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10 Best Places To Visit In Folkestone, Kent

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10 Best Places To Visit In Folkestone, Kent

Information provided by Fairview Folkestone Roofing:

Folkestone is a seaside town situated where Kent’s North Downs fall into the English Channel. Its popularity peaked just before the First World War, at the height of the Edwardian period.

This town has a great deal to offer, including Victorian architecture, waterfront parks, and a revitalised harbour. It also has a fascinating history. Folkestone has always been England’s defensive front line since France can be seen through the Strait of Dover.

Here are some fun things to do in Folkestone:

1. Folkestone Harbour Arm

An extensive seawall protects Folkestone’s harbour’s south side, which was dredged and screened during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Harbour Arm had a ferry service to Boulogne and was connected to the London to Dover line of the Southeastern Railway.

The harbour handled about ten million passengers during the First World War. Following the Channel Tunnel’s completion in the 1990s, the number of cross-Channel ferries dropped dramatically. Therefore, the old terminal, which jutted out into the sea for several hundred metres, needed a new purpose.

It is now a popular promenade and summer dining destination, with a handful of enticing semi-permanent eateries in addition to street food stalls, live music and live music performances.

The Harbour Screen is a great place to watch movies and live sporting events, as well as enjoy mezze, barbecue ribs, cockles or stone-baked pizzas while taking in the view of the town and its cliffs.

2. The Leas

This beautifully landscaped promenade was built on the cliffs above the beach during the mid-19th century. It has a long lawn, ornamental flower beds, a theatre, a bandstand, and a memorial arch commemorating the First World War.

Decimus Burton, best known for his work at Kew Gardens and London Zoo, was responsible for much of what you see on the Leas. From the top of the cliff, you can take the cliff lift (if it is in operation) or take the Zig Zag Path down to the seafront, or pause to gaze out over the Channel and the French coast.

3. Lower Leas Coastal Park

In 1784, a landslip moved land from the cliff to the beach under the Leas, forever changing the Seafront of Folkestone. Originally landscaped in the 19th century, the 27-acre Coastal Park took shape from 2000 to 2006.

Only a few parks in the UK have earned the Green Flag. The scenic Zig Zag Path winds through caves, past the bandstand, and offers breathtaking views along with every hairpin turn as it meanders from the Leas Cliff Hall.

The park is divided into three main areas: a formal zone with new pine avenues and flowerbeds, an adventure playground, an amphitheatre; a fun zone; and a wild zone, which protects the unique habitat created by the landslide.

4. Sandgate Beach

Folkestone incorporated Sandgate as part of its urban area in 1934. A long shingle beach runs along the water here, parallel to the waterfront promenade that stretches from Folkestone to Hythe.

Off-season, visitors can enjoy skimming stones, breathing in the crisp sea air, and watching ferries and container ships pass by. Aside from soaking up the summer sun, you can also enjoy seaside treats such as ice cream or fish and chips, hire a beach hut, or go kayaking or sailing.

As a Seaside Award winner and a Marine Conservation Society commended beach, Sandgate Beach is a good place to swim if you are comfortable with the temperatures.

5. Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Folkestone has a hinterland equivalent to a national park. A chalk ridge that arcs from the Surrey Hills along the South East England coast to the White Cliffs of Dover, the Kent Downs are one half of the North Downs.

Among the most photogenic parts of the Downs are those with natural ecosystems, untouched by human influence. Located just north of the town, the Folkestone Downs offer such a space. Dover Hill, which reaches a height of 170 metres, is a popular rollercoaster hill on the coast. Wildflowers that abound in these meadows include the man orchid, the early spider orchid, and the late spider orchid.

6. Folkestone Museum

Folkestone’s museum shares the former town hall with the visitor information centre, so it provides an opportunity to explore the town’s rich history. The Folkestone Museum has recently reopened thanks to a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. The exhibit is divided into five main categories: Fashion, Frontline, Maritime, Natural, and Ancient.

In “Fashion,” Folkestone’s evolution from a fishing village to an Edwardian seaside resort is described, while “Frontline” documents the town’s role as a fortifying coastal station. The Ancient and Natural sections feature Roman artefacts and dinosaur fossils, while the Maritime section details Folkestone’s close connection with the sea via fishing, smuggling, and shipwrecks.

7. Sunny Sands

Summertime is a great time to visit the sandy beach nestled between The Stade on the harbour and that Country Park. Should you feel like munching or need to go to the restroom in this area, there are plenty of facilities in place.

Sunny Sands is also a good place to walk at other times of the year. The west end of the park has a terrace offering a picturesque view of the cliffs. There is also a life-size bronze sculpture of the Folkestone Mermaid perched on the rocks like the Copenhagen Mermaid.

Taking inspiration from a local mother of two and climate change and rising sea levels, the Folkestone equivalent depicts a realistic portrait of a woman facing out to the horizon.

8. East Cliff and Warren Country Park

Located East of the harbour, East Cliff and Warren Country Park consists of 300 acres of cliffs, beaches, and terraced habitats formed from hundreds of years of landslides. In the Warren, a Special Scientific Interest Site, around 150 types of birds are spotted during different seasons of the year.

Kent is home to the only grayling butterfly colony in the state, along with 330 types of moths. There is a pitch & putt course and lush lawns on the side closest to the town, dominated by three Napoleonic-era Martello towers.

9. Brockhill Country Park

Brockhill Country Park lies on the north-eastern edge of the Kent Downs, just outside of Hythe on land that was once part of a sprawling Norman manor. Brockhill Stream forms a broad valley in which most of the park is open grassland and meadows.

A trail circles the park’s tree-lined central lake, while another follows the valley’s ravine. Those two link up with the 163-mile Saxon Shore Way.

Snowdrops bloom in the meadows early in the spring, and you can typically see white marbled butterflies in the summer. Picnic areas are available in the park, while Brockhill Cafe’s patio offers a casual place for a cup of tea and conversation.

10. St Leonard’s Church

You can investigate this 11th-century Norman church, which contains only one of two ossuaries in England, by driving 10 minutes west toward Hythe. It is located at the bottom of the ambulatory, just below the chancel. There are approximately 2,000 skulls and 8,000 thigh bones buried here, dating back to the 13th century. They were removed from the cemetery to create more burial space.

There are plenty of exciting details in the ossuary, including an inscribed pillar on the southern part of the nave with graffiti depicting ships from the Medieval period. You can see a Norman arch made of recycled stone from Roman structures through an unlocked door on the north side of the nave.

Conclusion

The above places are some of the best places to visit in Folkestone, Kent, UK. Hopefully, we (Fairview Folkestone Roofing) have helped you find your next favourite spot! If you know of any other places that should be included in our list please let us know.

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