Routes to Margate

Major routes to Margate
Margate is on the south-eastern tip of  England. It is approximately 72 miles from London. Dover is 18 miles away and Canterbury almost the same. France is little more than an hour away by ferry from Dover. Road and rail-links are very good.


From North London via the Blackwall Tunnel
the best approach is to make your way to the Blackwall Tunnel. Once through the tunnel it is a fast, almost speed camera free trip for 70 odd miles. Road works are still going on some parts of the road so parts of the journey are slightly slower (40-50 m.p.h) but in general the trip rarely takes much more than 60 minutes from the Blackwall Tunnel. 

From East Anglia, 
the M25 is also the most straightforward route as it incorporates the Dartford River Crossing which is the first road crossing of the Thames. Southbound you normally use the spectacular Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. On your return you will use the Dartford Tunnel which runs parallel with the bridge. It is a toll crossing, the toll being £1.00 at present. They have twelve toll booths in each direction, so there is hardly ever a hold-up here.

From the M25, going clockwise
after crossing the river and going through the toll booths take care! The turn-off you want, Junction 2, the A2 road, is about two miles away, but there are two junctions entering and leaving the M25 before you get to the A2, so you have a fairly brisk time. Keep left! As you come on to the A2 heading towards Canterbury it is three lanes in each direction. about nine miles further on, the road becomes the M2 and goes down to two lanes. Not far past Faversham, the road divides with the M2 going on to Canterbury, and the A299 going to Margate. This road, the Thanet Way is being improved each year and follows the run of the coast although about a mile away. Five miles beyond Herne Bay there's a roundabout - you go straight on for Margate.


From the M25 going anti-clockwise 
it is shorter to leave at Junction 5, about five miles beyond Clacketts Lane services. Take the M26 and continue on it until you merge with the M20 just outside Maidstone. The exit you need is the A249 to Sittingbourne and Sheerness. Although the M20 expands to five lanes, the two lanes on the left hand side are separated by a low wall from the main three, and are used for entering and leaving from the various junctions. The system works quite well and the junctions are sign posted well in advance. Take the A249 and go up Detling Hill. Carry on until after five miles you come to a roundabout from where you can pick up the M2 for Canterbury. Twelve miles on, just past Faversham, the road divides with the M2 going on to Canterbury, and the A299 going to Margate. Follow the directions above from here.

From the south coast
follow the A27 / A259 coast road. The A27 has been improved a lot over the last few years, and is dual carriageway for much of its length although there can be a hold-up at Arundel and further on outside Worthing where the road narrows to one lane each way. It's superb sweeping through the South Downs between Worthing and Lewes with lovely views of the rolling hills. The A259 which it becomes near Pevensey is slower, but, after going through Hastings you have a very pleasant journey through the countryside to the old village of Rye (well worth a stop if you have the time). About ten miles from Rye you have a choice. There is a very temptingly straight road through towards Ashford and Canterbury (the latter can be quite crowded in the season). Alternatively you can cross the Walland and Romney Marshes before running along the coast at St Mary's Bay and following it through to Sandgate on the outskirts of Folkestone. From there follow the A20 to Dover. You will be able to see Dover Castle from the road as you get further along. From Dover, take the A256 to Sandwich, and you will then start to pick up signs for Margate.

From Gatwick Airport 
you have an interesting drive. Not a fast road, but you go through some of the nicest towns and villages in the south of England, not to mention the historic city of Canterbury. Go south on the M23 to Junction 10, the next one along, then take the A264 to East Grinstead and follow it through to Tunbridge Wells and finally Pembury. Turn right along the A21 Hastings road and three miles on turn left on to the A262 to Sissinghurst and Biddenden. Two miles past Biddenden you come to the A28. Turn left for Ashford, then follow this road to Margate.

See also