• Rod

#2daysin South East England: a comprehensive 2-day travel guide

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

What to do on a weekend? Want to go away but don’t fancy going abroad? We decided to follow the South Eastern Railway to some traditional UK destinations. We used South Eastern Railways and took a trip out to Kent and Dover. We travelled on comfortable seats without the hassle of driving and took a pleasant journey onto our chosen destinations.



Day1

Margate Beach


Margate is a well known traditional UK seaside town which is located in the South East of England in Thanet, Kent. It’s famous for its fossils, its sandy beach, and local maritime traditions. Margate has been drawing tourists to its region for about 250 years and has the oldest scenic railway in the country.



Margate beach is an award winning sandy beach, free of pebbles and is perfect for travellers coming for just a lovely day or weekend out or have fun in the sun! It’s a great place for family fun, fish and chips and walks on the beach.


  • Best time to visit: June to August is the best time to visit Margate. Margate is one of the drier towns in the country in terms of comparative rainfall. May to August tend to have temperatures in the low twenties and with the least rainfall. To enjoy the day make sure you arrive early before the beaches get too busy.

  • Entrance fee: Margate beach is free to all visitors. You only need the cost of you travel.

  • Instagram tips: There is an artificial boating lake in the centre of the beach which can be quite  a good location to take panoramas of the beach or reflections of the coastline into the water.


Turner contemporary



Turner Contemporary is a charity which aims to achieve art inspiring change. The Gallery aims to present a diverse range of artists and artworks to inspire and engage visitors. The publicly owned Gallery can be found approximately 1km along the seafront from the train station in Margate. It’s just a short walk away from the town centre and you can walk to the beach within about 5-10 minutes.



  • Best time to visit: The opening times are Tuesday to Sunday and public holidays from 10am – 5pm

  • Entrance fee: Admission to Turner Contemporary is free.

  • Instagram tips: You can take photos of the building from the small walkway which runs down the side of the gallery which gives you an interesting view of the descending steps, walkway and glass slides of Turner Contemporary gallery. Many exhibits have a no photography policy which is indicated by a sign on the wall – however often commissions and artworks displayed in the Sunley Gallery and corridor are often okay to photograph.


Margate old town



Margate old town is located closest to the beach front. A relatively small area which is not too far away from the Turner Contemporary, there is some interesting architecture and shopping interests. Slightly quirky with some nice boutiques and pubs.


  • Best time to visit: June to August is the best time to visit Margate. Margate is one of the drier towns in the country in terms of comparative rainfall. May to August tend to have temperatures in the low twenties and with the least rainfall. To enjoy the day make sure you arrive early before the beaches get too busy.

  • Entrance fee: Completely free – no admission.

  • Instagram tips: Lighting and angle is the key.


Theatre royal


This interesting Georgian Theatre originally built in 1787 has been open throughout the centuries with some intermittent closures. Since 1998 it has been opened for limited capacity audiences for host of different shows. You can buy tickets to see performances of, dance, drama, and comedy shows.


  • Best time to visit: Depending on the timing of the shows.

  • Entrance fee: Entrance to shows can vary depending on the ticket of the event.

  • Instagram tips: You can get some really cool shots of the whole stage from the balcony, and if you can a great panorama shot of the whole theatre from the stage.


Boating Pool



There is a wonderful boating pool which is nestled into the beach. It's great to look at and also to walk around. It has a an infinity pool fell and look to it as it's close to the sea and on the beachfront. When the tide is in, it merges quite well with the surrounding area and becomes quite peaceful. You can often find couples walking around it.

  • Best time to visit: Midday when the sun is reflecting down into the pool.

  • Entrance fee: Free

  • Instagram tips: There is an artificial boating lake in the centre of the beach which can be quite  a good location to take panoramas of the beach or reflections of the coastline into the water.


