Folkestone – best kept secret seaside getaway

Folkestone – best kept secret seaside getaway

weekend trip weekend trip an hour away from LondonLast weekend we continued on exploring the Great British countryside that is easiely commutable from London & having previously visited Suffolk this time we took our bikes with us all the way to Kent seaside.

We caught a High Speed train from St Pancras International in London to Sandling to explore the beaches of Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Beauty. I made a last minute reservation at an Airbnb in Saltwood and so we cycled from Sandling train station through the hilly countryside of nearby Hythe, venturing to the sea to Folkestone past Sandgate Castle. We didn’t quite anticipate how hilly it was going to be around Hythe, Saltwood and Sandling, but it did make us enjoy our food so much more – knowing that we have a massive hill to cycle on the way home!

Holiday without leaving UK

There is plenty of art to explore by the seaside front at Folkestone

The bell on the beach of Folkestone

The Leas overlook the Channel where on a clear day you can see France on the other side

The Leas overlook the Channel where on a clear day you can see France on the other side

One of the places that we secretly fell in love with was Folkestone. This town of just under 50,000 residents has it’s own West End called the Leas (grand Edwardian buildings overlooking the English Channel) and has an arty area called Creative Quarter that hosts several design boutiques and quirky cafes. In addition, the town boasts a harbour with beautiful views, street food, summer festivals and plenty of art installations around. We were especially fascinated by Dolven’s tenor bell hanging from two poles in the midst of a beach clearing along Folkestone seafront. Feeling like kids who just discovered chocolate sneaking aroud the town on our bikes, we just couldn’t believe why have we not visited or even heard about this place before. Folkestone in my opinion has much more character and charm than it’s neighbouring Margate or Brighton, with a lot less people around. And of course, given that Folkestone is under an hour away from London, it really makes the most perfect weekend or beach day getaway place.

The Leas at folkestone

The Harbour Arm featuring street food festivals and champagne bar at the end The Harbour Arm featuring street food festivals and champagne bar at the end


Brutalism in Folkestone

Even some Brutalist Architecture to rival the Barbican

weekend trip an hour away from Londonweekend trip an hour away from London Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Food & drink

We had drinks at Harbour Arm in Folkestone

Indian meal on Friday night at Coppers in Hythe

Scallops & bacon roll brunch at Griggs at Hythe

Saturday night cocktails at Rocksalt followed by dinner at Googies


Along the sea from Hythe to Folkestone all the way on a pedestrian / cycle pathway.

Easy, scenic and very safe bicycle route along the beach.

Cycle back home to Hythe at sunset

Cycle back to Hythe at sunset along the beach

The views from our AirBNB in Hythe

The views from our AirBnB in Saltwood

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Perfect scallop and bacon roll for brunch with sea views at Griggs at Hythe








  1. Karen wheeler
    07/10/2016 / 18:39

    Lovely to see a positive review on Folkestone

  2. Anita
    07/10/2016 / 20:53

    Precisely why we moved to just outside Folkestone. We love it here! Fab review and gorgeous photography too

    • velondonista
      10/10/2016 / 18:31

      We are seriously considering moving there too now that we visited! & really nice to hear that you are enjoying the area.
      JB //xx

  3. Sheila Preston
    08/10/2016 / 02:14

    The Old High Street is well worth a visit. And it is always worth reading the Local Newspaper when you visit any town to see what is going on. ….Visit from Australia .

    • velondonista
      10/10/2016 / 18:28

      Thank you for the tips Sheila, will check the paper on my next visit!

  4. 08/10/2016 / 12:37

    Wonderful photos we are opening a new coffee house in Sandgate Folkestone soon and we would love you to come over when it’s open in the spring 🙂 we love Folkestone !

    • velondonista
      10/10/2016 / 18:28

      Thank you Joanna, I would love to come to see your new coffee house when it opens, especially as I am a bit fan of coffee. Please do send me the details closer to time
      Jb // xx

  5. Tracy
    08/10/2016 / 19:59

    Live here all my life (95% of the time)… Wouldn’t wanna be elsewhere

    • velondonista
      10/10/2016 / 18:26

      Thank you Karen. You definitely should visit Folkestone & please do let me know how you like it!
      Jb // xx

  6. Sacha
    31/08/2017 / 07:58

    Lovely review of Folkestone. We moved here from Clapton in 2011. Beautiful setting by the sea and still close enough to London. More space, stunning views, cleaner air, what’s not to like. And I agree it has way more charm than Margate, it’s a secret little gem of a place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *