A weekend break by the sea makes sense all year round. Whether you are looking to spend summer on the beach, want to embrace the fresh air and rolling countryside in autumn and spring, or if you're craving a cosy winter break by the twinkling harbour lights, the Folkestone district is the perfect choice.
Under an hour from London by High Speed train and easily accessible by car from the rest of the UK and Europe, you can easily head to the coast for a couple of days R&R.
Here are our top tips for spending 48 hours in Folkestone:
First port of call, head to your chosen accommodation and drop those bags. Folkestone has an amazing collection of beautiful boutique hotels and guest houses to choose from, and there are unique guest houses, self-catering apartments and luxurious stays along the coast in Hythe and Romney Marsh.
Familiarize yourself with your accommodation and remember to ask staff or your hosts for their top tips and recommendations, if you want to live like a local.
Start your journey by exploring the streets and seascapes of Folkestone town. Make a beeline for the beautiful Old High Street and Creative Quarter, which are packed with beautiful independent shops, striking little galleries, and bustling cafes.
Take your time to wander and visit the businesses along the way, and get an all important caffeine fix to fuel your adventures!
Head out on to Folkestone’s Harbour Arm to get an unbeatable view of the coastline with a drink and a bite. As well as having a host of independent outlets for food and drink, the Harbour Arm hosts regular events all year round (whether permitting), so be sure to check their website for news of what’s one.
If the weather is fine, you have a choice of beaches to laze on – Sunny Sands for a real sandy beach, or the stretching shingle coastline stretching along the channel. Perfect for a picnic, a dip or even some water activities!
Folkestone is world’s first music town, so be sure to enjoy some live tunes on your visit. From intimate pub gigs to larger shows at venues like The Leas Cliff Hall and The Quarterhouse, you are sure to find great entertainment during your stay. Take a look at the Folkestone Music Town website for updates on the latest gigs. (LINK)
For dinner, there are plenty of great restaurants in town catering to every taste and cuisine. Take a stroll to see what takes your fancy.
Day Two is when you really stretch your legs with your choice of walks and activities in Folkestone or adventures further along the coast.
If you’re starting the day in Folkestone, take a stroll along The Leas and down the zig-zag path to the Lower Leas Coastal Park for incredible sea views and beautiful walks.
Down in the coastal park, you can sit in the amphitheatre surrounded by lush trees, plants and flowers, explore the fragrant nature paths or, if you’ve got little ones in tow, head to the huge adventure playground to let off steam.
Alternatively, you can explore Folkestone’s huge collection of public artworks. This free self-guided trail includes more than 70 outdoor sculptures and artworks by Tracey Emin, Mark Wallinger, Pablo Bronstein, Antony Gormley and many more artists in public spaces around the town.
Jump in the car, on a bike or even take a long coastal walk to the beautiful town of Hythe. The Royal Military Canal is an idyllic waterway where you can hire an electric cruiser or a traditional rowing boat for a fun family day on the river or a romantic river ‘cruise’.
The town’s high street is a treasure trove for antique hunters with plenty of beautiful independent shops and cute tea rooms.
To get the best views and travel experience to round off your trip, climb aboard the famous Romney Hythe and Dymchurch miniature railway. The one-third full size locomotives travel 13 ½ miles between Hythe and Dungeness, allowing you to see the coast and countryside from your cosy carriage. We recommend stopping at Romney Sands or Dungeness to enjoy a walk on the beautiful beaches and to enjoy the incredible wildlife of the nearby nature reserves.
This great guide to spending 48 Hours in Romney Marsh in our sister site, Folkestone & Hythe Extraordinary, has plenty of great suggestions for extending your stay on the coast with water activities, nature walks and places to shop and eat.