As promised in the last post about The Grand, here are some more sunny pictures of Folkestone, taken on a lovely walk along the harbour. Folkestone is a bit like Hastings – a mixture of history, seaside, fishing boats and beaches, imposing C19 architecture, quirky creatives and art, plus run-down bedsit houses, empty shops and street drinkers. Folkestone should do much better than Hastings – it is near the Channel Tunnel and the M20 and has good rail connections, but somehow struggles in the same ways…..
As I mentioned last time, The Grand is up on the Leas, the posh end of Folkestone, which has some stunning Victorian and Edwardian architecture. These houses were photographed from the Dining Room at the Grand – that is the grass where the croquet championships used to be held.
We drove down to the Harbour, and went for a walk along by the waterfront and up a steep zig-zag path to a green space – I think it is called Folkestone Warren, with views from the top towards the White Cliffs. It was quite a misty morning, but the light was beautiful.
We have been round this harbour area before – even eaten in the cutting-edge Rocksalt by the harbour wall. On that occasion, we had come down to meet friends for the 2014 Triennial – here is a previous post about it.
I wish Hastings had a proper harbour….
I love this Mermaid by Cornelia Parker. It was commissioned for the 2011 Folkestone Triennial.
After our walk, we walked up the Old High Street – the centre of the Folkestone Creative Quarter. We hadn’t been for a couple of years, and it strikes me that it is a good barometer for measuring the health of the UK economy – all the shops, galleries and cafes are independent businesses hanging on by their fingertips at the very edges of viability. We thought it didn’t look too bad this time – a few empty shops, loads of business changes but a good selection of quirky little places.
Enough of Folkestone now. Ever since our weekend there the weather has been record-breakingly stunning, and Hastings has looked fabulous. Battleaxe has been clearing the garden just in a tee-shirt, walking in the Country Park…. but now it has all collapsed again….