Dating back to the early 1860's, Dreamland in Margate is considered to be the oldest surviving amusement park in Great Britain. Originally called 'Hall by the Sea' and operated by the famous circus impresario Lord George Sanger, the park has been an institution on the Kent coast for many years.
The plans to close Dreamland in 2003 were halted by the 'Save Dreamland' campaign by locals and amusement park enthusiasts, whose successful campaigning led to securing £18m public funding to restore Dreamland to its former glory.
I actually never went to Margate or Dreamland as a child so I don't remember it back in its heyday. However, a chance visit to the coast August Bank Holiday Monday a few weeks ago changed all of that!
Wondering what to do on our day off, Tim and I visited the coat and ended up in Margate. We had been wondering around the beach, eating chips when we saw the entrance to Dreamland. Tim had gone there as a kid and loved it but hadn't even back since it's reopen in 2015. We popped in and it looked awesome! From the bright colours to the vintage signs, rides, attractions and more. We didn't go on any of the rides that day but we knew we would be back!
A few weeks later we had put in our diary a Dreamland Day Out! We drove down on a lovely Sunny September Sunday. We received our wristbands and felt like big kids upon entering the park. With the vibrant colours, nostalgic music and large attractions, it's hard not to smile at what has been done here. The first thing we gravitated towards was the carousel. One of my absolute favourites, it reminds me of care free childhood and all the fun of the fair. We both had big grins on our faces from start to finish, it actually went rather fast!!
Next up was the big wheel. We wanted to get a look at the entire park and what better way to do it than to be 35 meters up in the air. Something I might not have done when I was younger as I had a bit of a fear of heights, but I'm so glad we went up. We could see for miles around. From the coast, into town and every detail of Dreamland. It was amazing!
We then stopped for a bit of lunch and we were spoiled for choice! There's the diner inside the roller disco as well as the 'Friendliest Food Court Ever' offering artisan street food vendors of all types of cuisines. From fish and chips, classic burgers, Asian delights, Mexican tacos, chicken dishes and stone baked pizzas, there's something for everyone! We had burger and chips while sitting on the big Dreamland letters and it was delicious!
Then it was back to the rides! The afternoon consisted of a go on the Dodgems (my fave!), a super slippy slide, losing Tim in the mirror maze and having a ridiculous amount of fun on Magic Mouse (seriously, this one looks super slick and is so much more than you bargain for once you go on it!). Then we went on the Scenic Railway, the oldest rollercoaster in the UK. This one was great fun!!
As our day was drawing to a close, we knew we could count on the beautiful British weather. It had been lovely and sunny all day then the heavens opened half way through out second go on the Magic Mouse! We made our way back to the car, soaking wet and laughing.
During the Summer season the park is open daily but the rest of the year it's open at weekends. This isn't one of those places where you need a hot sunny day to enjoy it (lucky, as it's in England), so I can highly recommend visiting anytime of the year!
You can find out more about Dreamland here.
We had such an amazing day and can't wait to go back!
Have you been to Dreamland? Either as a kid or since it's been renovated? I'd love to hear your memories of the place!
Until next time,