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“I was surprised at how interesting I found it” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Shell Grotto

The Shell Grotto
Grotto Hill, Margate CT9 2BU , England
01843 220008
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Ranked #1 of 25 Attractions in Margate
Type: Mysterious Sites, Caverns/ Caves, Outdoors
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Owner description: The Shell Grotto is one of the world’s most mysterious places: a series of underground rooms and passageways covered by 2000sqft of exquisite mosaic created with 4.6 million shells. Discovered in 1835, nobody knows who created it, when, or why. “The grotto is simultaneously haunting and homely. It could be a lost pagan shrine or have ‘A Present From Margate’ picked out in the shells - it wouldn’t matter. It’s still magical, mysterious and (once it’s in your head) impossible to forget.” Far From the Sodding Crowd: More Uncommonly British Days Out, Penguin Books, 2007
High Wycombe, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“I was surprised at how interesting I found it”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I hadn't expected much and on our first attempted visit got nothing. This is because in winter, this was mid-January, and we had tried going on a Friday, only to find that it is weekends only in winter! We went back the next day and it was an extraordinary sight. Absolutely fascinating.

Visited January 2013
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309 reviews from our community

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Worcester
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Wow”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 20, 2013

Incredible that this grotto lies underneath a yard ! So many shells and no-one really knows who created the grotto and why. Margate must treasure this place.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Quirky site, basic visit”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

I went here today with my wife and whilst this site is interesting visually too look at, the lack of any information about the site and a very subjective official map left me a little bored of this place. How about a display about the shells used and where they were sourced from? A little background about the man who found it? More information about the Victorian days? More facts and less guessing. Two display cases and a 20 foot tunnel just don't justify the entrance fee for a visit that takes 10-15 minutes max.

Visited February 2013
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shellgrotto, Owner at The Shell Grotto, responded to this review, April 1, 2013
For some people, the joy of the Grotto is that we know so little about it. We can't provide more facts because we don't have them, though research continues. So we can only speculate and we do so objectively. Our map - which is free to visitors - isn't subjective; it gives different interpretations to the shell designs and touches on a number of theories as to the Grotto's origins. We do explain about the shells used and where they were from on one of our information boards, we have more than 2 display cases, and the Grotto measures more than 100 foot, not 20. If we weren't so unique, we'd think this visitor stumbled across an entirely different Grotto!
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Margate, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“A hidden gem in Margate”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

This is an extraordinary place. Within walking distance of the Turner Contemporary, this underground grotto consists of millions of sea shells arranged in ornate, and possibly deeper meaningful patterns. It's origin is unknown and that adds to the spookiness and mystery of the place. The exhibition is informative; the gift shop varied, good value and captivating. There is a cafe with an impressive selection of teas. Well worth adding to your visit to Margate.

Visited February 2013
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Lewes, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Shelltastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 4, 2013

Amazing display of extraordinary and most ancient shells arranged rather beautifully! Well worth a visit!

Visited January 2013
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