About Folkestone, Kent

The coastal town and historic port of Folkestone is one of Kent’s most popular towns for day trippers and overseas tourists due to its incredible harbour views, seaside and heritage walks and alfresco art scene. In fact, so many people visit from the capital that they are known as ‘DFLs’ – ‘Down from London’. Throw into the mix an array of beachside bars and harbour front hang-outs and you know you are in for an enjoyable day

Where is Folkestone


Folkestone is a port town on the English Channel, in Kent, south-east England. The town lies on the southern edge of the North Downs at a valley between two cliffs. It was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Transport to & from Folkestone

Places to eat in Folkestone

With so many new restaurants & cafes in folkestone, there is always something that tickles your fancy.

Kathmandu House is a premier and creative Nepalese Restaurant that has been proudly serving the Folkestone area since 2015 . Since day one, our mission has been to provide high-quality Asian food for those who seek skillful cooking and an extraordinary dining experience.

The Bouverie Tap is an independently run Bar/Restaurant in the Bouverie Village area of Folkestone. The little venue has both indoor and outdoor seating, which is great for the summer months. You will also notice the walls of The Bouverie Tap are adorned with interesting vintage memorabilia, so there’s always something new to look at!

The Pullman started its’ journey in 2014 as the first L&B venue, born from the desire of bringing a Kentish Country pub to Folkestone’s busy town center. Rustic interiors, a roaring fire and an array of spirits and whiskies, the Pullman is home to comforting pub classics, a cosy atmosphere and friendly service. 

The ‘Big Boys’ Gareth and Guy love their burgers, and are proud to be bringing them to you on the Old High Street in Folkestone! 

Enjoy the authentic flavours of true Turkish cuisine as well as an unforgettable dining experience by booking a table at Aspendos Restaurants. Located in throughout Kent, our Turkish restaurants have been serving exceptional Turkish food to customers for more than 20 years.

A caffé has a relaxed and inviting atmosphere and is the perfect space to socialise, grab a bite or work the day away. They have charging points along all our leather banquettes and free wi-fi.

Folkestone Harbour Arm

Folkestone's restored arm is a beautiful promenade out at see with a world-class view. Formerly a ferry port, Folkestone Harbour Arm is now home to a growing collection of independent businesses that has become a centre for food, drink and entertainment in Kent; The Garden of England.

Street food does not get much more inventive, colourful or authentic than this. The Saffa Bru, an incredibly unique street food project that started shortly after lockdown, have been bringing their South African Braai (BBQ) to locations across Kent including Dreamland Margate and Woolton Farm as a pop up. The Saffa Bru have now chosen Folkestone Harbour to open their new first, flagship restaurant

Housed within a shipping container, Little Rock serves fresh, local and seasonal fish and seafood, supplied straight from The Folkestone Trawlers operating out of Folkestone Harbour and the surrounding Hythe Bay area.

Specialize in serving up mouth-watering steaks, fish, and seafood grilled to perfection on our traditional Argentinian charcoal and woodfire grill. Our skilled chefs bring together premium Argentine cuts of meat and fresh seafood with just the right seasoning, searing them to a perfect char for a truly unforgettable taste experience. 

Le Coq Rotisserie brings an absolutely classic, refreshingly straightforward, culinary staple to Folkestone Harbour for the first time; Rotisserie Chicken. Paired with the breath-taking views we’ve captured in these striking new units, a mouth watering selection of sauces (we strongly recommend the in-house Chicken Gravy), delicious salads and an impressive choice of desserts, this is not one to miss.

The Lighthouse Champagne Bar & Tasting Rooms have the pleasure of welcoming you to a unique 19th century venues. Visit the iconic lighthouse, the beacon at the end of Folkestone Harbour Arm & stop by and enjoy the sublime views at our Tasting Rooms found in the historic waiting room on old Platform 4!

Surrounded by beautiful coastal greenery, located within a relaxed open outdoor setting up on Folkestones viaduct, our new show stopper Brasero BBQ is set to take centre stage this summer. Sit back, relax and enjoy the stunning harbour views whilst enjoying a whole new Rocksalt dining experience focused around fresh, local and seasonal produce cooked from within the garden itself.

