101 reasons To Enjoy LIving In Folkestone!
There are 101 reasons why people consider living in Folkestone. Well, nearly! Folkelife meets many people who live in Folkestone, and who really value being in a place that suits their work and home life. The Lonely Planet Guide lists the Kent Downs and Heritage Coast at number 4 in its top 10 destinations to visit in the world. It’s the only UK venue to get a spot on the list. The Times identifies Folkestone as one of the up-and-coming places to live in the UK in 2022. So, here’s a list of why Folkestone is so special. The housing market in Folkestone is booming as keen buyers are rapidly snapping up houses on sale; prospective buyers are finding that you have to act quickly.
Net An Agent
And why is Folkestone so popular? Undoubtedly the Covid Pandemic has made people reassess their work/home life situation. As a result, many have been looking to move out of the larger cities. Alex Thorpe is the director of NetAnAgent. This is an online platform that supports buying and selling your house anywhere in mainland Britain.
Alex is based in Folkestone and says “Although Folkestone has been a popular destination for a number of years, its price is lower than that of other South-Eastern coastal towns. We are also seeing the returning youth. People who have been renting in larger towns are looking to be more secure. Therefore, they are buying in a location they want to establish themselves in. They are moving back to Folkestone, having grown up here and gone away for work or study.
“Folkestone is surrounded by the Downs, an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Development there isn’t permitted. There’s the motorway on one side, and the sea on the other, so the Harbour area is the best location to develop in the town. By the end of 2020 we were seeing transaction levels in Folkestone up by 90% on the same period in 2019. It’s kept on growing since then.”
Best places to live and work
The Sunday Times features Folkestone in its annual ‘Best Places To Live’ supplement. Harper’s Bazaar waxes lyrical about the wonderful reasons to move to and live in the town. We have some beautiful houses and flats ranging from period properties to new builds.
London is only 52 minutes away thanks to the high-speed link, which serves both stations in Folkestone. Also, Condé Nast Traveler sited Folkestone as one of the best places in Europe to work remotely, along with Budapest, Helsinki and Marseille!
Folkestone is situated on the South East coast, the town has easy access to the countryside. There’s no need to rely on a car; make walking to the sea, train station and to our many wonderful restaurants and independent shops a way of life.
The regeneration is key to Folkestone’s success. Over the past twenty years, investment into the infrastructure of the town has resulted in generating over 200 office and residential spaces for creative jobs; investment in education from kindergarten to apprentice level has benefited generations of local residents; sporting amenities have been renovated and built to provide the district with elite hockey, running, rugby, cricket and netball facilities; more sports and activities are available to families and older people; local charitable organisations have also benefited from years of financial and expert support. This is all as well as Creative Folkestone’s 3 yearly arts festival that has been running since 2008, the Folkestone Triennial. The Triennial brings many visitors to the town to walk through the largest outdoor art gallery in Europe.
renovating folkestone’s harbour arm
Major renovations of landmarks of the town have been ongoing over this period. The renovated Harbour Arm in Folkestone is one of the town’s main attractions. All year round there are stunning views of the town, White Cliffs and looking out across to France. It’s a place to promenade, meet friends and get a perspective on Folkestone, and life in general. The Harbour Arm is part of a much bigger project to enhance the town providing the public realm to complement the Seafront Development. This is an area spanning from the Harbour across the Western seafront to the Lower Leas Coastal Park where properties and businesses will be built over the next few years.
Folkestone Harbour And seafront development
The Folkestone Seafront Development Company’s mission is to regenerate the harbour area and create a vibrant new seafront for the town. The company is led by Sir Roger De Haan, Non-Executive Chairman of the town’s principal employer Saga Group. Sir Roger’s father created Saga in the 1950s by offering short- break holidays to his hotel on The Leas in Folkestone. The company has grown to support the over-50s in world-wide travel opportunities and insurance. Sir Roger’s investment in the town also includes over £90 million of charitable support through The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust.
ACME Illustration of Oversailing Townhouse Kitchen View.
re-energising the harbour area
Part of the regeneration is the Seafront Development. This is a series of residential properties and community facilities being built on the Western side of the Harbour Arm. The first phase is in construction and aims to be ready in 2022. This is the latest in a series of new public spaces and amenities the company has been responsible for. The interactive fountains at the end of Tram road have been enjoyed for over 10 years now. The Boardwalk that links the Lower Leas Coastal Park to the Harbour Arm has created a fantastic seaside circuit for any walkers and visitors to the town. The Harbour Big Screen has shown great sporting events, family films and is now part of The Goods Yard. Many different varieties of food and drink are on offer whilst you watch your favourite film or sport.
investment in the leas lift
Every renovation project completed by the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront Development Company has taken great care to preserve the history and heritage of harbour life in the town. The importance of its legacy is shown in the attention to detail of the renovations of the Viaduct and Harbour Station – now creating a walkway from the town to the Harbour Arm. And, as a result, local businesses in the immediate area of the Harbour have said how their income improved the instant the Viaduct was opened to the public. The renovations have had a direct impact on the success of local business. In addition, further investment, thanks to the regeneration, is happening to the Leas Lift, to ensure it can carry people from the Upper Leas to the Lower, connecting the seafront with the town once more. The Leas Lift is in receipt of funding from the National Lottery to help finance the renovations. ACME, the architects that have been working closely on the Seafront Development project, have been commissioned to restore the site.
family homes and community living
Architect Duarte Lobo Antunes, formerly from ACME the architecture practice who designed the masterplan, and now leading his own firm Spider Project Management, talks about the potential of the Seafront Development.
“The redevelopment of the Folkestone Harbour and Seafront creates a new waterfront environment for people to live, work and enjoy. There are a lot of different types of properties to choose from. All of them are near the beach with easy access to the boardwalk.
“There are shingle gardens in between the homes and they will be at the heart of the myriad amenities that will animate the seafront including the Harbour Station, Harbour Arm and the viaduct linking back to the town.
“Home owners here will benefit from the perks of centralized deliveries and concierge options based in the Harbour. The buildings themselves are designed with generous balconies and terraces, as well as bay windows to take advantage of the expansive sea views.
“In the first phase, there will be twenty family town-houses at the lower front part of the plot. It rises at both sides to where a mixture of sixty-four apartments, duplexes and penthouse apartments are situated.
“The semi-circular landscaping frames a sheltered communal garden at the back, away from the prevailing south-easterly winds. Interiors are light, airy and open, with different options available for finishes and details.”
ACME illustrations of Penthouse Kitchen View and Bedroom View.
Enjoy Living in Folkestone
World class sporting facilities such as F51, the multi-storey skate park, and the new athletics track at the Three Hills Sports Centre are part of the Sports Trust’s development in 2022. These complement the hockey, running, cricket clubs that have such historic links to the town. Furthermore, there are also newer Active clubs for families, Over 50s and Little Ambassadors too.
The educational and cultural work that has also been supported by Sir Roger De Haan Charitable Trust and Creative Folkestone has resulted in Folkestone being a town known for its public artworks on show around the town.
Many people enjoy the resources we have, and this is just the start! Above all, Folkestone is a place for people looking for a vibrant community, with culture and sport, and with generations of families living and working here.
Come and visit, see for yourself, and keep in touch via our newsletter for future developments.
Photo Credit: Leas Lift – Phil Blades