15 Best Things To Do In Folkestone, England

15 Best Things To Do In Folkestone, England

By will

As a visitor to Folkestone, England, there are a plethora of things to do and see. From the Leas Cliff Hall to the Lower Leas Nature Reserve, there’s a variety of activities to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a fun day out or a relaxing weekend away, Folkestone has something for everyone.

In this article, I’ll be sharing 15 of the best things to do in Folkestone. From checking out the Church Street Markets to taking a ride on the Leas Lift, I’m sure you’ll find plenty to do here.

So come and explore all the wonders that Folkestone has to offer!

Visit the Leas Cliff Hall

Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone
Photo by pam fray

If you’re looking for a fun night out, Leas Cliff Hall in Folkestone, England is the place to be! Located in The Leas, this magnificent Grade II listed building has been entertaining audiences since the early 1900s.

From the grand staircase and the sweeping balconies in the auditorium to the beautiful balcony foyer, Leas Cliff Hall is a stunning example of Victorian theatre design. With a range of shows, from musicals to comedy to plays, there’s something for everyone at this charming venue.

The interior of the theatre is just as impressive as the exterior. Its grand proscenium arch frames the stage, while the ornate boxes are a reminder of the Victorian era. There’s even a royal box, which is a tribute to Queen Victoria.

With a range of seating options, from stalls to balcony, you can find the perfect spot to enjoy the show. Leas Cliff Hall also boasts a bar and restaurant, making it the perfect spot for pre- or post-show drinks and dinner. Whether you’re looking for a romantic night out or a fun night with friends, Leas Cliff Hall is the perfect place to be!

Explore Folkestone Harbour

Folkestone Harbour

Explore Folkestone Harbour and you’ll find yourself surrounded by stunning views and a great atmosphere.

Whether you’re taking a stroll along the pier, admiring the ships in the harbour, or enjoying a tasty fish-and-chips lunch, you can relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of this historic port.

The harbour is also home to a number of shops, cafés, and restaurants, as well as the iconic ‘The Leas Lift’, which takes you up to the beautiful Leas Promenade.

You can also visit the Folkestone Harbour Arm, the longest pier in the UK, and take a boat ride around the harbour.

On top of that, you can take a ferry to the nearby Boulogne, France, for a taste of continental Europe.

No matter what you choose to do, you’ll be sure to have a great time exploring Folkestone Harbour.

Enjoy the Beach

Folkestone Beach
Photo by David Dixon

Soak up the sun and feel the sand between your toes at the beautiful beach near Folkestone.

With its stunning views of the English Channel, the beach is the perfect destination for a day of relaxation and fun.

Visitors can bring a picnic or buy food from nearby vendors.

There are also plenty of beach activities to enjoy, such as swimming, sunbathing, and fishing.

The beach is also a great spot to watch the sunrise or sunset, and to take photos of the stunning landscape.

Whether you’re looking to relax or have an adventure, the beach near Folkestone is the perfect place to do it.

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Tour the Grand Burstin Hotel

The Grand Burstin Hotel is a luxurious destination in Folkestone with breathtaking views of the English Channel, perfect for a relaxing getaway or an unforgettable staycation.

Built in 1851, the hotel has become a landmark of Folkestone, with its iconic architecture and views of the beach and harbor.

This majestic building features an array of amenities, from a gourmet restaurant, bars, and shops, to a spa and swimming pool. It’s the perfect place for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or just a chance to take in the stunning views of the sea.

The hotel also provides a variety of activities for visitors, such as live entertainment, art galleries and exhibitions, and interactive experiences.

Whether you’re looking for a luxurious stay or just the chance to take in the beauty of Folkestone, the Grand Burstin Hotel is the ideal spot.

Take a Ride on the Leas Lift

A unique experience awaits you when you take a ride on the historic Leas Lift in Folkestone! This Victorian-era funicular lift is located in the town’s Leas area and takes passengers up the cliff face, offering spectacular views of the English Channel and the surrounding coastline.

