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Bradshaw’s Guide


The harbour, Folkestone, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress

Folkestone is rapidly becoming a much frequented watering place, as well as a favourite point of embarkation to France; the distance to Boulogne is only twenty-seven miles, and the voyage generally accomplished in two hours and a half. The opening of the South Eastern Railway, and the establishment of a line of packets between this port and Boulogne, has been the means of rescuing Folkestone from its previous obscurity, and bringing it to its present position. It is situated on the side of a range of hills on very uneven ground, the streets are narrow, steep, and irregular, and the sea-worn chasms about the shore seem still to perpetuate in appearance that reputation for contraband traffic which once was its distinguishing feature. The air is very salubrious, and has been thought of much efficacy in nervous debility, whilst the country round is highly picturesque, and abounds in varied and beautiful landscapes. Visitors here may enjoy all the benefits of sea bathing and sea air, with more retirement than at Dover or Ramsgate.

Folkestone Hill is 575 feet high, and commands a beautiful prospect of the town and adjacent country, through which the railway is seen winding its devious course. To those who do not mind a little pedestrianism, and who delight in formidable ascents and footpaths trembling on the brink of ocean, we can conscientiously recommend a walk across the cliffs to Dover, which besides presenting a succession of romantic scenery will be found to afford some advantageous opportunities for inspecting the shafts connected with the ventilation of the railway tunnels running underneath.

Sandgate, a small watering place two miles from Folkestone, has been much frequented within the last twenty years by invalids, who wish for quiet and retirement. It has several detached villas, and the roads between Folkestone and Sandgate, either along the shore or over the cliff, are exceedingly picturesque and romantic. Sandgate Castle is of great antiquity. The country around is highly interesting, and abounds in beautiful views and landscapes, ruined castles„ and other remains of olden times.

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