There are more questions than answers... Discovered by chance in 1835, the subterranean Shell Grotto’s curving chalk walls are studded with 4.6 million shells. They create a magical mosaic of strange patterns and symbols.
Discovered by chance in 1835, the Grotto is an astonishing find: 30 metres of winding subterranean passages decorated with strange symbols created from shell mosaics. The walls are covered in images of gods and goddesses, trees of life and patterns of whelks, mussels and oysters. Some think it is an ancient Pagan site, others that it is simply an ornate Regency folly; but with no definitive explanation or history, the Shell Grotto is Kent's greatest mystery.
Pre-booking essential, a great visit for all the family in Margate.
Due to the nature of the Grotto we’re afraid it is not accessible to wheelchair users or to anyone with significant mobility problems. There are two sets of stairs to access the Grotto, both with handrails. Once in the Grotto, the floor is uneven in places, on a gradient and has a slight camber.
Guide dogs and Hearing dogs for the deaf are welcome. No other dogs are allowed in the Grotto, but are welcome in the shop and café. We have large-print guides and torches available to borrow for the visually impaired.
There are steps into the shop and café, but we are happy to assist with access.
We do our best to be sensitive to all our visitors’ needs so please don’t hesitate to ask if you require any assistance. A full accessibility statement can be found on our website.