Sinead Hanna
1st August 2023

If you’re watching the pennies, there are plenty of free things to see and do in Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh. Families can soak up the beautiful surroundings and enjoy the best the Kentish Coast has to offer without breaking the bank.

You can always have a budget break on the coast simply taking in the sights, and save a little to splurge on a night out or great meal. 

Head to the beach!

Fresh air and beautiful sea views cost nothing, and we have 26 miles of some of the best coastline in the country to enjoy. 

You’ve got a mix of sandy and shingle coastline, flanked by greenery and quaint seaside towns where you can grab a coffee or picnic supplies. Perfect for sunbathing in the summer or sea-swimming, well, any time of the year if the faithful locals are to be believed! Voted one of the top places to visit in the world by Lonely Planet, Kent’s Heritage Coast is always worth a day out. 

Follow the arts

Explore the largest urban contemporary art exhibition in the UK for free. Folkestone is home to 74 pieces of outdoor art of varying sizes, created by by 46 artists, dotted all around the town. Open 365 days a year, the trail can be explored in stages with handy maps available online. From tiny bronze baby clothes to tiny colourful homes to the elegant mermaid overlooking the sea, you’ll get a great walk and sights to soothe the soul on this free adventure. 

Wander the old streets

It costs nothing to explore the district’s old streets, so start with the galleries and shops of Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. This area is full of working artists, and their studios are often open to the public should you want to browse or watch them at work. The Old High Street is also a wonderful place for a stroll and a little window shopping, and you can always pause for a coffee if something catches your eye.

You can also head out to Hythe, a beautiful town for lazy wandering and window shopping at its host of independent shops, and the picturesque market town of New Romney where you are never far from a great place for tea and a great place to watch the sea.

Get a hit of history

The Folkestone Museum is free to visit and offers an engaging space for to learn about Folkestone’s origins as a bustling fishing harbour to its heyday as a popular seaside resort. Interactive exhibitions guide visitors through the eras, perfect for keeping all generations entertained.  

You can also take a trip to the restored Dymchurch Martello Tower, owned by English Heritage and free to enter, which helped to defend the most vulnerable coastal areas against the expected invasion by the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Get into nature 

A family walk or romantic stroll is always welcome, and our district will give some incredible sights on your travels. 

Being in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), the district is perfect for people looking for a picturesque hike in the hills and down by the sea. You can explore ancient sites, public artworks hidden in the countryside, and take along a picnic to enjoy over looking the English Channel. There are plenty of planned routes and maps to choose from on the Kent Downs AONB website

The incredible RSPB nature serves at Dungeness where you can spot rare species of bird and wildlife in the starkly beautiful landscape of Britain’s only desert. A great place to wander and pause. Maybe treat yourself to some seaside fish and chips while there! 

Want to spend a little? There are fantastic places to eat, enjoy a drink or to stay across the district, and you are sure to find something to suit every budget. Take a look at our pages for more things to see and do, ideas on where to stay and what's on in the district.