An iconic multi-functional venue that offers old-time elegance and charm. Situated in the town of Folkestone, Leas Cliff Hall is a stunning multi-functional venue that has been in operation since 1927. Boasting incredible views over the English Channel, this versatile live entertainment and functions venue is beloved by all who visit.

Shopping in Folkestone

  • Bouverie Place Shopping Centre  is the perfect place to shop with your little ones; there are lots of accessible parent and child parking spaces in the NCP car park adjacent to ASDA, reliable and speedy lifts to provide quick access to the shops, and comfortable and well-equipped parent and child rooms located in between Primark and Bouverie News. 
  • TK Maxx Retail chain featuring stylish brand-name apparel, shoes & accessories, plus housewares.
  • Primark Discount fashion chain offering clothes and accessories for all ages, plus homewares.
  • B&M Home Store with Garden Centre Warehouse like chain for home improvement, DIY & garden equipment, plus furniture.

List of activities and nearby attractions

The Folkestone Sports Centre is a fun-filled activities, sports, and leisure centre the whole family can enjoy. Everyone in the community, whether local resident or visitor, is invited to come use the Centre’s wide range of facilities for healthy recreation, competition, or leisurely entertainment.

Hyperspace Laser Tag is a 3,000 square foot Laser Tag arena within a 5,000 square foot site also containing a 40 seater café serving hot and cold drinks (including Slush) and snacks as well as having a licensed bar area and will soon have numerous arcade games. The Laser Tag arena features 3 bases and can have 24 players at a time over 3 teams.

The Silver Screen Cinema is an independent twin-screen cinema located in the historic Town Hall at the heart of Folkestone in Kent. Originally a site of Kent’s first film screenings in 1896, the upper levels of the Town Hall re-opened as the Silver Screen Cinema in 1990.

The Leas Lift Lockout Escape Room is perfect for you. In teams of 2-6 enter a world of adventure and work together to solve a mystery and escape the room. Our escape rooms are  an excellent way to spend time with your friends and family or why not try and compete against your colleagues

Open for over 18 years Kidz Planet is Folkestone’s only Family Entertainment Centre. Large site now includes a 4-storey Indoor Playcentre with an 140 seat café and rocket train ride .


F51 is an action sports park in Folkestone (Kent) with three skatepark floors, a 15m climbing wall, bouldering area and boxing gym. It is the world’s first multi-storey skate park.

Whatever your age and inclination towards competitive sports, this is the pièce de résistance for a day out on Folkestone Harbour Arm.

Nearby Attractions

Folkestone is the quintessentially English coastal town. Here, day-trippers and weekenders can experience everything a trip to the seaside should entail: arcades, funfairs, pebble beaches, as well as pleasant promenades and a quaint fishing harbor.

Perched at the end of the Arm is a small lighthouse, now serving as a restaurant and café, from which commanding views over the harbor and north to the White Cliffs of Dover can be enjoyed. 

Take a Ride through the Channel Tunnel

The tunnel (or “Chunnel”) crosses under the English Channel between Calais and Folkestone and includes 31 miles of double-track in the main tunnels, plus extensive surface-level terminal facilities. In addition to its passenger services, Le Shuttle trains convey cars, coaches, and heavy goods vehicles.

Centered around a collection of fossils that came into the town’s hands in the late 19th century, the Folkestone Museum is well worth adding to your travel itinerary. Located in the historic Town Hall, the museum today features a variety of fascinating exhibits dealing with the town’s history in addition to the fossils and a large collection of artifacts related to natural history.

Housed in a 17th century Grade II listed building, the museum is located in the Church Yard, at the Heart of Ashford’s Town Centre, and features exhibits associated with Ashford’s history.

The Battle of Britain Memorial, formerly known as the National Memorial to the Few, is located at Capel-le-Ferne. Maintained by the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust, this striking monument is dedicated to Churchill’s famous “Few,” the pilots who fought in the skies above this part of England to keep the country free from invasion.

