What To Do In Folkestone – Staycations for the Family
If you are staycationing in Folkestone there is so much to do! 2021 is a Creative Folkestone Triennial year which means there are lots of new artworks to see. The Harbour Arm is open and showing free family films on the Big Screen along with the major sporting events happening this summer. There are camp sites such as the wonderful Little Switzerland Campsite on the East Cliff, or lounge in luxury in one of our hotels on The Leas and visit in style! This Folkestone Family Trail takes two days and you will only have scratched the surface of what we have to offer! There’s plenty to do outdoors to maintain social distancing during your staycation in Folkestone.
The east cliff
Camp, or take lunch, at the Little Switzerland Caravan and Camping site which has stunning views across our natural paradise – The Warren – and the English Channel.
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 paddleboards 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.
The Goods Yard has other food outlets and houses the Big Screen. This shows all the major sporting fixtures for the summer months. If you are around for any England matches during the Euros, these are the only sporting sessions that are ticketed and sell out very quickly! Check out their website – Folkestone Harbour Arm – to find out how to book. At other times during the summer months there is a film programme for the Big Screen. Some family films will be shown for free including celebrating the 20th anniversary of Shrek! Other films will be ticketed.
Walk the Old High Street
Folkestone’s independent shops celebrate the creative elements that underpin our town. Creative Folkestone supports the artists that work from the studios and galleries on The Old High Street. Please bring a mask so you can enter the shops, following the guidelines advertised on the doors. This is the main thoroughfare connecting the harbour area to the top end of town. There are plenty of shops from Moo Like A Monkey – the ultimate children’s shop, to Hiraeth Creative – a gallery supporting local artists, and The Cake Junction showing inspiring edible artistry.
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. Lucky Chip for burgers, Thong Dee’s for authentic Thai food and Quinn’s bar and restaurant add to the amazing variety on offer in the town.
If you’ve chosen to stay on the West side of town there are plenty of hotels to choose from. The Burlington, The View, The Clifton with its Marco Pierre White Steakhouse are all located on 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 overlooking the Channel. It’s a great place to skate-board and walk the dog. Opposite The Bandstand is the 10 Hour Clock and the Zig-Zag path which will take you down to the Amphitheater. 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.
creative Folkestone Triennial
Every three years Creative Folkestone puts on an international arts festival. The town becomes and outdoor art gallery and some of the installations remain permanently. There are 3 audio guides to aid your tours around the town to discover new works this year from artists such as: Gilbert & George, Atta Kwami, the kaleidoscopic Beach Huts from Rana Begum, and look out for some skateboard situations from Assemble across town.
You can also see the other 74 permanent 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! There’s also a quiet place for reflection in the Payers Pocket Community Garden. This is a space that’s been created by local residents who wanted somewhere to sit outside during lockdowns. Look out for the friendly community garden cat, Toby.
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.
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.