Thanet Uncovered

Sharing all of our discoveries of the beautiful area of Thanet in Kent. An insider’s view on Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate. Things to see in Thanet, Things to do in Thanet, Where to eat in Thanet, what to drink in Thanet.

Turner contemporary art

Turner Contemporary If there’s one thing you do visit whilst in Thanet I would make it the Turner Contemporary Gallery which sits at the beginning of the pier arm in Margate overlooking the long sandy beach. A contemporary white building that shines out over the bay and grabs everyone’s attention. I recently visited to take a look at the Seeing Round Corners exhibition and I wasn’t disappointed. The gallery is free to enter and explore and I am always in awe of the exhibitions and artwork laid out. This time was no exception and my tour started outside the building on my walk up the steps to the entrance where I spotted this fabulous interpretation of the Union Jack. I love how all of the different patterns fall into a perfect Union Jack which is immediately recognisable.

the new union jack

Yinka Shonibare

As I stepped through the entrance I found myself in a library. It was, in fact, Yinka Shonibare’s The British Library. On closer inspection, you could see that each of the books lining the shelves had been covered in brightly coloured fabric, a bit like we used to cover our school books back in the day. When you moved in even closer, names printed in gold could be spotted on the spines of the books, lots of very recognisable names.

Yinka-Shonibare-The-British-Library

Yinka Shonibare’s The British Library celebrates and questions how immigration has contributed to the British culture of today. Shelves and shelves of books covered in colourful wax fabric the spines bearing the names of immigrants who have enriched British society.

Yinka-Shonibare

Mark Batchelor

There are some steps leading to the upper level and these are never left without any artwork to admire on your way up. In fact this time I was smiling as I spotted the Mini Disco by Mark Batchelor hanging from the ceiling in perfect symmetry.

Mini-Disco-by-Mark-Batchelor

If you look even closer you will see that each disco ball is made entirely out of colourful plastic sunglasses, but aren’t they effective?

There is a great shop to visit which has so many wonderful things from jewellery to colouring books and I always come away with something no matter how small.

There are also workshops held upstairs for adults and children and I really want to take the twins along one day as I am sure they would gain enormously from being inspired by the work around them and just having a go at something new.

The exhibition is upstairs and includes all sorts of mediums, from art, to sculpture and also video and motion pieces. It’s really interesting and I always wish I could come up with some of these grand ideas that I see displayed.

Back down stairs I popped through the corridors to see what was hanging and was struck by these posters. It saddens me that people amongst us can be so cruel to say such things.

Turner-Contemporary-

Richard Long

As I exited the gallery and started to make me way over to Dreamland where dad was with the girls I looked back, and thank goodness I did otherwise I would have missed this enormous wall art called The Ebb Tide Circle Richard Long. It is painted on the wall and Richard Long uses his body to get the effect of movement. Fascinating.

EbbTide-Circle-Richard-Long

Keep up to date with the Turner Contemporary by checking their website (link at the top of the text) and their Facebook page

Dreamland timeline

You may have heard whispers of Dreamland this summer, a colourful fun fair in Margate, Kent that has thrilled families since the 1920’s. We had heard both good and bad opinions and so when Dreamland invited us down to try out the Frosted Fairground for ourselves we jumped at the chance as it’s only by seeing something yourself can you make your own mind up.

Dreamland has had it’s ups and downs since opening its doors in the 1920’s, it’s gone through good periods and bad, one of which led to it’s closure and consequently a Save Dreamland campaign for those who still believed in the fun fair’s future. In fact if you ask anyone have they been to Margate they will automatically mention Dreamland.

I can remember going as a child, I remember the steep slope down to the entrance, I remember the bumpy slide and the long walk up to the top for my second bumpy ride down. I can also remember the Scenic Railway rollercoaster and holding my breath as the train hurtled over the wooden bumps and down to the ground again.

I discovered the Scenic Railway had been awarded a Grade II listing in March 2002 and further intrigued to discover that the Dreamland Trust’s vision was to focus on the historic rides that have thrilled families for decades.

Dreamland - view from the big wheel

The Frosted Fairground

Our day started shortly after 10am having parked the car right next to the funfair (Car Park: £4.00 for 24 hours) and made our way into the main building to meet the Dreamland crew. We were given wristbands that allowed us on all the rides and an important appointment to meet Santa and his Elves in the Hornby Hobby workshop at 4pm.

It was cold but we were wrapped up warm and prepared as we could be for a day out in the frosted fairground. Our first chosen ride was the Big Wheel, each seat spins up 35 metres and from the top you have a marvellous view over Margate beach. The Big wheel is pretty central to the park and so you have a great view of the entire park from the top.

Dreamland food court

We tried the Gallopers carousel, the Hurricane Jets, the Cyclone Twist, the Dodgems and of course the bumpy slide ‘Born Slippy’

A trip on Monotopia was good exercise and we loved the Maze hall of mirrors.

The Scenic Railway was a lot of fun as you can see below. It is an amazing structure and the small booth by it sells pieces of reclaimed wood made into clocks and cubes.

As you can imagine the girls went on every single ride they were allowed to and sometimes two or three times, it was whilst waiting for them on the Jumping Pirate Boats that I found this little gem …

If there is one thing I can assure you, you will not get bored, there is a roller skating rink, a fabulous amusement arcade, plus as you walk around the fairground there are lots of pop up acts, I watched Aladdin and Cinderella pop ups, I saw dancers and singers on the bandstand and of course we visited Santa and his elf workshop before leaving.

For all of the rides at The Frosted Fairground you will need tokens which can be bought at the kiosks in the park or the entrance, here’s an idea of how many you will need for your day out.

Dreamland tokens

All in all it was a fabulous day and I would thoroughly recommend it but do wrap up warm as it can get quite chilly.

Dreamland - Santa and the elves workshop

Disclosure: We were invited for a day out to Dreamland – The Frosted Fairground for the purpose of this post, all words and opinions are my own.