One thing that used to slightly put me off going to Thanet from London was the amount of time it took to get there. After a half hour Tube journey to Victoria, it would have taken about two hours to get to Margate. However, there is now another option, the opening of the new High Speed Train (HST) to Margate has now considerably shortened the travelling time to about one hour twenty minutes, although it is more expensive. Also the departure staion in London has changed. It now departs from St. Pancras International and stops at Stratford International before heading for the country. The trains are comfortable and, oddly, do not have a first class section.
The website provided is the very useful journey planner for all UK train journeys.
OK, so I "borrowed" the title for the tip from the company's own advertising but it really is appropriate for the shuttle bus service that operates around Thanet. It operates between Margate, Ramsgate Westwood Cross shopping centre and Broadstairs and with a weekday requency of about 10 minutes or less it is very reliable. It is not expensive and I recommend the Dayrider ticket which costs £2:80 (as of September 2011) which gives unlimited travel on the system for a day, as the name implies. If you have several trips to do, it represents great value.
If you are so inclined, some local people have even produced a Thanet Loop pubcrawl which I might have a go at some day.
I shall crosspost this tip in all my Thanet pages.
From Victoria Coach Station, take a National Express coach to Margate. The route goes via Margate to Ramsgate. This travel option isn't as quick as the train, but much cheaper; £13 for a day return, about £20 for a period return. (This may have gone up slightly, but I doubt by much).
An alternative to travelling by coach is to take the train. Trains leave London Victoria about once every half an hour and take an hour and fifty minutes. This costs more than the coach but is quicker and more frequent.
Margate is not so far from London, of course, everything depends on the traffic. We drove there by car. When you reach the center of Margate and the main entrance to the beach, drive a little bit further, turn to the left to the narrow street along the coastline. There you'll find lots of free places where you can park your car.
Getting to Margate from London is easy by train. Start at London Victoria and in just over an hour you arrive at Margate station. The great thing about going by train is that the station is a 2 minute walk from the beach !!
After a long weekend in Margate , we would get the 10pm train back to London. Making sure we grab some beers for the journey home.!!