I’m not claiming it’s sunnier than Manchester, but everytime I got to Folkestone I get unseasonably warm weather. Two years ago I had this view from the The Leas, but on Tuesday Bello Gelato had decided to be shut on the hottest day of the year so far.


That was a shame, as this is the best ice cream I’ve had outside of Joe’s in Swansea. And Folkestone needs all the advantages it can get, now that neighbouring Margate (micro pubs & modern art), Hastings (live music & Dickensian charm) and Ramsgate (free campervan parking & weirdness) have upped their game.

In contrast Folkestone looks a bit modern and workaday, though the setting at the foot of the North Downs is as good as any in Kent, and the views from East Cliff superb.

I’d never really explored the harbour below those cliffs before.  It’s not Hastings or Ramsgate, but the seafood stalls and bargain lagers gave it a jolly air that I warmed to.

Bob without a hangover today

Most of the Beer Guide action is in Cheriton Place to the west of town, but East Cliff has its own eponymous gem.


From the Harbour you can see the giant girth of the Burstin Hotel*, a place I assume was built for coach parties from Wolverhampton, though I believe it was a couple from Kettering that I once read had stayed there every year for 40 years.

The view from the Burstin is mainly of diggers and fences at the moment. Equally sadly, the cliff lift is out-of-action, but you can lose 86 calories, and 3 days of your life, running up the steps.


Never mind, there’s a “Creative Quarter“.  It seems to be based on Tontine Street, judging by this;


Tontine Street is home to some rather impressive pub tiling as well;


Moving into the Old Town, The Bayle is a beautiful haven of churchyard and weird pub windows. If it was in Hastings, it would have been heaving.

British Lion

In sharp contrast to the modernised shopping streets, the steep Old High Street looked better than I remember, but still very much a work-in-progress.

A smell of incense wafted down to compete with the aromas of Chummy Chipie (sic); a score-draw I’d say. Clearly a proper town needs craft beer and vinyl rather than incense and tattooists, and Folkestone may be getting there.

Kipps is the new Guide entry, and is more café  bar than micro bar.  Despite being the only customer (OK, it was 12.01), their house Pale was superb (NBSS 3.5), though only GBG-ticking rules kept me off the Tiny Rebel keg. Cheery staff, cosy seating, good bar snacks.


All this place, and Folkestone in general, need is custom. A fair number of the interesting small restaurants were closed.  As with Ramsgate, success often breeds success; round the corner Googies were offering 4 Brew Dog beers on tap, and even Ramsgate can’t match that yet (though Margate can).

*You can visit Boulogne on a day trip from the Burstin Hotel for a tenner, but how many Beer Guide pubs does Boulogne have, heh ?


  1. Stayed in the Burstin’ for 2 nights en suite 2 years ago – cost £13 a night b&b. It was November but Xmas decorations were up and Slade’s festive favourite playing non stop at breakfast. Full of coach parties going to France.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have another true story to tell about our second weeks stay in Folkestone.
    We went there for a weeks holiday and liked it so much we had our honeymoon there a year later.
    We did most pubs in Folkestone but the one we did every day was the Earl Grey which was two thirds up the old high street on the right hand side,a Shepherd Neame tied house,so we loved drinking the Master Brew in there.
    On the Friday night we had early drinks around the harbour and then at about 9pm we walked up to the Earl Grey to end the session,it was fairly quiet and we sat on the comfortable bench seating at the front of the pub,then a fairly large gang of blokes walked in and sat very close to where we were sat,we got into conversation and they found out we were on honeymoon and we found out they were from Northern Island and members of the UDR who were training at Hythe firing ranges,we could not buy a round they would not let us as it was our honeymoon,we all staggered out at chucking out time and said our farewells,a great night out.
    But the story continues,we walked back to the pub we were staying in which was close to Folkestone train station,just as we were going up the stairs,the landlord shouted at us to come back down as he had a lock in with some mates and he knew we were on honeymoon so had to join in,he was also Irish and said we must go on the Guinness and we did not have to pay for drinks,we were well *issed but carried on drinking the Guinness when the Landlord went into the kitchen and brought out a load of chicken legs and said,”the wife did these for dinner but not many people wanted them so they will go to waste,so we all tucked into the chicken legs while drinking pints of Guinness,i can not remember what time we went to bed but i know i crawled up the stairs.

    The following morning we had our breakfast in the pub as usual and felt very rough,we then heard the landlords wife asking where the chicken legs had gone that she had cooked for the Saturday dinner trade,we cracked up laughing and the landlord said i have no idea.

    A great end to our honeymoon and the landlord gave my wife a large bouquet of flowers which made her cry.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I know Carlton well and never really liked it,as there is no proper centre to it,edgy i dont think so and probably on par with Stapleford as far as crime goes,but i do prefer Stapleford to Carlton,dont wander down to Netherfield that is rougher than Carlton and has a bit of a reputation just like Stapleford has.
        I would like to bet you are going to the Old Volunteer as that may be in the new GBG..
        Regarding edgy,Brixton was in 1982 when i did a pub crawl there with a mate,you could cut it with a knife,Cheetham Hill was also very edgy and did my roughest Holts tied house there.

        I hope you enjoy your stay in Nottingham


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