Bus Cafe



This really funky cafe is creative and unusual! The cafe is set into and old double decker bus! The seats have been removed and the table and chairs placed inside to create a two level restaurant! With a variety of meals, it's not to be missed!

  • Best time to visit: Lunchtime midday or brunch.

  • Entrance fee: Free

  • Instagram tips: You can can a great view of the the cafe from out front over the promenade.



Day 2

Dover castle


Dover castle is an iconic fortress which has existed for 9 centuries, stretching from the iron ages, Roman Ages, The Middle Ages, The Civil War, The Napoleonic Ages, and both World Wars. There is opportunity to see The Great Tower, Underground Hospital, WW1 Fire Command Post, Lighthouse, Medieval Tunnels, and Castle areas.


  • Best time to visit: Opening times vary but mostly between 10:00am – 6pm.

  • Entrance fee: Admission to members is free. Ticket price varies but is around £20 depending on concessions and events.

  • Instagram tips: There are some great shots to be taken from all aspects of the castle including the battlements. You can take a nice shot of the lighthouse from outside showing the church in the background. The Medieval Tunnels are also a good opportunity to get some eerie shots of the winding spaces and ancient walls.


White cliffs of Dover



The world famous White Cliffs of Dover are stunningly beautiful and a fantastic place to visit. These high chalk cliffs look out into the English Channel with the harbour and port below. An important defence point during World War 2, there is also a complex of Second World War tunnels. The cliffs look really impressive with the white chalk front facing out on the bright blue sea of the Channel… France just on the other side.


  • Best time to visit: You can visit the cliffs at anytime but there are some restrictions on car parking and the visitors centre. Car parking is open 9am-7pm and the visitors centre 10am to 5pm most days.

  • Entrance fee: Car parking is £5 for an all day space. If you wish to enter the Fan Bay Deep Shelter then  the price is £10 per adult and £5 per child (at the time of writing).

  • Instagram tips: As you take the worn path along the top of the cliffs, there is a great spot about 15-20 minutes walk in as you head towards the lighthouse, that allows you to capture a small bay set against the cliffs. There is also a large hollow which sweeps down allowing you to capture both the cliffs and the port below.

Dover museum


Dover museum is one of the oldest museums in Kent. It has a number of exhibitions and has a comprehensive research and picture library, as well as archives on the historic city of Dover. There are museum walks, tour guides, and guided walks for organised groups of visitors (such as schools etc.).


Best time to visit: Opening times for the museum are usually Mon-Sat 9:30am to 5pm. Sundays 10am – 3pm. Closed Sundays October to March. Closed December 25th, 26th and 1st January. (At the time of writing)

Entrance fee: Admission is free

Instagram tips The building is quite impressive from the outside – allowing you to capture all of the columns at an angle. Some of the exhibits can be seen from above in the overlooking balcony and so this offer great photo opportunities.


South foreland lighthouse


The South Foreland Lighthouse is a Victorian Lighthouse set onto the stunning out-looking cliffs. It was the first lighthouse to use an electric light and is a major landmark of the White Cliffs of Dover. You can often find children flying kites, family walks, and picnics on the green grass beautifully laid across the green horizon of the cliff tops.


  • Best time to visit: Summer is the best time to visit the lighthouse so you can take advantage of the sunshine. The lighthouse is usually open on Mondays and the weekend from 11am – 5:30pm (at the time of writing).

  • Entrance fee: £6 per adult, £3 per child (at time of writing)

  • Instagram tips There are some beautiful shots to be taken out on the lawn in front of the lighthouse. From the top of the lighthouse you can take a horizontal shot capruring both the lighthouse tower and the edge of the cliffs and sea.


Well there you go! A two day itinerary where you can just hop on the train and enjoy Kent and Dover! South Eastern Railways is a great and convenient way to travel and take advantage of these locations. Check out the timetables to Margate, Dover and to other south east destinations here.


Enjoy your breathtaking 2 days in South East England!


#2daysin #UK #europew #kent