Folkestone Beaches

Folkestone Beach, Kent, England
Folkestone beach, Kent © via wikipedia commons

The seaside town of Folkestone is located in Kent on the south coast of England; the town is a port town and an established seaside resort popular with day trippers and visitors. Folkestone's various beaches are popular amongst visitors; well known for its shingle beaches, harbour and cliffs.

Folkestone is home to a number of beaches in the local area, there are a choice of seaside amusements and attractions which along with the harbour offer visitors with a choice of things to see, do and experience. The beaches are a popular destination for families, sun bathers and outdoor activities enthusiasts.

Quick Facts

Folkestone beaches:

Region: South East England

County: Kent

Main Settlements close by: Dover, Hastings and the city of Canterbury.


Folkestone's beaches are located on the south coast of England, the location makes them a convenient and popular destination for those living in London and the surrounding areas in southern England when looking for a trip to the beach. Folkestone is home to a number of beaches these include Folkestone beach, Folkestone, The Warren beach, Sandgate beach and Sandgate town centre beach all of which are located fairly close by to one another.

Folkestone beach is centrally located a short distance from the town centre close by to local attractions and amenities. The beach is both sandy and rocky in places and is among the best known and most visited of the beaches in the area. The main Folkestone beach includes a promenade with eating facilities. Local activities include swimming, fishing, wind surfing and water sports and walking with a number of coastal footpaths.

Folkestone, The Warren beach is located a short distance to the east of the main Folkestone beach. There is a sandy beach that is rocky in places; the beach is located close to chalk cliffs and the East Cliff and Warren Country Park. The surrounding chalk cliffs ensure the area has a scenic natural setting. The beach offers an interesting alternative to the main Folkestone beach. Local amenities include cafe and shops.

Sandgate beach is located to the west of Sandgate town centre beach and is a few miles to the west of the main Folkestone beach. The beach is known for its quiet, laid back atmosphere making it a great place to enjoy relaxing and unwinding or swimming. The beach benefit from an excellent rating for water quality from the Marine Conservation Society. Local facilities include cafes, shops and eateries; there is a promenade too. The promenade offers walks to Folkestone to the east and Hythe to the west.

Sandgate town centre beach is located to the west of the main Folkestone beach. The beach is primarily a shingle one, known for its steep slope; the beach is generally quieter than the other beaches around it, offering a good place to relax and get away from the crowds. The beach is famous for fishing and there is a promenade that offers a good place to enjoy a walk; there is a coastal path that takes visitors to other areas along the coast. Local amenities include shops, cafes and restaurants.

Folkestone includes a number of historic streets and is a local hub for the arts and culture. In the Creative Quarter located in the old town area of Folkestone visitors will find a number of artists studios, quirky shops, bars and eateries. The town has a number of shopping facilities with a number of famous high street stores along with smaller, independent stores and boutiques in including the Bouverie Place Shopping Centre. The town is home to a number of cafes, bars, eateries and restaurants serving a choice of local English, British and international cuisine.

East Cliff and Warren Country Park is located close to Folkestone beach; it is both a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is regarded as being of national importance or its geology and wildlife. Visitors can find open lawns, a bowls club, pitch and putt golf course in a scenic setting with the park overlooking the cliffs. The landscape includes chalk grassland with woodland plants and wild flowers and there are approx 150 species of birds in the area.

The park is a popular site for rockpooling and fossil hunting whilst walking enthusiasts have a number of walks to try including the Four Seasons Walk where visitors can learn more about the effect of the various seasons on local wildlife.


Located in the scenic southern English coast; Folkestone beaches is easily assessable from across southern Wales, the Midlands and southern England. From London and much of southern England it is 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours drive by car. From Newcastle, Durham and much of north east England the area is 5 hours 30 minutes to 6 hours 30 minutes by car, from Leeds it is 4 hours to 4 hours 30 minutes by car, from Birmingham and much of the Midlands it is 3 to 4 hours. From Liverpool and Manchester it is approx 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours 30 minutes.

From Cambridge and much of the East of England it is 2 hours to 2 hours 45 minutes by car. From Cardiff and areas within South Wales it is 3 hours 20 minutes to 4 hours by car.

Tourist Information

The Tourist Information Centre in Folkestone is located at the Town Hall in the town centre. The Tourist Information Centre provide visitors with useful information, help, advice and tips on the local areas.

Visitors will find knowledgeable staff with valuable local knowledge with information on local attractions, places of interest, things to see and do, postcards, souvenirs, along with local advice and tips. A visit to the tourist information centres provides a good first port of call for visitors helping to better plan and organise trips in and around the local area. At the centres visitors can find out about local events, public transport options and accommodation facilities.

