History

In today’s Folkestone quaint streets are juxtaposed with the cutting-edge arts. In the Creative Quarter 100 artistic businesses fill the cobbled, ancient centre of town, along with pastel-painted studio-galleries, idiosyncratic stores, trendy bars and trendier eateries. A brief stroll away, the mile-long cliff-top promenade of The Leas provides visitors with sea views to France.

Take the historic Leas Lift down to the coastal park for a picnic or a barbecue, then get sand between your toes on Folkestone's Sunny Sands shore. Cafes abound, for example have some Rocksalt for super-fresh seafood and excellent harbour vistas. Eurotunnel Le Shuttle makes France closer too from Folkestone. Calais is only 35 minutes from this lovely seaside town.

Norman Invasion

Although the county of Kent was the first part of the UK mainland to be conquered and colonised by the invading Angles, Saxons and Jutes from the middle of the 5th century onwards, it wasn’t till the late 7th century that the spelling Folcanstan appears. One suggestion is that this is an allusion to Folca's stone. Another possibility is that it came from an Old English personal name, with the addition of stone, potentially meaning in this context, "meeting place".

It was not till the 1800s that the spelling of "Folkestone" was fixed as such, with the Earl of Radnor asking that the town's name be standardised. However, this tendency towards standardisation in the 1800s is true of English place names generally. Folkestone is often spelt wrong; its variants include Folkston, Folkstone and Folkeston.