We love the fact that, in a quiet series of catacombs in the heart of Margate, you’ll find an ancient shell grotto that’s mystified visitors for centuries. The walls of the caves are decorated with beautiful patterns made from millions of tiny shells, and the fact that it lay quietly undiscovered until 1835 makes it even more intriguing.
Nobody quite knows how the shell grotto came to be, let alone when or why, but that’s actually part of its charm. All we know is that somebody, at some time, has painstakingly collected millions of local shells and created a stunning mosaic on every wall of the grotto – and nobody even knew it was there until it was discovered by accident all those years ago.
The grotto’s privately owned, and visitors are welcome every day during the summer and on weekends during the winter, so there’s plenty of opportunity to step inside and see it for yourself during your time in Margate. The caves maintain a steady temperature of 10 all year round, so they’re nice and cool in the summer and not too chilly if you visit on a winter’s day.