The somewhat dilapidated seaside town of Margate has been voted one of the top ten worldwide hot spots to visit in 2013.

Those wags over at the Rough Guides travel website placed the town at number seven, upon the recommendation of web editor Tim Chester.

Chester blows the trumpet for the town's "indie art spaces, retro shops and cute cafes in the Old Town", as well as the Turner Contemporary gallery.


Margate is number seven in the Rough Guides top ten destinations for 2013

To date, Margate has suffered from a somewhat shabby reputation. Over one third of the town's seaside shops remain empty and unemployment stands at around 20%. According to The Guardian, Margate has one of the highest numbers of people dependent on benefits in the country.

Chav Towns rather unfairly describes it as: "A nasty little shithole on the tip of Kent, like a fat spot on England's arse."

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But regeneration is on the cards. Wayne Hemmingway was recently named as the new designer of a £10m heritage park on the Dreamland theme park site. And in October retail guru Mary Portas opened a series of new pop-up shops in the High Street.

The artist Tracey Emin was born there, recalling: "I wasn't a very happy child so it's quite difficult for me to say that, but one thing that I do realise is that growing up in Margate was fantastic — you could swim from May until September, you could sit on the beach. Whatever trouble you would get in, it wasn't as much as if you were in an urban city."

In 2011 a visit from the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh prompted the city to clear seaweed from the beach to eradicate "unpleasant smells", while the Old Town was spruced up with hanging baskets and paintwork.

Click the gallery below to see the Rough Guides list in full.

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  • 1. Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus

    With the continued relaxation of border controls, the jewels of north Cyprus - including Lawrence Durrell's Bellapais village, the romantic Crusader castle of St Hilarion, and the beautiful harbour of Kyrenia - are now even easier to visit, providing an essential insight into this schizophrenic island.

  • 2. Stockholm

    Spring 2013 marks the opening of the all-singing, all-dancing ABBA Museum - dedicated entirely to the fame and fortunes of the 1970s hit pop group - in the brand new Music Hall of Fame on Stockholm's island, Djurgården. Glittering costumes, instruments and personal mementoes will all be on show, livened up with dancing holograms of the famous four and snippets of their much-loved music, and adding to this great city's considerable charms.

  • 3. Dubrovnik

    Alison Roberts, Travel Editor Encircled by handsome stone walls and piercingly clear sea, Dubrovnik boasts plenty of pluck beneath its lustrous exterior. With Croatia set to join the European Union in July 2013, prices in this already expensive city will rise accordingly; a savvy visit next spring would be well rewarded.

  • 4. Košice

    Olivia Rawes, Editorial Assistant Long established as the cultural hub of eastern Slovakia, Košice has now received wider recognition as the European Capital of Culture 2013. Anyone weary of pacing round more familiar centres such as Paris and Rome will be refreshed by this vibrant and cosmopolitan city. Along with opening and closing ceremonies in January and December to celebrate the award, Košice's annual White Night Festival on 5th October promises to illuminate the city at night, turning it into an interactive space packed with musical and light installations.

  • 5. Dresden

    Alice Park, Senior Editor Berlin's post-reunification reinvention is well known, but a couple of other East German cities have also transformed themselves and haven't yet received the attention - or tourist numbers - to match. Leipzig has a thriving art scene, but the Saxon jewel is Dresden. The city has rebuilt its Baroque splendours, piecing together its former architectural masterpieces and becoming a confident, stylish city in the process. However, the big surprise is that its nightlife can rival the capital's, its Neustadt bar scene is quirky, late and a lot of fun. With the stunning Saxon Switzerland region nearby, Dresden makes the perfect stop-off on a longer trip (it's two hours by train from Berlin, on the direct line to Prague), or a destination in its own right.

  • 6. Dettifoss, Northeast Iceland

    Monica Woods, Managing Editor, Europe Get away from the crowds and the gloom, both meterological and economical, to somewhere that's weathered a headline-hitting crash and havoc-wreaking volcanic eruption and come out the other side. Leave Reykjavík to the hedonists and opt for a natural high hiking through Jökulsárgljúfur National Park to see Europe's largest waterfall, the jaw-dropping Dettifoss.

  • 7. Margate

    Tim Chester, Web Editor From the Turner Contemporary gallery to the proliferation of other indie art spaces, vintage shops and cute cafés in the Old Town, Margate now offers much more than its golden sands and dilapidated seaside charm. Dubbed "romantic, sexy and weird" by local girl Tracey Emin, this gem on the Isle of Thanet constitutes one of the highlights of the forthcoming Rough Guide to Kent, Sussex and Surrey for many good reasons.

  • 8. Valparaíso, Chile

    Shafik Meghji, Author With colourful houses draped across a series of steep, undulating hills overlooking the Pacific, Valparaíso has an edgy, bohemian atmosphere, character-filled cobbled streets, and wonderful turn-of-the-century architecture, plus some of Chile’s best restaurants and bars.

  • 9. Puerto Rico

    Stephen Keeling, Author It has the palm-smothered beaches, the year-round sun and as much deep-sea fishing, diving and surfing you can handle, but there's far more to Puerto Rico. Much of the coast remains incredibly raw, lined with miles of untouched white sands. And the island's rich stew of cultures has produced an exuberant array of festivals, tantalizing criollo food, the finest rum in the world and a dynamic musical tradition that gave birth to salsa.

  • 10. Nowhere festival, northern Spain

    Jo Kirby, Publisher Burning Man festival is legendary, but if the Nevada desert is too far to travel you can get a taste at Nowhere, its sister festival in the desert of northern Spain. Taking place in 2013 from 9-14th July, the same principals of gifting and self-reliance apply - plus a dedication to hedonistic self-expression like nowhere else on earth.