Folkestone Harbour
Folkestone Beach

Folkestone is a town on the Kent coast, in the South East of England.


Folkestone is a member of the Cinque Ports, having been incorporated as a Corporate Limb of Dover. In 1629 the local inhabitants obtained a licence to build a port, prior to which, fishing boats were entirely reliant upon the natural protection of the natural harbour formed by the Pent Stream.

At the end of the 18th century the city became prosperous because of an increase in the fishing and shipping industries and, in the middle of the 19th century, Folkestone was one of the chief resorts of southern England, aided by the construction of the railway line from London. Numerous Victorian Hotels, including "The Grand" and "Metropole" are testament to this, together with no less than three railway stations.

Today, though, Folkestone remains as a faded shadow of its former grand self. Since the 1950s it has fallen into decline due in part to competition from Dover, the advent of the Channel Tunnel (with many new jobs in the area because of it convening in Ashford) and the ubiquitous package holiday. However, at present there are several large-scale redevelopment plans in the pipeline for the port and Rotunda area, in addition to the current extension of the town centre to incorporate a new Asda, although the recent decision by Marks and Spencers to quit the town after almost a century has caused some dismay in the local community.

Get in

By car

The M20 links Folkestone with Ashford, the A259 runs south along the coast to Hastings and the A20 heads up the coast to Dover.

By train

Fare and timetable information is available from Southeastern, tel. 08457 484950. Also the Channel Tunnel service runs from just north of Folkestone, with a journey time to Calais of about 30 minutes.

Get around

By bus

Stagecoach is the bus company that operates in Folkestone. Timetables and fares are available on Buy your ticket from the driver when you board the bus. A £9.50 Mega rider plus ticket gives you unlimited travel within the Folkestone area for a week

By taxi




There are a number of cafes in Folkestone, particularly at the top of the Old High Street.

Country pubs nearby


One of the most popular drinking establishments in the town is the former Baptist Galleries building, and before that a Baptist church, now a magnificently restored Wetherspoon pub, complete, some say, with its own resident ghost! Bar vasa along the sea front between sandgate and seabrook is a superb trendy bar to have a drink at with friends and family and you have the fantastic view of the sea across the road. This trendy bar has out side seating for the summer weather or a cosy warm seat inside on a cold winters day.

Go next

Folkestone has easy access to a number of areas:

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, March 06, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.