Folkestone is a coastal town in the county of Kent, England. It is located on the English Channel, about 10 miles (16 km) southwest of Dover. Folkestone has a long and rich history, dating back to the Stone Age. The town was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was granted its first charter by King Edward I in 1295.

Folkestone was an important port in the Middle Ages, and was a member of the Cinque Ports confederation. The town was also a popular seaside resort in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, Folkestone is a thriving town with a population of over 50,000 people.

It is thought that people first settled in Folkestone 70,000 years ago.  There is a suggestion that Folkestone comes from Folca’s stone, a rock marking the meeting place of local people.  St Eanswythe, daughter of King Eadbald of Kent, founded the first nunnery on the cliff top at Folkestone in AD630.  In 1313 King Edward II granted the Town a Charter of Incorporation by which it could elect a Mayor, bailiff and 12 jurats. It was at about this time that Folkestone joined the Cinque Ports as a “Corporate Limb” of Dover.


Folkestone Harbour Arm is a 520-meter long pier that extends into the English Channel. The arm offers stunning views of the town and the coastline. It is also home to a number of restaurants, bars, and shops.

Folkestone Creative Quarter is a vibrant area of the town that is home to a number of art galleries, studios and shops.  The quarter is also home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year.

The Leas Promenade is a Victorian promenade that runs along the seafront in Folkestone. The promenade offers panoramic views of the town and the coastline. It is also home to a number of gardens, parks, and attractions, including the Folkestone Creative Quarter.

The Step Short Centenary Arch is a memorial arch built at the top of the Road of Remembrance on The Leas (and revealed by Prince Harry) at the Centenary Commemoration in August 2014.  With the classic design, the Arch provides a focus, not only for remembering the men and women whose journeys took them down the road, but it is also a symbol of Folkestone’s status as the key gateway to the Western Front. 

In addition, Folkestone has a number of historic churches, pubs, and restaurants and is home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Folkestone Triennial, which is a major international art festival.  Whether you are interested in history, culture, or simply looking for a beautiful place to relax, Folkestone has something to offer everyone.


Visitor Information Service
Folkestone Town Council, The Town Hall, 1 – 2 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, CT20 1DY
T: 01303 257946