FH Stories | 48 hours in Folkestone

Only an hour on the train from London St. Pancras or less than an hour in the car from London, Folkestone in Kent is the perfect destination for a cultural getaway.

Friday evening

Settle in for the weekend. There are so many lovely options but we love The Burlington, perched on the cliffs with views to the sea.

Marco Pierre White’s Steakhouse Bar & Grill at The Clifton Hotel is a few minutes walk along the seafront. A meal and a drink or two will set you up for a weekend exploring.

If you’re on a tighter budget, grab an Airbnb apartment on Tontine Street and be in the heart of the Creative Quarter, or the new boutique bolt holes at the harbourside Rocksalt are a great choice if you’re going all out post-pandemic.

Saturday morning

Breakfast or brunch at Steep Street Coffee while you watch Folkestone’s Creative Quarter spring to life for the weekend. The walls in this Old High Street coffee house are packed with books, and you’ll easily hit upon a gluten free, dairy free or vegan choice to enjoy with its exceptional coffee. Ask a local where’s good to check out, there’s a friendly vibe in this part of town.

Make your way down the street and seawards – potter on the cobbles, take your time, stopping to browse in the many independent shops which thrive in this part of the town. You’ll be inspired for your next creative project in Miss Gingers, a haberdashery and fabric store, or pick up a piece of jewellery (we like Richardson & Richardson’s quirky seaside-themed necklaces). There are galleries too, like the Shane Record Gallery with its scenes of Folkestone and the area. Then there’s the range of cards in Objectables which has to be seen to be believed and vintage clothing heaven at the colourful Bounce Vintage.

All that shopping might leave you in need of a pick me up, so rest a while with an ice cream on the beach or in the Lower Leas Coastal Park.

Saturday afternoon

No trip to Folkestone is complete without taking in some of the Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s biggest outdoor exhibition of contemporary art. It’s a good (free) option for those on a budget.

You won’t need a map to spot art here – it’s everywhere – but there are maps and routes on the Creative Folkestone website.

Follow the Waterfront and Harbour route to see pieces like Antony Gormley’s solid cast-iron figure ‘Another Time XV111’ as it looks out to the sea and one of several of Richard Woods’ brightly coloured Holiday Homes. Your Instagram feed will thank you for it.

Saturday evening

Finish up at Folkestone Harbour Arm, a historic landmark that was given a whole new lease of life and now hums at the weekend with street food sellers, live music, arts events. Our tip: go hungry, you will be spoilt for choice.

Sunday morning

Head back to the Harbour Arm for its Sunday Market Place, a vibrant weekly bazaar brimming with an eclectic mix of vintage, retro and artisan goods and produce. Traders change weekly so you will always find something new. It’s open from 10am-5pm.

Alternatively, hire a bike from Click2Cycle and head to Sandgate, just a couple of miles down the coast. Lunch at Loaf or just grab a coffee on the beach before heading back to Folkestone.


Wrap the weekend up with a late lunch with a wood fired pizza at Luben or fish and chips by the harbour before hopping on the train.


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Prepare to be surprised by our arts festivals, safaris, historic adventures and beaches. All are welcome.