We went to Folkestone just for fun, and it did not disappoint

Last updated 22nd July 2023

If you’re looking for a classic British seaside break this summer, then Katie Amps and her family really recommend Folkestone in Kent. Take a look at what they got up to by the sea, where they stayed and find out the truth about that iconic Harbour Arm.


Creative Quarter, Folkestone, Kent

Folkestone has those famous Kent Coast chalk cliffs you’ve heard all about, as well as an incredible art vibe and a fabulous food scene. And yet it’s an endearingly quaint English seaside town that often gets overlooked by families. Don’t make that mistake. We were delighted by its beautiful beaches, picturesque coastal walks, and surprisingly good range of attractions.

Of course we had a fantastic time exploring the town’s colourful streets, but it was the charming harbour that really won us over. Although the kids will tell you that best bit was building sandcastles on the beach, paddling in the sea, and investigating the very lively local rock pools.


Putters! Adventure Golf Course, Folkestone © Matt Rowe

Head to Folkestone Harbour for tee-time at Putters!

We started our trip with Putters! Adventure Golf Course, which is a fun for all ages. Plus, it delivers a nice slice of friendly competition that’s a great way for families to bond.  You’ll find it at the famous Folkestone Harbour Arm, so there’s no shortage of stunning scenery while you play. And it also features a variety of completely unique obstacles, making a game both challenging and exciting. No surprise that kids particularly enjoy navigating around the course.


Folkestone Harbour Arm, Kent Coast

Folkestone Harbour Arm turns out to be as cool as it looks

You have to visit Folkestone Harbour Arm when you’re in town. Not only is it a bit of a legend on the Kent Coast, it’s also a great place to spend a sunny afternoon, thanks to a variety of food stalls, live music and street performers.

Folkestone Creative Quarter is another must-do, especially if you’ve got teens to impress. It’s quirky and vibrant, and we spent hours exploring the independent shops, cafes, and galleries here.

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Coastal walking paths, Folkestone

You can’t miss the beach, but take some walks too

Folkestone has several beautiful, sandy beaches, and Sunny Sands, with its shallow water and play area, is one I can personally recommend for younger kids. Although if you want to stretch yourself a bit, there are also some brilliant coastal walks which are perfect for families, give you incredible views of the sea, but throw in cliffs and the lovely Kent countryside too.

Several local attractions could have been designed just for families, including the Folkestone Museum and the Leas Lift. Alternatively if you feel like doing something a little more active, Folkestone offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, like kayaking, paddleboarding and cycling.


Test Pilot Ronnie at The Battle of Britain Memorial

Try a clifftop picnic with a difference

As our youngest, Ronnie, loves airplanes The Battle of Britain Memorial was another must for us. Not only does it pay tribute to the brave men and women who fought in the Battle of Britain during WWII, it’s an excellent opportunity to learn a bit of history too, and pay your respects to those who sacrificed their lives.

Although we can confirm, the interactive displays, such as replica Spitfire and Hurricane, which give you the real experience of flying, are the biggest hits with kids.

The Memorial sits on a clifftop overlooking the English Channel, so you can look forward to more stunning views. And it’s also a pretty perfect spot for a picnic: another British seaside classic.



Giraffe feeding time, Port Lympne Reserve

Add Port Lympne Reserve to your Folkestone trip

After a couple of wonderful days in Folkestone we headed to Port Lympne Reserve. This is a fantastic wildlife park where you come face-to-face with over 700 animals, including gorillas, tigers, and giraffes.

It’s definitely worth taking one of the guided tours to learn more about the animals and their habitats and behaviour. Plus, as the reserve is dedicated to protecting endangered species and supports various global conservation projects, it’s a great introduction for kids to the importance of this work around the world. Although it’s fair to say our youngest was just as taken with the adventure playground and its giant gorilla slide, zipline and rope bridge.

If you want to stay longer, the reserve also offers a range of accommodation, including lodges and glamping tents. So you can immerse yourself in nature overnight and wake up to the sound of  700-plus animals in the morning.


View from The Breakers Sea Shell Apartment

Where to stay in Folkestone

We stayed at The Breakers Sea Shell Apartment in Sandgate, just up the road from Folkestone. The Apartment, which is due to feature in a new drama series, sits right on beach and is truly stunning. Waking up to the sound of the ocean is invigorating and the décor has a beautiful beachy feel too. Plus, with two bedrooms and a double sofa bed in the living area, it easily sleeps up to seven.


The Breakers Sea Shell Apartment, Sandgate

You’re about 40 minutes’ on foot from the centre of town at The Breakers, but it’s a nice walk and you can stop along the way at Folkestone’s favourite park: The Lower Leas Coastal.

 Plan a trip to Folkestone

How to get there

Folkestone is on the Kent Coast, 55 minutes by train from London St. Pancras

Where to stay

The Breakers Sea Shell Apartment, Sandgate. Sleeps up to 7, from £1,500 per week.

Visit and book The Breakers Sea Shell Apartment 

Ready for some Folkestone this summer? Visit Folkestone, Hythe, Romney Marsh & The Downs for everything you need to plan your trip.