Published: 00:00, 19 June 2017
| Updated: 13:54, 19 June 2017
"You can keep yer Costa Brava, I'm telling you mate I'd rather 'ave a day down Margate with all the family".
It's 35 years since Chas and Dave celebrated the wonders of Margate as a daytrip destination and after years in the doldrums and in the shadows of the likes of neighbouring Westgate and Broadstairs, the town is finally back in the limelight.
The main sands has been named as Britain's best town beach by The Sunday Times, beating the likes of such seaside havens as Boscombe in Dorset and Devon's Ilfracombe.
The paper said the town had been rejuvenated as the "UK's hippest resort", adding: "Margate’s prettiest attraction is Bay Beach, the half-moon of golden sand between the crooked finger of the harbour wall and the jagged claw of Nayland Rock. Here you’ll find one of Margate’s two sea pools (the other, much bigger one, is round the corner at Walpole Bay) — a great spot for drifting ironically, and for free, on a lilo."
The gushing review adds: "Who’d have thought that the run-down ghost town Tracey Emin fled in 1987 would resurface in The Sunday Times guide to Britain’s best beaches?
"Such, though, is the ebb and flow of the tides of fortune. The Turner Contemporary gallery stands like a Pharos on the foreshore. Dreamland, the retro theme park with added irony, dominates the seafront. Vintage clothes stores and artisan coffee shops litter the back alleys, and once derelict Georgian townhouses have been snapped up at bargain prices for conversion into boutique hotels."
The beach has, of course, been a popular destination since the Victorian boom years but in the latter part of the 20th century had faded somewhat as families retreated to less busy spots away from the crowds, put off by visitors more interested in drinking than building sandcastles.
With easy access from the high-speed trains, plus the arrival of the Turner and return of Dreamland, it seems the beach is back in business.
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