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The Shell Grotto

33 Grotto Hill, Margate CT9 2BU, England
+44 1843 220008
Review Highlights

Very interesting, it's a short visiting attraction so you could squeeze it in if you had a spare... read more

Reviewed yesterday
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
Amazing Little Nook

It won't take long to look around this place but you can't help but be in awe of the amount of work... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Craig T
via mobile
Read all 813 reviews
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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
  • Excellent57%
  • Very good33%
  • Average8%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“gift shop” (56 reviews)
33 Grotto Hill, Margate CT9 2BU, England
+44 1843 220008
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Reviews (813)
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1 - 10 of 813 reviews

Reviewed yesterday via mobile

Very interesting, it's a short visiting attraction so you could squeeze it in if you had a spare hour. Love this place, a hidden gem, a must visit if you go to Margate.

Thank Heapies
Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

It won't take long to look around this place but you can't help but be in awe of the amount of work that must have gone into lining the walls with thousands of shells. Intriguing for sure, and certainly worth a visit when in the...More

Thank Craig T
Reviewed 2 days ago

It was over 30 degrees outside but about 10 degrees C in this amazingly odd attraction. Quite a trek (in Margate terms) from main drag but definitely worth it (about 15 mins walk from old town). Stretch out the visit a bit by having a...More

Thank Dalston B
Reviewed 3 days ago

If you are a fan of the mysterious, the quirky and the gorgeous then this is the place for you. I have never encountered anything like this in my entire life, and now, weeks after my visit, I'm still pondering over this gem. The shop...More

Thank KatherineSoloviev
Reviewed 4 days ago

Found this yesterday and fascinating place but 10 minutes an we were done. Quite expensive for 4 pensioners.

1  Thank SheilaH702
Reviewed 1 week ago

Haven't been anywhere like this before! We were walking down a residential street when we came across it. Quite unusual. You walk through a gift shop and down some steps into a small grotto beautifully decorated with shells. Its origins are very fuzzy....surely an elaborate...More

1  Thank Jo C
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

It cost £4 EACH to go down a hole in the ground covered in dirty dust covered shells. Not the place to go if you have a dirt phobia. It works out at about £1 a minute to walk round and it's in a rough...More

1  Thank Martin-of-Rugby
Sarah V, Owner at The Shell Grotto, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks for taking the time to review the Grotto. Of course, we disagree with you…the Grotto isn’t dusty or dirty. The shells are a silvery-grey colour because they were discoloured by gas lamps during the 19th century. We do explain that in the Museum Room,...More

Reviewed 1 week ago

Really interesting how no-one knows who did this or when. Makes me want to research it myself. I go every time I'm in kent

Thank 473nicola
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a fantastic little find. Going down into the grotto is wonderful and the mind boggles at the amount of shells it encounters! It was a little bigger than I expected, but easy to get around. Definitely worth going out your way to see....More

1  Thank CoventryJools
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

A must visit !! Stunning, the staff were very helpful. loved it, I've seen plenty of photo's and it looked just as beautiful as in the pictures. thank you.

Thank mandalaykirbybailey
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Questions & AnswersAsk a question
Do you have to book before hand?
30 May 2017|
Answer Show all 7 answers
Response from Maz S | Reviewed this property |
No. Hope you have a nice time.
jay s
are mobility scooters allowed around the shell grotto or are they not suitable for this attraction ?
5 August 2016|
Response from KadieandStu | Reviewed this property |
No unfortunately it is down below ground level. Accessed by stairs.
Is the shell grotto located in the old town of Margate or in Dreamland?
24 June 2016|
Answer Show all 7 answers
Response from Jan C | Reviewed this property |
The Shell Grotto is not situated in the Old Town o Margate or Dreamland but on Grotto Hill.