Cliftonville in 8th spot of Time Out’s Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World list

Northdown Road Photo by Nathan Jones.

Cliftonville has been named  as one of the Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World to visit right now by Time Out media brand.

Time Out released its annual list today (October 11) of the best areas of global cities to explore and discover on people’s travels.

It is the first time in the five years that Time Out’s Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World list has been compiled that an area of Kent has featured on it.

Cliftonville, at number eight on the list of 51, has the highest UK ranking. Alongside Cliftonville, four other UK areas have secured a place in this year’s list; Shawlands in Glasgow (number 11), Walthamstow in North East London (17), The Northern Quarter in Manchester (30) and Kelham Island in Sheffield (35).

Shell Grotto Photo TDC

James Manning, Travel Editor, Time Out, says that the area may see more visitors after featuring; “Margate’s resurgence has been attracting attention from day-trippers and weekend breakers over the last few years. But you need to head out to the east from the main promenade and discover Cliftonville. From the tunnels of the Shell Grotto to Walpole Bay tidal pool and the cafés and bars of Northdown Road, it’s worth a visit in its own right thanks to its offbeat attractions and community ethos.

Dalby Cafe

“When we travel, we don’t want homogenised experiences – we want to get stuck into local life, and Cliftonville is perfect for that. It deserves to be on the map for travellers – both from across the UK and further afield.”

Time Out polled 20,000 people and asked local experts to rank the greatest places for fun, food, culture and community

Walpole Bay Hotel Photo Frank Leppard

Placing Cliftonvile in eighth place on the list, Time Out says: “While Margate’s Old Town delivers a good old-fashioned British seaside day out, Cliftonville buzzes with a different kind of energy.

“It’s home to one of the UK’s most thriving artistic communities, largely due to an influx of creative ex-Londoners who’ve flocked to the area’s affordable housing and studio spaces, plus the massive tidal ocean pool at Walpole Bay.

Walpole Bay Photo Swift Aerial Photography

“The neighbourhood’s spine is Northdown Road, which is a block back from the coast and stretches from the Old Town to Palm Bay. Until recently a parade of charity shops and bookies, Northdown is now home to record shops, cafés and conscious groceries, as well as game-changing community-funded venues like queer bar CAMP and gallery Quench.

Margate Caves

“The perfect day: Wake at the iconic Walpole Bay Hotel and walk along the beach to the Dalby Café for the town’s best fry-up. From there, explore the Margate Caves and the mesmerising Shell Grotto before grabbing an epic focaccia sandwich at Forts. Browse Northdown Road’s vintage shops and galleries, stopping for drinks at Margate Off License and Daisy, before a boogie at Margate Arts Club.”

Pride Photo Frank Leppard

The list also notes Margate Pride in August, describing it as “Not just a big party, this week-long, arts-led Pride festival sees Cliftonville come to life with one-off exhibitions, parties and events.”

Despite the rating Cliftonville West is also one of the most deprived wards in the country with high rates of fuel poverty and child poverty.

For the full list of Time Out’s Coolest Neighbourhoods in the World, along with details from Time Out’s local experts on why they have made the grade, please visit

The rise, fall and rise again of business in Northdown Road


  1. so whos behind this nonsense ? – it sounds like something craig mackinley would spout off , it not even a safe place to be after dark !!

    • I grew up in central London, was pretty cool. The lady place I lived in London before moving to Thanet, was Brixton, a very cool place. Since moving to Thanet, I’ve lived in Birchington, Ramsgate, Kingsgate, and Cliftonville. Cliftonville is definitely my preferred part of Thanet. Birchington was nice, but full of older people, nothing positive to say about Ramsgate, so I’ll say nothing, Kingsgate was quite nice, to but a bit right wing for me. Cliftonville has a good mix of people, there’s someone for everyone here. Cliftonville and Margate for me, are the closest thing to Brixton in Thanet, which was where I used to have the most fun when living I am London.
      I tend to find the people that have a low opinion of Cliftonville, in experience, tend to be people that have a problem with foreigners.
      For me, the best thing about growing up in London, was the mix of different people. Probably is why I’ve settled in Cliftonville.
      It is a pretty cool place.

      • The one thing I miss in Birchington – and Thanet as a whole – are people of West Indian descent. Growing up with an Antiguan stepfather in South London was cool indeed. But these days I prefer the quieter, country life.

        • Strange though how you claim you that some people don’t like Cliftonville because of foreigners, yet you didn’t like Birchington because of old people. Does that make you any less of a bigot?