As you ascend the steep cliff, you’ll be treated to amazing views of the town and coastline and a bird’s-eye view of the Grand Burstin Hotel. The lift takes just a few minutes to ascend and, at the top, you can enjoy a walk along the Leas Promenade and visit the nearby Leas Cliff Hall.

The lift is a fun and unique way to explore the beauty of Folkestone and the surrounding area.

The Leas Lift is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike. From the top, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade, take a boat cruise around the harbor, or just take in the breathtaking views.

The lift offers a great way to explore the town and its history and is well worth a visit. So, make sure to include a ride on the Leas Lift in your list of things to do in Folkestone and enjoy a unique experience that you won’t soon forget!

Visit the Lower Leas Coastal Park

Explore the stunning Lower Leas Coastal Park and enjoy spectacular views of the English Channel and the surrounding coastline. The park is located near the popular beach of Folkestone, making it a great destination for a day trip.

It is filled with lush green grass, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking views of the cliffs. Be sure to take a leisurely stroll along the scenic pathways that wind around the park and explore the various benches and picnic spots.

Whether you’re a hiker, a bird-watcher, or just looking to relax under the sun, the Lower Leas Coastal Park is the perfect place to enjoy a peaceful day. With its tranquil atmosphere, stunning views, and plenty of activities, the Lower Leas Coastal Park is one of the best places to visit in Folkestone.

Explore the Denge Sound Mirrors

Experience awe and wonder as you take in the majestic sight of the Denge Sound Mirrors. Located on the coastline of Folkestone, these sound mirrors were built in the early 1900s as an early warning system against air strikes.

Standing at over 30 feet tall, the two concrete structures form an imposing sight against the backdrop of the English Channel.

The Denge Sound Mirrors are unique in their design, and they’re a fascinating piece of history. The concave structures were designed to reflect sound waves, allowing listeners to detect aircraft from much further away than they would have been able to with the naked ear.

Take a walk around the site to take in the beauty of this piece of history, and to appreciate the advancements in technology that made it possible.

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Enjoy a Meal at the Harbour Arm

Located directly adjacent to the Denge Sound Mirrors, the Harbour Arm offers visitors a chance to relax and enjoy a meal with a stunning view.

The Harbour Arm is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with its range of eateries and bars offering everything from traditional fish and chips to fine dining.

Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a leisurely lunch, the Harbour Arm has something for everyone.

The beautiful views of the English Channel make it a great destination for romantic couples, families, and friends alike.

It’s also the perfect place to watch the sunset or take in the sights of the nearby Denge Sound Mirrors.

To top it off, the Harbour Arm often hosts live music events and street food markets, making it a great spot for a night out.

No matter what you’re looking for, the Harbour Arm is sure to provide a memorable experience.

Take a Boat Tour

Cruise around the harbour and take in the magnificent sights of Folkestone, England with a boat tour!

From the tranquil beauty of the Seafront Gardens to the historic Lighthouse and Martello Tower, there’s something for everyone.

Take a tour with the Harbour Boat Trips company and explore the coastal scenery and local wildlife. Enjoy the fresh sea air and stunning views of the harbour, the town, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

Keep an eye out for porpoises, seals, and even dolphins! You never know what you might spot.

The crew on board the boats are friendly and knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife. They’re always happy to answer any questions and share interesting facts about the harbour and its history.

And if you’re lucky, you may even get to see a spectacular sunset over the English Channel.

A boat tour in Folkestone is a memorable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime!

Visit the Creative Quarter

Stroll through Folkestone’s Creative Quarter to discover an array of unique shops, cafés, and galleries! Located in the heart of the town, this area is a vibrant hub of culture and creativity, and it’s home to some of the best independent businesses.

Wander around the winding streets and take in the atmosphere as you explore the stores and restaurants. From vintage clothing stores to record shops, there’s something here for everyone.

Don’t forget to visit the local art galleries too, which showcase the work of local and international artists. Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the many cafés and soak up the creative atmosphere.

If you’re feeling inspired, why not pick up some supplies and make something of your own? The Creative Quarter is an ideal place to explore and get creative, so don’t miss out!

