‘I went to an underrated seaside town for the day and here’s what I thought’

Although this summer hasn’t exactly had ideal weather, there have been a few quick bursts of sunshine. As soon as the sun showed its face through the clouds, I headed to one of the UK’s most underrated seaside towns.

While Kent’s seaside towns have recently gone through a revival, most of the focus has been on Whitstable and Margate. However, when I took a day trip to Folkestone, I found this quaint port town to have plenty of attractions to explore with a thriving foodie scene.

The port town was an important harbour and shipping port for most of the 19th and 20th centuries but was formerly a popular seaside destination for holidaymakers. Whether tourists are looking for boutique shops, a fish and chip supper or history, the seaside town is well worth a visit.

What to do

I headed straight to Folkestone’s Creative Quarter. The cobbled streets are packed with boutique shops and galleries to explore.

It wasn’t quite warm enough to hit the beach when I was there, but Sunny Sands Beach is right on the edge of the town. The sheltered sandy beach has plenty of room to find a private spot to relax.

Keep an eye out for the highlights of Folkestone Artworks, the UK’s largest urban contemporary art exhibition. Throughout the town, tourists can see quirky art from artists including Tracy Emin, Anthony Gormley and Lubiana Himid.

If you have time, Folkestone is also home to Kent’s Battle of Britain Museum where tourists can learn more about the young pilots who took part.

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What to eat

Personally, I can’t visit the seaside without fish and chips. I’d recommend Sandy’s takeaway which has an incredible 4.9 rating on Google reviews. The portion was very generous and the fish was perfectly battered.

For a coffee or lighter bite, Steep Street Coffee House in the Creative Quarter, is the ideal people watching spot.

Folkestone’s Harbour Arm is another foodie spot to explore. The seaside promenade is packed with venues offering a huge range of global cuisine.

For dessert, pop to Herbert’s, an ice-cream shop with unique homemade flavours including Turkish delight and Black Forest.

Where to stay

I visited Folkestone for the day as it’s just an hour on the train from London’s St Pancras station. However, if you want to stay longer in the town, there are several fantastic hotels and B&B’s in the Old Town or overlooking the sea.

  • Find somewhere to stay in Folkestone on Booking.com
  • Compare prices and find a hotel in Folkestone with Hotels.com

If you’re looking to extend your trip and explore more of the Kent coast, why not fit in a trip to Margate or Whitstable?

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