What To Do In Folkestone – The Folkestone Family Trail
Come down for the weekend with the family and follow our trail around the town to find something for everyone! Either camp out at the wonderful Little Switzerland Campsite and start on the East Cliff, or lounge in luxury at The Burlington and go from West to East! This Folkestone Family Trail takes two days and you will only have scratched the surface of what we have to offer!
The east cliff
Looking over the town from this vantage point you can see your route for the next two days. Sunny Sands lies at the bottom of the East Cliff and is an excellent sandy beach to play on. Check the tide times to plan your play. You can also hire stand-up paddle boards and kayaks at the Folkestone Sea Sports centre if you fancy dipping in the sea!
Find something to eat for lunch on Folkestone’s Harbour Arm. You will find That Burgers – the best burgers this side of the Atlantic; Big Greek Bus – sit on the bus on the Arm to eat authentic Greek food; Go Dutch for the most delicious balls of pancake drizzled in chocolate or caramel sauce; Follies Pizza – serves artisan hand-stretch pizza, good for a quick stop, or a full meal.
Walk the Old High Street
Folkestone’s independent shops celebrate the creative elements that underpin our town. Creative Folkestone support the artists that work from the studios and galleries on the Old High Street.
End day one with a little culture finding out all about Folkestone’s history. Our museum holds the secrets of dinosaurs that roamed the terrain; the smugglers that used the cliffs to shade their comings and goings; Roman remains and Saxon queens to World War departure and defence stations. This hands-on museum has many activities for kids both big and small.
Folkestone is a food town
Find something for supper that suits everyone; there’s Luben’s Pizza – Folkestone’s very own pizza restaurant that knocks the socks of any brand chain in the country; The Pullman Pub is on Church Street – just to the left of the museum – serving a feast of the finest pub food in Kent; there’s The Folkestone Wine Company for something sophisticated.
If you’ve chosen to stay on the West side of town, at The Burlington, or The View or another hotel along The Leas, then this is your starting point for today. If you are camping at Little Switzerland, then take this route in reverse!
THe leas and lower Leas Coastal Park
The Leas is where you can walk along the top of the cliffs over-looking the Channel. It’s a great place to skate-board and walk the dog. There are summer activities and events here and at The Bandstand. Opposite The Bandstand is the 10 Hour Clock and the Zig-Zag path which will take you down to the Ampitheatre. There are Jim-Jam Arts interactive plays on here most weekends during the summer. You can also spend hours playing in the Lower Leas Coastal Park which has something for all ages – zip wires, long tunnel slides, a pirate ship and more.
All around the town there are 74 artworks by 46 different artists such as Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Yoko Ono, Mark Wallinger, Cornelia Parker, Bill Woodrow, Michael Craig-Martin and Ian Hamilton Finlay. There are routes around Folkestone to see all of these pieces and you can include them in your route along the stony beach at the bottom of the Lower Leas Coastal Park.
something for lunch
Following the Artworks trail back into town, there are many cafés offering tasty snacks. Try Djangos which has comfy seating downstairs, or street-seating in the sun; Planet Earth Kitchen is a brilliant vegan restaurant on the same Rendezvous Street, where you’ll also find the Eleto Chocolate Café too!
There’s a fantastic multi-layered park behind The Old High Street with a very fast slide! All parents need a ride, but be warned, don’t fly off the end! This park is situated near The Quarterhouse which puts on interactive creative events for everyone. There could be a great performance on, or something in Block 67 for you to get stuck into.
Fish and chips
It has to be done, you’re here, by the seaside, so what you need for tea is some freshly caught fish and beautifully fried chips to sit and eat on the beach. You’ll find The Smokehouse along The Stade in the inner harbour, and just be mindful of the seagulls… !
Folkestone is situated on the South East tip of the UK, just off the M20’s Junction 13. Trains take 52 minutes from London St Pancras International and arrive at Folkestone West and Folkestone Central. You can hire bikes at our Click 2 Cycle initiative around town.
Enjoy your stay, and come back again soon!