          • I didn’t say I don’t like Birchington, I do, it’s a nice enough place to live.
            I just found a little too quiet for me at the moment. If I’m honest, it was property prices that bought me to Cliftonville, you get quite a lot of space for your your money. And since moving here, I’ve found it’s where I’ve been happiest whilst living in Thanet.

      • As another ex Brixton boy, I whole heartedly agree with your description of Cliftonville. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
        It’s problems are there for all to see but so to are its successes.

  2. Tell ’em about the guy who’s just had Kent’s first “Modern Slavery” order slapped on him!😂😂😂

  3. Rose tinted glasses springs to mind. The owner of the now defunct garage /slave outlet/car wash needs to show the writer around the premises. Some residents need to show the writer the seedier parts of Cliftonville not forgetting the boarded up Winter Gardens.

  4. It seems fashionable to warm to scummy people and scummy places. Look at the the list, they are all s**t holes, Cliftonville should be number 1.

    • Agreed! I can think of several local places that are, at a push, pretty cool: Broadstairs, Ramsgate (if you stick to the seafront), Whitstable, Faversham, Sandwich, Deal… but none on that list!

      Still, the writer obviously has a genuine talent to come up with such a convincing piece of fiction.

      • Peter not extolling the virtues of Birchington, I would be if I lived there, you don’t have the amount of crime there for one. The richest Road in thanet,

        • I love Birchington, and I love living there, but “cool”? Not so sure about that.

          To me, a “cool” place has great restaurants, pubs and live venues; good shops that sell things like records, books and classy clothing; fantastic views; and, most importantly of all, is clean, tidy and friendly. I’m fairly well travelled in the UK (and a little bit outside), and could probably come up with a list of 50 places in England, Scotland and Wales that fit that bill – but never Cliftonville!

        • Are you joking? I lived in Birchington for a long time. Stabbings,burglary,thiefs in the co op (Staff to scared to do anything about them) homeless in the high street. Other unsavoury characters + the many local gossips and nosey stuck up people!

          • Is someone telling the truth about Birchington thieves in the co-op staff to scared to deal with them I don’t blame the staff if as you say stabbings are happening in Birchington why face getting stabbed leave it to those who can deal such crime,what is wrong with homeless people 99% of them wouldn’t hurt a fly and they are there through no fault of their own. Nosey gossiping snobs they are only talking about you and others that is not a crime, you say you lived there for some time I guess you don’t live there now but do tell us where you live now as what you have said about Birchington we don’t hear about now in the past maybe I used to work there for a very nice gentleman and yes remember the burglaries which was not much considered it has the most expensive road in thanet, yes the homeless man if he is still alive a very intelligent man fell on hard times try talking to them same humans as we are, could you tell me when you left Birchington so that I can check out if it corresponds with the drop in crime rate there.

    • How Odd. Thank you for supplying this link. I was interested to see the article in the Sun – who have NOT singled-out Cliftonville as the 8th unhealthiest place to live in the UK, but instead give that ‘accolade’ to the whole of Thanet. But you are right – one particular ward in Cliftonville and another area of Ramsgate have shockingly low life expectancy averages. The difference in life expectancy for that part of Cliftonville and Kingsgate is incredible. Health choices, diet, etc, will be some of the reasons but other causes need to be explored. On a wider note, I would like you to read my post below.

  5. All for the good.

    I am over the hill to comment on what is cool but my neighbours niece who is ‘cool’ and from London says it is the place she likes most in Thanet! She is in her mid 30s

      • That is a matter of opinion regarding Mick Jagger but my point was it is the following generations who spend their money in ‘cool’ areas like the girl I mentioned.

  6. Should have made number one.

    If anyone goes up the clifftop when its a North east wind, I think you will agree its “The coolest”.

  7. Why do people enjoy it more not supporting a local areas than trying to make Thanet a better place for all.
    If these people are physically actually real and live in Thanet perhaps they need to move.
    If this story brings local bussiness more trade that means they will employ more local residents.
    With all the negative comments you give no wonder this area is deprived. Perhaps some people are used to reading bad reviews and know what to write.
    Why do some people enjoy saying an areas dangerous to go to at night?
    Northdown road Cliftonville is not and I’m sure the people writing couldn’t prove they have personally had a bad experience. They just read a story and make something more out of it.
    I’m sure some of these negative writers must just be having a bad experience where they actually live and want to make themselves feel better by putting other areas down.
    These stories aren’t the best and dont tell the full truth as most authors know.
    As I’m an established shop in Northdown Road that’s been trading over a decade and another similar shop has been in Northdown Road for probably 30 years. Our shops never get mentioned as we are not the new artistic so called saviours, but for years we have brought in and welcomed customers to Cliftonville from all over the world.

