insideKENT Magazine Issue 61 - April 2017 - Page 43

TOWNSPOTLIGHT

Spotlight on

FOLKESTONE

The Kentish coast is a beautiful place , and the towns and villages along it are exciting and interesting – NOT TO MENTION ATTRACTIVE AND FULL OF LIFE . WITH A THRIVING HIGH STREET , GROWING ARTS ’ SCENE AND SO MUCH TO ENTICE BOTH VISITORS AND LOCALS ALIKE , FOLKESTONE IS THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN OF KENTISH COASTAL TOWNS , AND CONTINUES TO DELIGHT – AND OFTEN SURPRISE – THOSE WHO CHOOSE TO GO THERE . BY LISAMARIE LAMB
Leas Cliff Hall
The Quarterhouse and Tontine Street , Folkestone © Dan Desborough
HISTORY IN BRIEF
There were probably quite a few interesting things happening in Britain 12,000 years ago , and one of those things was that humans were living in the area now known as Folkestone . It has , therefore , always been a popular place to be . The evidence for this really rather remarkable fact comes from archaeological digs , and those same digs also turned up items from the early Britons , the Romans and the Saxons .
Once part of the Kingdom of Kent , this little fishing village has grown over the centuries to become a large and important town on the Kent landscape , known variously for being one of the UK ’ s first tourist destinations , smuggling and for being one of the worst hit areas outside of London during World War II .
Recently Folkestone has been brought right up to date with the help of the Southeastern high-speed railway link that takes commuters and passengers from the seaside to London ’ s St Pancras International in just under an hour .
THINGS TO DO IN THE AREA
Sandgate Beach You cannot go to Folkestone without spending some time on the beach , and Sandgate Beach is one of the loveliest of them all . It ’ s a particularly quiet shingle beach which is ideal for a bracing walk on a chilly winter ’ s day or a refreshing relax in the summer . The water quality is rated as excellent and there are shops , pubs and cafés nearby .
Leas Cliff Hall This large entertainment venue is well loved by locals and visitors alike . With concerts , plays , ballets , and even wrestling , the events here are varied and change often enough that you will always find something to suit your own tastes . A great coffee shop on the ground floor is an excellent way to wind down and relax when you ’ ve been out and about , and the bar and restaurant are a fabulous way to begin or end your night out in Folkestone .
The Creative Quarter The Creative Quarter is an area of Folkestone that has been developed by the Creative Foundation , a charity launched in 2002 , to regenerate Folkestone through the arts , the creative industries and education . It is an amazing area of Folkestone , where people ’ s creativity is encouraged , supported and enabled to flourish . The Creative Quarter comprises of The Old High Street , a winding cobbled lane lined with independent shops , and Tontine Street , a busy thoroughfare linking Folkestone Harbour with the centre of the town .
Lower Leas Coastal Park With adventure playgrounds , impressive sea views , lovely picnic areas , beautiful flowerbeds , and the Mermaid Café to ease any hunger pangs and keep you topped up with refreshments , there really is something for everyone in the Lower Leas Coastal Park . Follow the route to enjoy a lovely coastal walk , and pop to the beach as there is easy access from this great park to the sea itself .
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