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Kent Coast - Day Trip to Folkestone Harbour & Creative Quarter.



Folkestone is a seaside town on the Kent Coast which is currently having a resurgence in popularity following a massive regeneration program which is ongoing.

The word of this Cinderella of a town is now well and truly out as it has just been included in The Times Best places to live by the sea in 2023.


Folkestone is 63 miles from London and can be reached in less than an hour by train.

We visited recently to see what has changed since our last trip 20 years ago and found that

Folkestone it to be very different place to when we last went.

First impression was that the harbour area has been smartened up and developed giving a handy

start point to begin to explore the town. Folkestone is still a working harbour but now also a tourist hub, with a conveniently large car park.

The harbour hosts a local market, mini golf course, open air concerts and large screen events with a vast number of bars and eateries to "feed and water" both visitors and locals.

At the foot of the area is an old derelict station has been completely transformed, crumbling buildings were sympathetically restored and repurposed, including Customs House which is now an events and exhibition centre https://www.folkestoneseafront.com/folkestone-harbour-seafront-development/customs-house/history/

It's now possible to walk along tracks which previously transported Queen Victoria to her ship to depart on her last visit abroad. Instead of oil, you will now find weeds and wildflowers left intentionally growing to enhance the area.

There is even a coffee shop in the old Signal Box, currently unoccupied - it's up for rental if you fncy a new venture take a look here :- https://folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk/the-signal-box/

The Beach area has two open bars and terraced areas next to the popular coastal path walks one of which can be found here https://explorekent.org/activities/hythe-to-folkestone-walk-art-nostalgia/

Next we headed across the road to the Creative Quarter, opposite the harbour.

This area reminds us of Neals Yard in Covent Garden with its colourful facades and independent shops.

We cover the streets that surround the area finding more great shops and cafes for coffee stops.


We met the owners of a wonderfully eclectic gift emporium, Moda https://modafolkestone.com who have been in Folkestone for more than fifteen years and have now decided to stop counting the years !

We purchased some unique cards for upcoming birthdays and a wedding. We then headed off to the Bayles residential area at the top of the hill overlooking the town where we discover the oldest Pub in Folkestone .

The British Lion which is at 8-10 The Bayle, Folkestone CT20 1SQ .

We then made our way back down the hill to the harbour passing RockSalt to get back to the car .

Unplanned, we stopped for a bar snack each on the terrace which was very nice and lived up to the restaurants reputation for great fresh seafood .

It maybe worth noting that dogs are not permitted in the restaurant, bar or on the terrace.

We stayed for a while to enjoy the view across the harbour of Richard Woods "Holiday Homes".

You find out out more about the artist and his link to the area here https://www.creativefolkestone.org.uk/artists/richard-woods/


Maps to help guide you through Folkestone according to your interests

Four Walks from Creative Folkestone including

Hythe to Folkestone - Art and Nostalgia Walk

Find places to eat in Folkestone


Folkestone Foodies are local and have all the best places covered in their blog https://folkestonefoodies.co.uk



What's on In Folkestone

The Harbour Market is open at weekends https://folkestoneharbourarm.co.uk/outlets/

meet the traders link . All traders are local and Independents Businesses.

What's on this Summer in Folkestone https://folke.life/folkestone/events/

Creative Happenings in Folkestone https://www.creativefolkestone.org.uk/whats-on/

Live Cam link - 24/7 view of what's happening at the Harbour https://folke.life/folkestone/live/folkestone-harbour-seafront/webcam/

Best time to visit for shopping is towards the end of the week or at weekends. This is because most of the shops are Independents and they may not open everyday. Perhaps check before travelling if there is a specific shop you want to visit.

Trains to Folkestone from London St Pancras - fast trains take less than an hour https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/journey/london-st-pancras-to-folkestone-central

Trains to Folkestone West from Charing Cross take around an hour and half

I hope you have found this guide useful and if you have anywhere you think should be included please message me.

Thanks for reading .












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