Original article from Kent Live
When spending a weekend in Margate visitors might think of walks along the seaside and some hair-raising fun at the Dreamland pleasure park.
With its coastal views and outdoor attractions, it's easy to overlook the hidden activities that lay beneath the ground.
Margate Caves have been welcoming visitors since 1863 to walk along the chalky walls and quirky paintings.
The caves, which are now open again after lockdown, were recently labelled a "super-weird" attraction and "much better use for your spare coins than the Dreamland claw machines" by TimeOut.
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Margate Caves were first excavated in the 18th century and have had plenty of different uses over their lifespan.
They have been used as a wine cellar, personal grotto, wartime air raid shelters and, of course, a tourist attraction.
Their history stretches all the way back to the Iron Age when dwellers lived on the site – a fact confirmed by the breathtaking discovery of an Iron Age skeleton in 2018.
The caves were properly mined in the 18th century and were soon made into a public attraction where entry could be granted for the grand price of a threepence.
As a result of the caves' eclectic past, they have emerged decorated with wall paintings and graffiti that you simply won't find anywhere else.
From soldiers titled 'Guardians of the Well' to wolves and elephants, the designs that rest on the cave walls have something for everyone.
The cave experience is now slick as can be thanks to a long revamp process from 2016 to their recent reopening in 2019.
Before then, the caves had been shut to the public since they were forced to close by the council in 2004 due to health and safety concerns.
Visiting will cost you more than a threepence these days, but the Margate Caves still remain some of the best value fun in the area.
Adults enter for just £4.50 with children costing £2.
Concessions are £4 and there's a family ticket available for a tenner.
The site is also well known for its cafe and gift shop.
The cafe prides itself on homemade treats and offers everything from savoury lunches to sweet snacks.
Hot food includes pizzas, hot dogs and paninis which guests are invited to consume in the attraction's garden.
The caves are open on Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 4.30 pm, plus 31st May and 1st June.
Tickets can be booked online here.