    • I agree Simon,

      If something does not appeal why do people feel the need to comment.

      I will say that I was on Northdown Road recently and I didn’t notice any closed shops and barely any chains!

      • Rose tinted glasses ! Plenty of closed shops and plenty of crime daily. I have lived here 40 years and seen it gradually decline that way over time.
        I don’t like moving home so am staying put. luckily I have had limited crime against myself but almost daily witness it against others. Today I called the police to attend to a wanted criminal who mugged an old lady a month ago which I witnessed and is still walking about. He walked past and I followed him while talking to the police control but no police arrived to arrest him and he carried on with no fear of the police. There are drug dealers and constant deals going on in Dalby Square and St Paul’s Road behind National Tyres but nothing is done. Properties being broken into including shops. Yes and I have the evidence, two books full all recorded but still live here.
        But it’s not about those criminals ruining it for others, it’s about the area itself which is a lovely. There are many great places to shop and always new places opening. I see it no better anywhere else so what is the point in moving? Too old for that now.

  8. Written by an owner of multiple AirBnBs or someone so out of touch with reality that they could be the next Tory Prime Minister.

    Cliftonville is about as cool as Peter Checksfield, that is to say, not cool. Far from cool. The total opposite of cool. I think I’ve made my point.

  9. Its’s a bloody insult to put cliftonville ahead of the Northern Quarter in Manchester.

    I wouldnt set foot in cliftonville after dark but Manchester is mint.

    • What do you find so scary in Cliftonville after dark?
      I’ve lived here for a few years now, and have never had any trouble. I’ve lived all over London, including 15 years in Brixton, which some people think is very scary, it isn’t. The only place I’ve had a knife pulled on me in my life, was sleepy Birchington. Or should that be scary Birchington?

    • The comments on here are probably the most miserable moaning things I’ve read in a long time. I swear some of you must sit waiting for the next article so you can moan about it. It seems your job is to poo poo on everything and anything attempting to make some kind of improvement to an area. Yes people don’t always get things right, yes TDC are a bunch OT numpties and definitely could manage all the problems Margate and thanet have better, but how about supporting businesses and artists and people wanting to make a positive impact on an area instead of moaning that it isn’t to your liking.

  10. Simon

    Happy for cliftonville to have positive press, no problem with that. But when you have something like 8th best neighbourhood’s in the WORLD is going to have the micky taken out of it.

    It’s a silly comment to make and anyone who believes cliftonville is the 8th best in the world needs to out and about abit !.

    I cant even think why cliftonville was put on the list in the first place. If I was asked to name the top 1000’s best neighbourhood’s on kent, cliftonville wont make it !!

    It’s a silly article.

  11. Well done Sophie Brown for writing something which makes Cliftonville exciting as it was in its heyday, I’ve taken the time to look at the top 10 in the list each has a unsightly side to its area but each equally has a side worth seeing each is worth a day trip or maximum a weekends visit, if iit brings in much needed money into the area then its a good thing, we know what each area of Thanet is like crime and deprivation in abundance but if you sit down and think you can see what is good in the area for tourists, and now there is some brilliant house murals each telling a story through margate and Cliftonville, I saw that someone was doing a tour of them explaining the story behind each one, as I said at the start well done Sophie Brown.

  12. When I read this article today i just knew I had to come and see how hysterical the comments section on here was going to be, and boy am I not disappointed!
    Hahaha.. all these angry boomers,
    1- are not cool
    2- have not set foot in cliftonville in about 10 years.
    Reminds me of the Simpsons joke about Grampa being in the local paper and the headline reads “old man yells at cloud”
    Anyway, I’m off to do cool stuff in my cool neighbourhood. I won’t ar$ed to respond to anybody on here but feel free to amuse me some more with your Tory ranting
    Peace out Bozo’s

    • Have a great day enjoying the Caves/Grotto/Walpole tidal pool/escape rooms x 2/cafes/shops/Lovelys art gallery/Lido Stores gallery/pub/Ronnie Scotts/international food stores/Albion Rooms and all the other local businesses that we should support, Time Out ranking or not

    • Hello Big DFL energy.
      I don’t think it’s cool to take the Mickey out of old people, probably ‘cos I am one. I’m not a tory and I love Cliftonville and Northdown Rd. In some ways yes, I do consider them to be cool. It’s complex though because there’s more to life than coolness. And in Thanet the local council and anyone with any money just love bankrolling, band-wagoning and publicising coolness while neglecting the necessities of life that we all need whether we’re beautiful young things or angry old boomers.
      You can get a great cup of coffee just about anywhere here, art is abundant, the scenery is beautiful, heritage building abound and local people are friendly when they’re not on social media. However facilities and amenities are dire and deteriorating. My fear is that TDC will be clapping their hands with delight at this accolade. That they will increase their spending on and promotion of the creative industries and groups while neglecting things that may not be quite as cool … for example ensuring that Hartsdown swimming pool finally gets a new lid and reopens. I actually think it is highly irresponsible of Time Out to label places in this way because invariably there are unintended consequences.

