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“Unexpected marvel”
Review of The Shell Grotto

The Shell Grotto
Ranked #1 of 54 things to do in Margate
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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
Reviewed February 3, 2013 via mobile

Nestling amongst Victorian housing in the Cliftonville area of Margate is this most unexpected of tourist attractions.
Entering through the cafe an down under the cottage above you find yourself led through a fantastical passageway of shells. The route stops at the skylight dome that led to these secret paths first being discovered when a builder lost his spade down the hole he dug through. The fact so little is know about how or why these were built without anyone's knowledge only makes the experience better.

1  Thank Sssingo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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815 - 819 of 924 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

The mystery of this underground shell grotto remains until today. It had been lost for generations then suddenly was discovered by accident (someone dropped through the ground and landed in a cavern bejewelled with a bazillion shells.) Some claim (in all seriousness) to have had visions or other phsycic experiences down there. Sadly, can't say the same- but it stirred emotion, makes you go 'oooh'. The info section is simply but nicely put together, gift shop and tea room very pleasant too. Pop in, allow 30 mins.

Thank telltilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

Baffling, magnificent, extraordinary. You will not be able to come to a conclusion about this quirky place that was discovered by some lads playing. No one seems to know who dun it!

Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2013

Yes - this has been featured many times on TV, but it still remains a secret to most visitors to the area (and many residents too!). It is a stunning and mysterious place and an absolute must-visit.

Thank 42budgies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We really enjoyed the unique experience of exploring this very special place. I have never seen anything like it and guess I never will again. Well worth a visit and their cafe area is good as well. Highly recommend this as a special place to visit.

Thank Signpostcraft
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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