JUN 26,2013 - JUN 26,2013 (1 DAYS)
After losing its ferry connections with Ferance - Folkestone sank into a long depression and demise. With the Channel Tunnel, far west of Folkestone and the curtailment of the ferries services to France in year 2000 - they were almost no good reasons to stop in or pass through Folkestone. But, during the last years, with a massive aid of the multimillioner Roger de Haan a large-sclae restoration and many festive event take place in this town. Again, Folkestone has plenty to offer to the young and old travellers (local and foreign). You can arrive from London to Folkestone within an hour with the High-Speed train. Folkestone slowly retains its reputation as a leading place for families' weekends' destination or for youngsters seeking nice beaches / parks with good sea air in addition to many nice and budget restaurants and bars. In Folkestone you sense, everywhere, the efforts to make visitors feel welcome !
One-day Circular walk from/to Folkestone Central Railway Station:
Turn right into Cheriton Rd. Bend slightly left continuing with Cheriton Rd. Slight right onto Middelburg Square and immediately left onto Shellons St. On the 3rd turn to the right, turn onto St. Eanswythe Way
and continue onto Market Pl road. THe, turn twice left into Rendezvous St. This is your start point of the Creative Quarter.
The Creative Quarter: Don't be surprised if many locals don't recognize this term or name. A small, colorful area of Folkestone down town owned by the Creative Foundation which rents out shops, galleries, apartments and other commercial units to artists, young and promising professionals. The narrow, cobbled-stone Rendezvous St. snakes into the High Street lined with brightly-painted buildings. You may find some houses or shops are empty but, still, there is an air of ambition and regeneration illustrated with many flyers of local events and festivals and hesitant projects of local artists. See our Tip on the Samuel Peto Whetherspoon Restaurant in the Rendezvous St.
A statue in Old High Street (climbing from the Harbour to the High St.):
In the end of the High St. turn right into the Harbour St., continuing with Lower Sandgate Rd. and Road of Rememberance - until you enter the famous promenade of Folkestone - The Leas. On your way you pass the War Memorial:
Leas Cliff Hill, Lower Leas and Leas Lifts:
Folkestone lives on two levels: up on the cliffs and hills and down by the sea. In this area the two levels are linked by steep and snaking steps. Walk, first, along the promenade (east to west) of the clifftop Leas. Get spectacular views of the sea, the Coastal Park (which stretches between the promenade and the coast). It is a walk of 1 hour (until the Metropole Hotel) or longer (2 hours if you continue until the Sandgate village). There's plenty of benches to sit and relax and watch the world go by. Free of traffic. Fantastic views over the coast, the Coastal park and France (only on a clear day). Clean promenade and lovely gardens along.
Every 400-500 metres there is a flight of stairs from the promenade level down to the Coast level. Another option is the Leas Lift. It operates from 1885. One of three water-powered funicular lift remaining in the UK.
The Upper Leas promenade:
The Grand Metropole Hotel (end point of 1-hour walk along the Upper Leas promenade:
Coastal Park between two levels of Folkestone:
After descending the zig-zag steps to the lower coast level - you'll find a path (Sea Path) along the coast, into the coastal park leading you back to Folkestone down town in the reverse direction: from west to east. In case you descended the steps opposite the Grand Metropole Hotel - it is 1 hour of relaxed walk to the old Harbour - passing the defunct train viaduct. This is a wonderful place to clear your mind. Well maintained with wonderful plantings throughout. There are very many facilities like an adventure park for the kids, one or two cafe's and hidden paths with wood furniture This beautifully designed park allows you to take a walk with no crowds around,
The Harbour: Atmospheric, quiet, waiting for massive regeneration, packed with fishing boats. Folkestone Harbour has the potential of being tourist attraction. Fountain for children, seafood stalls and restaurants offer a choice of menus. It still waits the development of the marina and shore-line to be a popular hit.
The main hub-point, in the harbour, is the cobbled Stade with its black fishermen's small houses, food stalls and restaurants, and noisy seagulls. In case it is raining or you're very hungry - try the Grand Burstin Hotel restaurant: on your left when just entering the Harbour site:
Continue from the Stade, along another (not impressive) promenade leading to another small sandy beach Sunny Sands Beach. From here you climb a short zigzag staircase and continue climbing with a narrow path to the East Cliff.
Here stands a Metheorological station. From its terrace or roof you have a spectacular view to the distant Dover Cliffs, to Folkestone town and Harbour. By the way, from here - it is only a 1-hour- 90 minutes walk with a clear, distinct path to Dover Cliffs. 300-400 metres downstairs lies the Warren Beach. Fabulous views and you are away from the crowds.
From the East Cliff to Dover Cliffs:
The view from the East Cliff to Folkestone town:
We recommend that on your long way back from the East Cliff to Folkestone Central Railway Station - you'll stick with an upper level route. Stay on the higher roads - for having better views over the harbour and coastline. One good reason to walk down back to the harbour (and, then, climbing back to the down town) would be occasional musical bands' performances during the summer afternoons.
Head south-west on Wear Bay Rd toward Foreland Ave or take the Wear Bay Rd., turn right to Radnor Rd until you arrive (turn left) to Dover Rd.
Continue to follow Dover Rd for about 400 m. and turn right onto Bradstone Rd. Turn left onto New St. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Foresters Way. Continue onto Cheriton Rd and the train station will be on the left.
The Samuel Peto Whetherspoon Restaurant:
It is more for sightseeing than having a lunch. A past chapel (with Organ !) refurbished and transformed into a vibrant restaurant. Interior is with exceptional decor. Photographers - don't miss. Food is so-so typical Whetherspoon with resonable prices and quick, polite service.