Local Accommodation

Local Accommodation includes a choice of hotels that include historic and contemporary hotels, local B & B’s, Inns, Guest Houses, Self Catering houses, holiday homes and cottages catering for a range of budgets. There are a choice of hotels offering great sea front views. Local accommodation is available in the Folkestone, Hastings, Dover and Canterbury.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Local Cities and Towns include the towns of Dover, Hastings and the city of Canterbury, the local facilities, amenities, transport links and accommodation available mean they are popular places for visitors to base themselves from when visiting the south coast of England.

The seaside town of Hastings is located in East Sussex; 40 miles to the west of Folkestone. The historic seaside town is famous for its pebble beaches and includes a number of local attractions including the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, Hastings Fisherman's Museum and Shipwreck Museum. The town includes a number of parks and open spaces, the largest is Alexandra Park where visitors can find woods, gardens, bandstand, tennis courts and cafes.

Hastings Country Park located to the east of the town covers an area of 660 acres here visitors can find footpaths, nature trails, glens, cliffs and more; the majority of the park is a Special Area of Conservation, Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Historic Hastings Castle dates back to the 11th century; the ruined castle has a long and fascinating history. Visitors can tour the castle and see an educational video explaining the history of the castle dating back to the Norman conquest. Hastings is home to a number of historic churches including the Church in the Wood, St Mary Magdalene's Church and Ebenezer Particular Baptist Chapel all of which are historic Grade II listed buildings.

The port of Dover is located 8 miles to the east of Folkestone in Kent. One of the best known ports in the UK, is a popular destination for visitors. The coastal town has a long history and has played host to a number of historic events through the centuries. One of the beast known sites in the town are the famous White Cliffs of Dover; a National Trust protected site of special scientific interest and among the best known landmarks in England. The first defensive earthworks on the cliffs were built in the Iron Age. Visitors can learn more at the, White Cliffs Experience in Market Square and see exhibits about Roman Dover or Dubris as it was previously known.

Local attractions include historic Dover Castle located above the iconic White Cliffs of Dover; visitors can learn more on one of the informative guided tours available with a number of there are a number of exhibitions to see along the way. Dover Museum includes a number of exhibitions, displays, artefacts and more exploring the history and archaeology of the town of Dover. The town of Deal is located 8 miles from Dover; once famous for its port, fishing and mining, visitors can explore the quiet seaside resort where local attractions include the 16th century Deal Castle, Walmer Castle and Gardens and the Deal Timeball Tower Museum.

The city of Canterbury is located 19 miles to the north of Folkestone in Kent; currently the only city in Kent, the city is located on the River Stour it is synonymous as the cradle of Anglicanism, the town has always been of strategic importance and is also of religious importance. The compact city centre is laden with tourist attractions including a number of world heritage sites; the compact nature of the city means visitors can explore the attractions by foot.

The Canterbury Royal Museum & Art Gallery includes an impressive selection of Roman relics that include mosaics. Whilst St Martin’s Church is currently the oldest parish church in England and it thought to back to the 4th century.

Canterbury is a city that has a wealth of history through the ages and the city has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site Status; attracting a large number of domestic and overseas visitors each year. The compact nature of the city offers visitors with an ideal opportunity to take a stroll around and take in the atmosphere and see for themselves the many centuries of history that dominate this city. Visitors can find a number of interesting compact pubs and eating establishments where visitors can relax and enjoy a choice of food and drinks.

Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most famous attractions in Kent that brings many visitors to the area. The Cathedral along with the historic sites at St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church, form part of the UNESCO world heritage site in the city.

How to Get There

Folkestone beaches is accessible by both car and public transport.

By Car:

Folkestone's beaches are located 70 miles from central London via the A2, A20, M20 and A2034. The approx journey time is 1 hour 35 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes depending on traffic, route and time of day.

By Train:

From London St Pancreas and London Charing Cross stations there are regular services to Folkestone and Folkestone West train stations. The journey time is approx 55 to 1 hour for the faster services to 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours from the slower services, the times depend on service, connections and time of day.

By Bus/Coach:

There are regular coaches available from London Victoria Coach station to Folkestone Coach Station. The approx journey time is 2 hours 10 minutes to 3 hours depending on connections, time of day and traffic. Coach services to Folkestone Coach Station are provided by National Express


For Local Search and Directions see: Folkestone beaches Map

Tips & Other Considerations

The weather and climate can be unpredictable across the UK, there can be elements of all four seasons in one day. Ensure you check the weather forecast before you travel and have the correct clothing and footwear including appropriate footwear, raincoat and umbrella.

Follow travel advice and remain alert, vigilant and aware of your belongings at all times especially your wallet/purse and valuables and ensure they are hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Folkestone in Kent ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the journey planner for door to door directions. Check traffic updates before you travel.

If you are looking for car parking in and around the beach and surrounding areas, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex & confusing if you are unclear, it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, trams, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.

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