As much as I love walking in London, there’s something about a walk on the coast that gets me excited. Maybe it’s because I grew up in California, but I love being by the water. And when it’s sunny, I love it even more. Which is why I’m so happy to be on the English coast for a big Folkestone to Dover walk in Kent. The South Coast of England is beautiful, and I can’t wait to explore it.

Folkestone to Dover Walk

Folkestone to Dover Walk

A friend has organized the ramble for a walking group he runs, and I’ve come along to take in the seaside air and stretch my legs.

We take the train from St Pancras to Folkestone just after 8:30am, and in less than an hour we find ourselves basking in unseasonably sunny weather on the English Channel.

Folkestone Statue

Folkestone to Dover Walk: Folkestone

We start our 9.2-mile (14.8-kilometer) route with a walk through Folkestone. I’ve been here before, but this visit introduces me to more of the town.

Houses in Folkestone, England

I love the narrow streets with their colorful shops and the historic stairways that lead down hills. The churchyards are dotted with crooked graves from bygone eras, and the cobbled lanes are idyllic with their brick houses.

Shops on a Folkestone to Dover Walk

Down by the waterfront, our Folkestone to Dover walk continues past pubs and boats to the Folkestone Mermaid statue. She waves good-bye to us as we continue our ramble along the beach.

Folkestone Mermaid

Folkestone to Dover Walk: Copt Point and Folkestone Warren

Soon the beach gives way to a hill with views of Folkestone in the distance.

We get to Copt Point and Folkestone Warren, where there’s a historic World War II gun battery and a tower built in the early 19th century to defend against a Napoleonic invasion.

It’s amazing to see so much scenery and be surrounded by so much history at the same time.

Copt Point, England

Leaving Copt Point, we head down winding trails with rope swings on the sides before eventually finding ourselves back on the waterfront.

The concrete walkway invites spray from the waves, entertaining us with big splashes against the views of the chalk cliffs the South Coast of England is famous for.

Waves on the Kentish Coast, England

Folkestone to Dover Walk: Capel-le-Ferne

But we’re not just here to admire the cliffs. Our Folkestone to Dover walk soon takes us straight up the face of them.

A steep hill climb above Abbotscliffe Beach leads us to the top, where we’re rewarded with sweeping views along the coast. We can even see France in the distance.

Walk along the Chalk Cliffs in Kent, England

In need of a rest, we stop for lunch at a pub in Capel-le-Ferne. It’s the perfect place to fuel up with a big Sunday roast before continuing on to Dover.

Pub in Capel-le-Ferne, Kent, England

Sated, we hit the clifftop path again and follow it until Dover and its white cliffs come into view.

At first they’re just specks in the distance, but soon we’re close enough to see the ferries plying the route across the English Channel to Calais. We can even see the hulking form of Dover Castle on the horizon.

North Downs Way Walk on the Dover Coast England

We’re walking on the England Coast Path and North Downs Way now, and everything from the yellow gorse flowers to the golden afternoon light is beautiful.

Sign for the North Downs Way between Folkestone and Dover, Kent

Folkestone to Dover Walk: Dover

Eventually the trail descends into Dover. We wind our way along hilly paths, beside the ruins of the Knights Templar Church, and down streets with castle views to get to the Dover Priory train station.

It’s hard to believe we’ve covered the whole distance from Folkestone already, but our aching legs tell us it’s true.

Pub in Dover, Kent, England

We board a fast train back to London, arriving in the UK capital just before 6pm.

As I get on the tube to go home, I’m awed by how easy it was to get out of the city for a day and what a different world London feels like after being on a coastal walk.

It’s nice to be reminded how feasible it is, and hopefully it won’t be long until the next one.

If you want to do a Folkestone to Dover walk, there are plenty of maps online to help you replicate my route. Happy hiking!

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Folkestone to Dover Walk

8 Comments on Lady’s Folkestone to Dover Walk on England’s South Coast

  1. Looks like you chose a beautiful day for your walk. I really enjoyed my walk along the Dover Cliffs, would love to do this walk at some point too.

  2. I love to walk. It gives me some peace and freedom to think about things in life. And since California is on my bucket list, I’ll try this sooner.

  3. Oh wow, beautiful photos and this sounds like such a beautiful walk too! This inspired me to take more walks and also to put this place in my bucket list. Hope I can make it out to this part of the world one day!

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