Posted on

Margate’s Dreamland is back from the dead

Dreamland’s phoenix-like return has attracted masses of publicity but do its retro rides and Instagram-friendly kitsch aesthetic live up to the hype? We sent Kent resident and food critic Marina O’Loughlin to see whether it floats her swing boat
Zoe Williams on the return of Dreamland
Putting the life back into old rides on the Kent coast

Messhams Wall of Death, a beautifully maintained, fourth generation fairground attraction, is rammed to its vivid rafters. Inside this huge wooden drum, dashing black-clad chaps on motorbikes go full throttle so they can cling to its vertical walls. “Look!” shouts the spieler, “side-saddle riding with no hands!”

At the height of its popularity in the 1960s, when it attracted more than two million thrill-seekers a year, Dreamland boasted a wall of death run by legendary stunt motorcyclist Yvonne Stagg. I never knew it firsthand, only through Lindsay Anderson’s unsettling 1953 documentary film, O Dreamland, with its terrifying animatronic electric chair and Haunted Snail ride.

Continue reading…

Posted on

10 of the best ways to enjoy Copenhagen … on a budget

The Danish capital’s reputation for being expensive is not entirely deserved. With planning, there’s lots of fun to be had on a shoestring (if a high-quality one) and even great places to stay need not be out of reach

As well as the pretty old houses and historic warehouses that line the waterside, many of Copenhagen’s key sites are also best viewed from the canal that runs north-south through the city. A great way to enjoy a water tour is to avoid the expensive tour operators and jump on one of the local Movia harbour buses. These clunky, chugging yellow barges run roughly every 10-20 minutes, starting at Refshaleøen island and finishing at industrial Teglholmen. Buy a 24-hour ticket for DKK 80 (£7.60) and you can get on and off as many times as you like (price includes land buses, too) or pick up a single for £2.30 (both half-price for kids under 15) and just sit tight and tick off the Black Diamond library, royal buildings and hippy Christianshavn as you float past.

Continue reading…