Wednesday, 31 October 2018

End of Summer trip to Folkestone

We thought we should take a short break before the cold weather finally arrives in the UK.    So we booked ourselves into a hotel in Folkestone last week for three nights.  I know Folkestone would not be everyone’s idea of a fun resort, but we mainly use it as a base to go out and about in Kent.  We have not been to Folkestone for over a year.

Folkestone used to be a busy ferry crossing to Boulogne in France until it ceased in 1991 when a high-speed catamaran (sea cat) operation to Boulogne began.   This offered the opportunity for day trips to France and was immensely popular.  However, sadly this ceased in 2000 and Folkestone Harbour ceased to be a cross-channel ferry crossing.  You can read more about the history of the ferry crossings and Folkestone Harbour here

We have always been able to take a pleasant walk around one side of the Harbour to a small beach, called Sunny Sands.   However, we were delighted to find that the bridge with a railway line that goes right across the middle of the Harbour to Folkestone Station on the harbour which we have always known to be closed off, has now been opened up as a walkway between the two sides of the harbour. It is planted up with low growing grasses and plants and looks most attractive.   The other half of the Harbour, with a lighthouse, has not been open when we have visited in the past.   This is now opened up and it is possible to walk along one side of “The Arm” and up around the Lighthouse and back along the top wall.   A really pleasant and, when we were there, invigorating walk.  The walk starts and ends at the old Folkestone Harbour Railway Station.  The lower harbour wall will have wooden shacks for pop-up eateries, and there are already a few vintage vans serving teas and fish and chips and a bus serving Greek food.  We enjoyed a lovely cup of tea from one of them.    When I was at school in my 4th senior year I went on a school trip by coach to Switzerland and I am certain we got the ferry at Folkestone.  I didn’t remember it though.

Street Art on a wall - is it a Banksy?

Views from our balcony on the 9th floor


 One trip we made was to Dover.    It never was a very bright shopping area, but now it has become really sad.   Many shops had closed down.  Even the Retail Outlet had several units empty.    We did have a pleasant short walk along the harbour and a lot of work seems to be going on at one end of the front.  We can only hope that the town centre will be regenerated as well.



 When we got back from our trip to Dover we took another stroll along the harbour wall.

There are two cormorants here - as I took the picture of them both one put out his wings blocking my view of the other one.

 Each time the tide goes out it leaves the boats in the harbour stranded

Our last evening - a Hunters Moon over the sea

The weather changed as soon as we got home to Shamley Green, so we felt very fortunate that we made the trip when we did and enjoyed some lovely sunny days.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Winkworth Arboretum with U3A - September

The end of September was just a bit too early for autumn colour at Winkworth Arboretum when the U3A Photography Group visited.  The trees were only just beginning to take on their autumn colours - late for this time of year.  However, it was a sunny afternoon and we enjoyed a stroll around this beautiful arboretum, with a cup of tea in the tea room to end the afternoon.