      • Carina I think you have hit the nail on the head I agree TDC are big on the arts as they see this as best way to get money into the area, apart from the way Big dfl energy is having issues with those who he sees as dishing the dirt on his cool area he is biggin it up, Art is at the moment the really cool thing to be in look at the TV channels each has 1 or 2 art programmes each week there will be more of them for sure, Carina you are right TDC need to do more repair work on building’s throughout Thanet especially Hartsdown leisure centre I don’t use it myself but t. It’s a vital part of the community especially during the winter months that would be a start.

        • Sadly “Little Chris” it’s you that’s got your knickers in the twist by the amount of moaning you done since seeing this post as little Chris doesn’t like it. Then you started being childish and saying the crime rate went down when I left. I doubt your an old jolly chap, by your childish response!

          • If your as old as you say you are not long to go then till Thanet is rid of you, Then the crime rate will go down even more then. Some good news at last! ; )

          • Tale teller
            Firstly if you mean about the original news post ive only extolled the virtues of the 8th place and Cliftonville itself,
            Secondly if its about your original post it’s not actually moaning I said how I’ve seen and was treated in Birchington
            Thirdly, my word’s were can you tell me when you left so I can check out if it corresponds with the drop in crime, that is not saying the crime rate went down when you left, its saying I want to see if they are linked I don’t accuse without some sort of I have almost 17 years of crime statistics compiled on thanet as there is a massive difference between towns year on until covid really.
            Forthly you have 5 posts about Peter and myself, ive done 2 with this it’s 3,
            Lastly names I don’t care what anyone calls me, death now that is going to happen for sure we never know when the grim reaper will appear, and as for me getting me knickers in a twist lol I’m commando,

  13. What an incredible story. I am a long time resident of Cliftonville. It holds a special place in my heart. But let’s get this right…The views are outstanding, the promenade walks sooo beautiful etc. Northdown Road has many interesting shops; old and new which I always frequent. I love Cliftonville and hope it bounces back.
    Now let’s look at the downside…I no longer feel safe walking after dark. Groups of young men using intimidating behaviour. Spitting and laughing when you walk by. Groups of young women doing whatever it is there doing?? The young men following them, like bitches in heat. Hoodies using the bridge at Newgate to pedal their wares…sorry if a bit blunt but I witness this every day

  14. Off topic but I couldn’t wait to move from Birchington to Broadstairs when I lived there 😊. As for Cliftonville. It is slowly getting better but local people need to support these new businesses popping up (Forts is always busy 👍🏻). Why would you come from Broadstairs / Margate / Westgate to spend a night in Northdown Road 🤷🏻‍♂️ And as someone previously mentioned, now the Winter Gardens are boarded up 😥

  15. Happy to support Northdowm Road as improving area with a few good food outlets and new entrepreneurs. But 8th coolest in the world -you’ve got to be joking.

  16. Both Margate central and Cliftonville are unfortunately run down grubby areas located close to a magnificent coastline. I have seen considerable improvements over the past ten years and all power to those old and new residents who are working hard to improve the area but really this is no Brixton Shoreditch or Haggerston , despite what some naive travel writers may suggest . There many better safer towns to visit locally .

  17. Takes all the hype about Margate to a new level of ridiculousness! Negates what improvements have happened over the last decade.

  18. Time Out’s an odd publication anyway. Unusual readership. Strange things happen when non-London venues advertise themselves in it. There used to be a venue at Leysdown back in the 1970’s called Stage 3. The owners advertised it in Time Out. Shortly before it was burnt to the ground!
    I don’t think anyone ever got done for that.

  19. Just had a google and lots of results for the Timeout story, on the basis of there’s no such thing as bad publicity, it certainly paints the area in a different light to how many locals see it. There has certainly been lots of change in recent years, hopefully there has been sufficient to ensure its self sustaining. Be interesting to see how things move on in the next 10 years and whether the area can lose its deprivation label.

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