Spotlight on Folkestone
PUBLISHED: 23:41 21 May 2010 | UPDATED: 17:13 20 February 2013
The regeneration of this historic seaside resort has seen a sympathetic blend of new attractions such as Bouverie Place shopping centre in the town with the Creative Quarter and Lower Leas Coastal Park on the seafront, plus an exciting mix of enterta
Spotlight on Folkestone
The regeneration of this historic seaside resort has seen a sympathetic blend of new attractions such as Bouverie Place shopping centre in the town with the Creative Quarter and Lower Leas Coastal Park on the seafront, plus an exciting mix of entertainment, festivals and community events
Dancing in the streets
The streets of Folkestone will be come alive from 11-13 June when the town hosts its fourth annual multi-cultural festival. The event will feature street theatre, music, dance, food samplings, workshops and childrens events. There will also be fringe events at the Quarterhouse and the Lower Leas Costal Park Amphitheatre.
A walk in the park
The award-winning Lower Leas Coastal Park, which has been the focus of a regeneration project, serves as an attractive link between Folkestones seafront, harbour area and town centre. Included within the 11-hectare site is a state-of-the-art adventure playground for children and a 300-seat outdoor amphitheatre. The latest regeneration includes pine avenues, flower gardens, picnic sites and information about the parks wildlife and history. The park also complements the Coastal Protection scheme that has created sheltered swimming areas and walkways with vantage points along the coastline and over Folkestone itself.
A Playmap bus full of toys and games for children up to the age of 18 will be visiting The Amphitheatre in the Coastal Park on 2 June. The setting will also be the start and finish point for the national Race for Life event on 20 June. Over the following two months film lovers can enjoy the unique experience of watching movies in the open air on a specially erected screen in the Amphitheatre on 25 and 31 July and 7, 8, and 22 August.
Quality goods, plus crafts and produce made by local businesses are being put on display at a new fair which takes place on the first Sunday of every month at the Folkestone Harbour Square from 10am-4pm. The Folkestone Arts, Crafts & Food Fair has been launched by the Creative Foundation with the intention of celebrating all of the things that are good about Folkestone and the surrounding area.
The Folkestone Harbour area is the home of Quarterhouse, an arts, entertainment and conference venue in the Creative Quarter. There is a full programme of events this month including Into The Loop, an annual youth dance festival featuring groups from across the south east on 6 June, plus other activities in the Folkestone Multi-Cultural festival.
Children from schools throughout the Folkestone area will be taking part in the Charivari Parade on 17 July. Floats and a procession of pupils dressed in colourful costumes will make their way through the town to The Leas where there will be musical entertainment. Running annually in Folkestone since 1997, Charivari Day was one of the first calendar projects initiated by Strange Cargo, a charitable arts company that has established a reputation for high-profile quality public art. It has delivered award-winning projects, including Like the Back of my Hand, at Folkestone Central station.
A Grand old time
Everywhere you look in Folkestone there are examples of architectural splendour from the Edwardian and Victorian eras. One of the most impressive buildings is The Grand, originally constructed as gentlemens residential chambers around 100 years ago using innovative building techniques. Its position on The Leas, with its promenades and far-reaching views across the channel, has attracted many members of the Royal family and high society. Today, holiday apartments are still available in The Grand and it also serves as a fine dining, entertainment and function venue where many community minded events are held. These include an Antiques & Collectors Fair on the first Sunday of every month, jive and swing dance classes every Monday, salsa dancing every Tuesday, quiz nights on Wednesday and jazz in Keppels Music Room on Thursdays.
The Leas Cliff Hall theatre will be taking a trip down memory lane on 2 June with the Remember When show, which features music from the 1940s, 1950s and early 1960s, followed by The Spirit of Pink Floyd on 4 June. Lee Mack will be performing his own brand of comedy on 5 June and Paul Mertons Improv Chums are appearing at the venue on 7 June. The Ladyboys of Bangkok on 16 June is performed by 16 of the worlds most beautiful showgirls - every one of them a Thai male - in a glamorous and funny review show
A spitfire and hurricane will be making a fly past above Folkestone at 1pm on 11 July to mark the start of a special service at the war memorial at Capel-le-Ferne. It is part of the Battle of Britain 70th anniversary celebrations and the guest of honour will be HRH Prince Michael of Kent who is the Patron of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust. After the service, which is open to the public, there will be another memorial flight at 3.15pm. The impressive memorial at Capel-le-Ferne is in the form of a large, three-bladed propeller carved into the ground, topped by the statue of a lone airman sitting on the propeller boss looking out to sea.
A sure bet
If you fancy a bit of a flutter, or just like to soak up the colour and excitement of a horse race meeting, take a run up to Folkestone Racecourse, which is a few furlongs from the town centre. It is Kents only horse race venue and has the added attraction of being surrounded by spectacular North Downs scenery. Folkestone hosts more than 20 days of Flat and National Hunt racing a year. Two up and coming Flat/Turf events are the Ashford Designer Outlet Ladies Day on 7 June and the Builders Day, featuring the Folkestone Hammer, on 25 June.
From the M2O, turn off at any junction between 11 and 13 or take slower roads along the coast or through the countryside. Mainline rail services from and via London; high-speed services from London to Folkestone connections with the international rail network via Eurostar at Ashford International Satnav: CT20 1AU