazy sea. It was stunning. I don't know if it was my imagination, but it looked so different to the crisp, clear winter skies in Scotland.

The next day it was more overcast, but no less atmospheric.

After a brief trip to the Turner Contemporary (which was partially closed while they were installing a new exhibition) I wandered around the old part of town, taking pictures, looking in shops and galleries, and calling at the brilliant Crab Museum to look at an exhibition of bird photography.

The old town is full of interesting buildings and little independent shops, cafés and galleries. It was fairly quiet, maybe because it was a weekday.

One of my favourite views of the town was from the harbour wall, looking back across the sandy bay towards the urban centre of Margate. It's a place of contrasts, which my words and pictures can only go so far towards describing. It was a refreshing change from Edinburgh; as much as I love my local area, it's nice to see something different every once in a while.

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