Why I'm ditching Margate for the new coolest seaside town in the UK | The Sun

LAST year, I made the decision to leave London and head to Margate, often named "Shoreditch on Sea".

Yet I'm now ditching the seaside resort for a new one – and it was recently named one of the best places to live in the UK.

Like many others did during Covid, I fled the capital for greeer pastures, being able to afford my own flat for half the price of my tiny box room in the south of London.

I opted for Margate – not only does it have direct trains to London, but it is often said to being just as trendy, thanks to the DFLers (that's Down From Londoners).

Since then, it's been named as having one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world, courtesy of Time Out, and been likened to Ibiza by Tatler.

Banksy recently chose the town for one of their paintings, while artist Tracy Emin has opened her new gallery in Margate.

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It was even used as a film location for the blockbuster Sam Mendes film Empire of Light, featuring Olivia Coleman.

But just over a year later, I'm ditching the "trendy" seaside town – and heading down the road to Folkestone.

Everyone I tell seems surprised by the moving – "But Margate is so cool, it's up-and-coming, why would you leave now?"

The sensible reasons come thick and fast – it has much better trains to London, taking around 50 minutes to St Pancras rather than Margate's fastest train of 1hr30.

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As a travel writer, it also has great routes to Europe thanks to the Eurotunnel.

Not only that, but it's much more affordable – Margate house prices have soared in recent years, meaning I can get so much more for my money in Folkestone.

According to Rightmove, the average price of a terraced house in Margate is around £312,000, compared to Folkestone's £290,000, while a study found Margate prices had soared 107 per cent in 10 years – the highest anywhere in the UK.

Folkestone was recently named as one of the best places to live in the UK in The Times' 2023 study, as well as said to have one of the best beach bars and best restaurants with a view in the country.

And the reason I loved Margate has also become the reason I'm leaving.

I loved the cool bars that popped up on my road, with at least three just a short walk from my flat, as well as the many coffee shops.

But with the cost of living crisis, I've ended up paying more for a glass of wine than I would have in London.

Folkestone also has its own amazing community, with fantastic restaurants at the shipping container Harbour Yard and the Michelin Guide-rated restaurant Rocksalt.

Add in some amazing independent shops lining the streets and its own huge stretch of sand, and it's easy to see why it's becoming popular.

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I'll be sad to leave the friends I've met there, and not be so close to the famous Walpole Lido.

But with Folkestone being named more and more as the next big place to be, who knows – maybe it's the new Margate.

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