Explore one of Britain’s most mysterious and beautiful places at Shell Grotto in Kent! This network of rooms and corridors carved into the earth boasts incredible designs, with Cockles, Mollusks and Oyster shells covering the walls. Despite years of research and speculation, the origins and purpose of this marvellously crafted location still baffle historians today. Whether it was originally intended to be a place of worship, a secret meeting place for smugglers, or an elaborate piece of frivolous design commissioned by an eccentric nobleman, remains unknown. While the patterns and designs that cover the walls suggest that perhaps it dates as far back as the Roman occupation, it’s possible we’ll never know the full details of the grotto’s mysterious origins. Why not come and see it for yourself and form your own theories about this magical hidden gem on the coast of Kent!

Where is Shell Grotto in Kent?

You can find Shell Grotto on Grotto hill in Margate with train and coach services from London and other major cities.

Discovered by young Fanny Newlove and her siblings back in 1837, this remarkable location has been host to exploring children, tourist attractions, and even a séance. Margate is also a great place to spend the day, with lots of independent shops and cafes, the Turner contemporary art gallery as well as historical sites like the Old Kent Market and the Margate Tudor house. If you’re looking for a bit more time outdoors then visit the beautiful palm bay beach, Margate sands or the Walpole Bay tidal pool.

  • Tickets starting at £2 per person with family tickets available
  • A visit and tour last around 30 minutes
  • No minimum age and children under 4 years old go free