Folkestone is shedding off it’s old image and reinventing itself with Champagne and it’s famous lighthouse. Now visitors are sipping an ice cold glass of champagne whilst overlooking the ocean. This may not be the first image that comes to mind when you think about Folkestone. Yes, I do mean Folkestone on the South East Coast of England. On a recent visit, I was completely taken aback by the revamped Harbour Arm Folkestone. Get it on a sunny day, and you could easily be promenading in the Cote d’Azur, rather than Kent – perhaps this is why Folkestone is twinned with Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Harbour Arm Folkestone: What is it?
The revamped promenade, is chock full of food and drink vendors. You can find Kent ciders and beers, pizza and burger shacks galore. In fact, you can pretty much find any food you might wish for on the Harbour Arm. I enjoyed a few glasses of Chapel Down wine (a Kentish delight), with some delightful mussels and fries from Shesells Seashells. The owners of this particular outlet have converted a train carriage from which they sell their seafood, on a rainy day this would be a great place to take cover.
The feather in the cap for me, is the champagne bar which occupies the premium space at the end of the Harbour Arm under the lighthouse. Here, you can sup your fizz in a particularly advantageous people watching spot or hob-knob with other’s who are enjoying a glass. I met a couple who were visiting England from Peru and were pretty impressed with Harbour Arm Folkestone.
The Harbour Arm Folkestone is increasingly being used as an event space for music and even an outdoor cinema. There’s also a crazy golf area and if you’re visiting in December, a Christmas Market!
Other things to do in Folkestone
Clifftop walking – not content with just champagne and lighthouses in Folkestone there are some fantastic walks in and around Folkestone, that take you on loops to other beaches with some wonderfully scenic views. With the England Coast Path now open around the coast in Kent, you can walk all the way from Folkestone to Ramsgate on uninterrupted footpaths should you wish to!
Paddle Boarding – Folkestone is the perfect spot to try out some water sports. Why not rent a Stand Up Paddle Board, or take a lesson.
Vineyards – Kent has some of the best up and coming vineyards, read more about them here.
Visit a local vineyard – there are lots of gorgeous vineyards in Kent. For more information, have a browse of my blog post on this very topic.
How to visit Harbour Arm Folkestone
Folkestone is a fairly short ride on the train out of London. Taking the high speed line into London St Pancras will take under an hour. There are also slower trains, taking around 90 minutes, from London Bridge and other London hubs.
If you want to make a weekend of it, why not stay at one of Folkestone’s boutique hotels. I’d recommend the small but comfortable rooms at Rock Salt Restaurant, which incidentally serves wonderful seafood and champagne.
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