Dreamland Margate is the oldest surviving amusement Park in Great Britain. The site of Dreamland (as it was renamed in 1920) dates back to the early 1860s. The Amusement Park is not only home to a fantastic range of rides and attractions, it also offers adventurous street food, unique bars and an eclectic programme of live events.
Dreamland Margate redefining ‘a day out at the seaside’
Dreamland Capitalises on Margate’s swiftly growing reputation as a brand new capital of British cool, the amusement park reopened in June 2015 with a wealth of new and rejuvenated features set to redefine ‘a day out at the seaside’.
The 16-acre park originally included a zoo, railway, cinema, bars and a ballroom. Following significant additional investment in 2017, the amusement park was re-landscaped to provide a space that brings together lovingly restored vintage rides set against a backdrop of art installations (including an interactive marble run and a mirrored spinning top). The garden boardwalk gives everyone the opportunity to admire the antique menagerie cages from the 1800s, capturing part of the site’s unique history.
Dreamland Margate Rides and Attractions
Visitors can enter Dreamland amusement park for free, and choose to either Pay as You Go or purchase a wristband if you wish to enjoy unlimited rides and attractions. There is a range of wristbands to choose from, with a wide selection of rides on offer, including rides that will appeal to Thrill Seekers through to gentle children’s rides.
The Jolly Boys’ Outing – Only Fools and Horses 1989
The 1989 Only Fools and Horses Christmas Special was filmed at Dreamland Margate. Watch the historical video below which features clips of The Mary Rose, The Scenic Railway Wooden Roller Coaster and other classic Rides and Attractions.
The scenic railway, Speedway, Chair-O-Plane and Air Force are a small selection of the major thrill rides on offer at Dreamland Margate. Air Force is an exhilarating 360° thrill ride replicating the sensations of an acrobatic plane flight, banking, looping and diving across the sky.
Reaching speeds up to 80mph, Speedway was constructed in 1934, during the explosion in popularity of Speedway meetings in Britain. Originally, rides of this type used wooden animals on the carousel, but in a bid to attract older kids, imitation dirt bikes came to be used. For some great views of Dreamland and beyond, take a ride on the adrenaline-fueled ‘Dreamland Drop’ tower ride.
The classic Scenic Railway wooden Roller Coaster first opened in 1920. It is 3000ft long, 40ft high and has a top speed of 35mph. The Scenic Railway closed in 2006 and was sadly damaged by fire in 2008, but the classic ride has now been fully restored and reopened. Unlike most modern roller coasters there are no brakes on the scenic railway’s track, they are fitted to the roller coaster train with the brakeman joining guests onboard the ride.
Rides for Romantics and Aficionados
Slightly less thrilling but just as much fun are nostalgic rides like the Gallopers, Dodgems and the 35m tall Big Wheel. Dreamland has a good lineup of family-friendly rides.
Mirror mazes are classic low tech attractions found at many amusement parks, sometimes as standalone attractions and sometimes incorporated into larger fun houses. Dreamland featured a mirror maze called Merlin’s Mystic Maze in the final years before it closed in the early 2000s and now as part of the revival, the park has commissioned a new mirror maze, that fuses modern lighting and styles of graphics, with the classic Punch and Judy theme.
Events at Dreamland Margate
A number of events at held at Dreamland Margate throughout the year. Please view Dreamland Margates Event page for details.
There’s more than just brilliant retro rides and amusements at Dreamland. Step back in time and strap on your skates in the retro Roller Room. Bring your family, friends or that special someone and skate until your heart’s content to the fantastic selection of music.
The Octopus’s Garden is an indoor children’s play zone, it is a unique, fun-fuelled world that will inspire creativity. It features a circus tent, beach huts, a grassy hill to roll down, a potting shed for arts and crafts, and the Octopus’s House filled with climbing frames, cargo nets, sandpits and more.
Food and Drink
There is a wide range of food and drink to choose from at Dreamland Margate. Take a seat at the Rooftop bar or one of the cafes or grab something as you go from one of the street food vendors.
Travelling to Dreamland Margate
Dreamland Margate is located on Margate Seafront, on the northeastern tip of Kent. Take the M20 or M2 towards Margate and follow the Brown Tourist Signs. The nearest parking is around the corner from Dreamland at Arlington Car Park, located on All Saints Avenue, CT9 5QH. There are a number of ways you can get to the attraction. There is also lots of accommodation available nearby.
Travelling by Train
The nearest railway station is Margate which is a 5-minute walk from Dreamlands Main Entrance. There are direct services from London to Margate. See the Raileasy website for details.
There are lots of places to stay in Margate. If you only planning on visiting the park for one day and would like to explore some of the other attractions in the area then take a look at the self-catering cottages near Dreamland Margate available from Snaptrip.
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The Park closed in 2003 and was due to become housing, but following a massive 'Save Dreamland' campaign it re-opened in 2015. The Grade II listed Scenic Railway roller coaster being fully restored.
It was hailed as the revival of a seaside mecca that would consolidate Margate’s regeneration, but the fanfare around the reopening of the town’s retro amusement park in 2015 soon fizzled out. Barely one year on, despite widespread press coverage, visitor numbers over the park’s first summer season were 50% lower than anticipated and in May 2016 administrators were called in, though the park remained open.
A new management team was appointed and Dreamland became free to enter, with visitors paying per ride, but a more significant overhaul was deemed necessary, made possible thanks to a £25m cash injection from hedge fund Arrowgrass. When the park closed for the low season, construction work began. The attraction reopened for a second time, promising a radically different experience. Dreamland’s second relaunch, showcased new rides, new landscaping, modern art installations and a better food offering. The most significant addition was a 15,000-capacity music venue allowing Dreamland Margate to host regular events.
New rides included a restored 1930s Brooklands Speedway and a waltzer, restored to its 1940s former glory. The big wheel was renovated and repainted, and key rides such as the scenic railway were refurbished to ensure they can remain operational throughout the year.
Dreamland remains an all-year-round free-to-enter, pay-per-ride attraction, with a busy entertainment programme.
Today it is capitalising on Margate's swiftly growing reputation as a brand new capital of British cool!
The Park has been re-landscaped and brings together lovingly restored vintage rides, street food, unique bars and a new garden boardwalk giving you the opportunity to admire the antique menagerie cages from the 1800's, capturing part of the site's unique history.