Spend the Day at the Lower Leas

Spend a peaceful day at Lower Leas, taking in the stunning views of the English Channel and the picturesque chalk cliffs.

Bordered by two miles of sandy beach, the Lower Leas Coastal Park is an idyllic spot to relax and get away from it all.

The beach is ideal for swimming and beachcombing, and the coastal park is filled with activities perfect for families, such as mini golf, a splash park, playgrounds, and a skate park.

Take a stroll along the promenade, or explore the Folkestone Warren Country Park, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, which is home to rare plants and animals.

From the Lower Leas, you can also take a ferry across the Channel to France.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or something in between, the Lower Leas is the perfect place to spend the day.

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Visit the Lower Leas Nature Reserve

Explore the beauty of the Lower Leas Nature Reserve and discover the unique variety of wildlife it offers.

With over 60 acres of habitat, the reserve is a haven for wildlife and a great place for an outdoor adventure.

The Nature Reserve has something for everyone, with a variety of woodland, grassland, and wetland habitats, as well as a large lake.

There are plenty of opportunities to observe birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, as well as to explore the nature trails and get close to nature.

The Reserve also has several hides, providing visitors with the perfect spot to observe the amazing wildlife that inhabits this area.

Whether you’re looking for a peaceful stroll, or a full-on nature experience, the Lower Leas Nature Reserve is the perfect place for a day out.

Explore the Church Street Markets

After exploring the Lower Leas Nature Reserve, I’m now ready to check out the Church Street Markets. This vibrant market is located in the heart of Folkestone. It’s a great place to explore for an afternoon, as there’s always something interesting to see.

From street performers to local vendors, this market is a great way to get to know the area and its people. You can also pick up some unique souvenirs or local delicacies to take home with you.

The Church Street Markets are held every Sunday from 10am-4pm, making it the perfect place to spend a Sunday. The atmosphere is lively and upbeat, with a wide variety of stalls selling all kinds of wares. From vintage clothing to handmade items, there’s something for everyone.

You can also sample some delicious local food, such as freshly-made fish and chips or traditional pies. There’s also plenty of live music to enjoy. With so much to see and do, the Church Street Markets are definitely a must-visit for any trip to Folkestone.

Visit the Folkestone Artworks

Following my visit to the Church Street Markets, I’m now ready to explore the Folkestone Artworks, a must-see for any art enthusiast.

This unique attraction is located within the Creative Quarter of the town and features a variety of interactive artworks, sculptures, and murals. Whether you’re taking a leisurely stroll or simply looking for a photo opportunity, you’ll find something for everyone here.

The Artworks are the perfect place to get creative, with installations like the ‘Folkestone Steps’ encouraging visitors to use their imagination and create their own stories.

There are also a variety of workshops available for those who want to get involved and learn more about the art on display.

With so much to explore, the Folkestone Artworks are a great way to experience the town’s creativity and culture.

Shop at the Harbour Market

Head to the Harbour Market and shop for unique souvenirs from Folkestone!

Here, you’ll find a huge variety of goods from local vendors, ranging from handmade jewelry and art to freshly-baked cakes and artisanal cheeses.

Whether you’re searching for a one-of-a-kind item or a perfect gift, you’ll be sure to find something special at the Harbour Market.

With its vibrant atmosphere and friendly locals, the Harbour Market is a great place to spend a few hours browsing the local wares.

The variety of goods and unique items available make it an ideal spot for souvenir hunters and bargain shoppers alike.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic piece of Folkestone memorabilia, or just want to take a stroll and soak up the atmosphere, the Harbour Market is the perfect place to visit.


There’s no shortage of things to do in Folkestone! From exploring its beautiful harbor to admiring the artworks, this town is full of unique experiences. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach day or a thrilling ride on the Leas Lift, Folkestone has something for everyone.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit and experience the best of what this lovely town has to offer. It’s been a pleasure to explore and experience the beauty of Folkestone. I’m sure I’ll be back to enjoy it again soon!

About the author

Will is an avid hillwalker and traveler. You may find him surfing in Cornwall or hiking in the Yorkshire Dales.