Fabulous Folkestone features a bustling harbour, a lovely promenade and is so close to France that on a clear night you can often see the lights of its Gallic neighbours from its seafront. The resort boasts a choice of south facing beaches including a sandy one next to the harbour featuring a statue of a mermaid. Enjoy a coastal walk along The Leas where you’ll find plenty of friendly cafés to stop for a cuppa. Away from the seafront, perhaps head four miles inland to Kent Battle of Britain Museum. Located on a World War II airfield, it displays aircraft, weapons, vehicles and relics. Elsewhere, East Cliff & Warren Country Park is a lovely place to discover the wildlife of the legendary white cliffs. Folkestone is also home to the enormous White Horse figure, a millennium celebration landmark carved into Cheriton Hill, overlooking the Eurotunnel terminal.
Breathtaking Canterbury Cathedral along with St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church together form the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. Perhaps visit the Roman Museum which houses a beautifully preserved Roman floor mosaic, explore the Norman castle ruins, wander the winding honey cobbled streets or take a boat trip on the River Stour.
We hop aboard our ferry and set sail for Calais then journey to Ostend. This enchanting Belgian resort has a wide sandy beach, fishing harbour and a bustling shopping area. Perhaps visit Fort Napoleon – a fortification built in 1811 and later used as a German artillery quarter in both world wars (passport required).
Hastings & Rye
Hastings has a well-preserved old town with narrow streets, half-timbered dwellings and hidden passageways. Perhaps visit the Keep and Bailey Castle where you can wander through the whispering dungeons and learn how the 1066 battle unfolded. Tiny Rye is located at the confluence of three rivers and its harbour area is a nature reserve and a magnet for birds. Perhaps wander around the beautifully preserved dwellings dating from the Middle Ages, visit the town’s thirteenth century castle or Lamb House, the onetime home of literary giant, Henry James.