Leas Cliff and Lower Leas Coastal Park​

The real historic gem of Folkestone is the elegant residential area known as The Leas, with its attractive squares and gardens dating from 1843. Here, you’ll find amazing cliff views over the English Channel, lovingly attended gardens with bench seating, and the popular Leas Cliff Hall entertainment venue.

Folkestone Creative Quarter

Folkestone is well known for its creativity. You will find artworks on every corner around the town and at the heart of that creativity is the Creative Quarter. The Creative Quarter is home to an inspiring community of artists, creatives, movers, and shakers. The annual Open Quarter event is your opportunity to go behind the scenes, enjoy open studios, meet artists and party in the park.

Saturday is all about Open Studios. Meet artists, see work in progress and maybe grab an original artwork for your home. Then, on Sunday, Open Quarter will culminate with a family-friendly party in the park. This year a team of Young Producers will put together a programme of fun-filled events in Folkestone’s Payers Park. Expect everything from music to dance, theatre to skating, and maybe a few surprises

Creative Folkestone Artworks

Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s largest urban contemporary art exhibition, is free and accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Sited outdoors around the town and harbour, the artworks pop up in both scenic and surprising locations. The changing exhibition, currently consisting of 74 artworks by 46 artists – including Tracey Emin, Antony Gormley, Yoko Ono, Mark Wallinger, Cornelia Parker, Bill Woodrow, Michael Craig-Martin and Ian Hamilton Finlay – offers an experience like nowhere else in the world: great contemporary art with an invitation to explore, examine and understand the town’s geography, history and potential future.

With only one or two exceptions, the artworks have been made by the artist with the specific site in mind, so the urban context is ‘borrowed’ to become a part of the artwork. 

Family run, independent garden centres

Previously the home of McFarlane’s World of Butterflies & Garden Nursery, our team battled to bring the expansive site back to life just in time for the May Bank Holiday. Many of the sites original features have been retained and when combined with our dedication, product quality and customer care we hope to be a popular addition to the local area. Folkestone Garden Centre opened in 2016 as sister site to Tenterden Garden Centre and Canterbury Garden Centre, Herne Common. As family run, independent garden centres, community and knowledge are at the very heart of what we do and we hope to become an integral part of the local community in Swingfield, Folkestone as we are in Tenterden and Herne. Folkestone Garden Centre opened in 2016 as part of the Grovewell family, situated west of Swingfield 5 miles from the popular seaside town of Folkestone.

The London commuter town of Folkestone in Kent, often described as a “younger, fresher and cheaper version of Brighton“, has been dubbed “funky” – and one of the region’s cheapest places to buy a new home. Once a declining seaside resort, it’s now an up-and-coming area thanks to some well-targeted regeneration. The Sunday Times even named it one of the best places to live in the UK last year. 

Folkestone is not just a great place to live, but also an ideal spot for commuters. It’s close enough to London for a daily commute – a train to Kings Cross takes just 55 minutes. Plus, it’s well connected overseas with a train to Calais on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle taking only 35 minutes. On a clear day, you can even see France on the horizon. This means you could spend one weekend in the English capital sampling craft beer and the next in France sampling artisanal wine – the choice is yours. 

And for art lovers, Folkestone is a dream come true. Folkestone is a town that never lets you get bored, with its artsy seafront filled with amazing installations, top-class street food stalls and pubs. It’s not just about how easy it is to leave the town, but more about what keeps you there.

A metal man sculpture by Anthony Gormley stands below the harbour arm, gazing out over the bay as the tide ebbs and flows. A bronze mermaid by Cornelia Parker sits on the rocks above the sandy beach, adding another artistic touch to the seafront.

Folkestone in Kent has been named the best place to live in South East England.

The town’s “eye-catching regeneration” and “impressive schools” helped secure its place in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.

It is one of five locations in Kent, Surrey and Sussex to be included in the South East category.

Judges considered factors including schools, transport, culture, broadband speeds and green spaces.

Sunshine is slowly but surely returning to the UK, which means many of us have already planned those first 2024 beach trips. And there are so many popular spots where you can enjoy some sun and sand along the Kent coast.