There’s no shortage of ways to fill your time in Folkestone. When the sun’s shining and the weather’s warm it’s hard to resist a day at the beach, whether it’s the golden grains of Sunny Sands, or the shingle beach of Sandgate. You can also enjoy a picturesque walk through the Lower Leas Coastal Park, or wander along the fantastically refurbished Folkestone Harbour Arm. Folkestone’s not just for fun in the sun either; if the weather takes a turn for the worst there’s also cinemas and escape rooms perfect for killing time.
Activities in Folkestone
When the sun’s shining and the weather’s warm, you can’t beat a day at Folkestone’s only sandy beach, Sunny Sands. Roll out your beach towel and top up your tan, go for a swim in the safe waters, or unleash your inner architect on the sand that welcomes the famous annual sandcastle competition. There are toilets nearby, along with plenty of fish and chip shops if you get peckish. If you’re looking for a proper sit-down option, Rocksalt is one of our favourite places to eat in Folkestone and only a five-minute walk from the sands.
Sunny Sands Beach
Folkestone Harbour Arm
Your alternative option is Sandgate Beach, a large pebble beach that stretches from the Lower Leas Coastal Park to Sandgate. Its lack of sand makes it less popular, but it’s still a lovely place to take a picnic. It’s also backed by a promenade, so it’s perfect for walking or cycling along. There are plenty of good pubs and places to eat along the way, too.
Lower Leas Coastal Park
Speaking of, the Lower Leas Coastal Park is a stunning Green Flag public park in Folkestone. It begins at the defunct Leas Lift funicular railway and heads west sprawling over more than 25 acres and spread across three recreational zones. The fun zone is perfect if you’re staying at our Folkestone (Channel Tunnel) hotel with family. It’s home to the largest free play area in the south east. The wild zone is carefully managed to give wildlife a home. Last of all, the formal zone is an evergreen avenue of year-round flower gardens. It’s a stunning place to go for a walk, especially early in the morning when the sun rises out of the sea.
Folkestone Harbour Arm
Folkestone was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. With the arrival of the railways, the town only grew in prosperity. Sadly, Folkestone Harbour fell into neglect following the opening of the Channel Tunnel. While it still remained in active use, its glory years were over.
However, the Folkestone Harbour Arm is enjoying a new lease of life having undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment in 2015. It’s home to some excellent shops, bars and eateries, should you fancy some retail therapy, a seaside snack or something to drink. There’s also regular live entertainment and events on offer at the weekends. Plus, it’s home to an outdoor screen which shows a diverse film programme as well as major sporting events.
Silver Screen Cinema
While the harbour arm is a special place to see a movie, the weather can throw a spanner in the works. Thankfully, Folkestone’s main place to catch a film, the Silver Screen Cinema, isn’t far away. It’s actually the old Town Hall, which has been fantastically restored into an old-fashioned two-level cinema with a balcony. Pay a visit and you’ll see for yourself, it’s like stepping back in time into a vestibule of velour and velvet curtains. Tickets are cheaper than larger cinema chains, but you can still catch all the latest blockbusters. We’d well recommend visiting during your stay; there can’t be many picture houses like this left in the country.
One last activity that’s perfect for a rainy day is Escape 60, Folkestone’s favourite escape room which you can find on Town Walk. You can play with anything between two and six people. For those unaware with the principle behind escape rooms, you’re locked in a real life puzzle, and given 60 minutes to escape. You’ll need to work together to solve riddles, crack codes and earn your freedom. It’s great fun, You’ll be amazed how immersive the experience can be, and how quickly you’ll forget it’s just a game.