Coastlines are my
The hike between Folkestone and Dover is a (roughly) 7 mile stretch of the England Coast Path. This trail is also part of the North Downs Way and Saxon Shore Way trails, which I am also working to complete. That’s 3 for the price of 1.
Living in London, getting to the coastal path is pretty easy. In just over an hour, you can be out of the hustle and bustle of the city and onto the south coast of England, where you will find this trail. Starting in the small port town of Folkestone and finishing in the large port town of Dover, with grand white cliffs, and
Tips for the walk from Folkestone to Dover
- I would recommend walking the other way, from Dover to Folkestone. Apart from the last bit when reaching Dover, most of the best views were behind me. As I did start at Folkestone, this guide is going to reflect that.
- If getting a train from London, you will have a few train route options. The quickest would be the train from St Pancras. Buy a return ticket to Dover. This train goes through Folkestone. If you plan to start the walk from Folkestone, get off there, then your return journey will be covered from Dover. Likewise, you can get off at Dover, then use your ticket to return from Folkestone.
- There are two train stations in Folkestone. Folkestone Central and West. I can’t remember which one I got off at, but I suspect its Folkestone Central, as that one is nearer to the coast.
- Check the train times beforehand, because on the weekend they sometimes like to do rail works (don’t get me started on that) so sometimes there are replacement buses.
- Train journey times are longer on a weekday. Make of that as you will.
- If you are already staying in Folkestone or Dover, they are one train stop apart, so you can get back to where to started easily.
- Take snacks (obvs).
- Take sunscreen. Even if it’s overcast. The worst burns I have ever had were on an England coastal walk, on an overcast day. By the water, you are more likely to burn, and as it can be very windy, you don’t
realiseyou are burning until it’s too late.
- Start/finish: Dover or Folkestone
- Getting there: There are regular trains from London St Pancras to Folkestone and Dover. The fast train will get you there in just over an hour.
- Distance: 7 miles. Add a bit in to include station to station.
- Time: It took me 2h 45 min to complete.
- Difficulty: Varied. There is a solid uphill near the start to reach the cliffs (if you start at Folkestone), then steep downhill at the end into Dover. The middle part along the clifftop is pretty flat and easy.
- Elevation gain: 1168 ft
- Time to complete: 3 hours
- Amenities: Anything you will need in Folkestone or Dover. Nothing along the route.
Map for the coastal walk from Folkestone to Dover
Click on the little box in the corner to open in your Google Maps.
More walks near Folkestone will be at the end
Route Description for the Folkestone To Dover Coastal walk
Out of the station, it’s a bit of a walk to get to the coast. You
The first bit of coastline you will hit is a small port. It was a pretty misty overcast day when I arrived, which actually made for great photos. Later on, the mist was kind of magical against the backdrop of hills and cliffs.
Follow the coastline
From the port, turn left and then follow the coastline. Soon you will find yourself at some steps, your first bit of uphill. Just to warm up the legs for the big uphill coming soon.
Once you have hiked up the hill, after leaving Folkestone centre, take a look back at the houses.
As you continue along, you will start to see a beach ahead. You won’t be walking along there. Look up. That’s where you have to go. Yes, the big uphill.
Every so often, you will see a post with an England Coastal Path sign. So if you think you are lost, but then see this sign, you are not lost.
Just a note, there will be moments on this trail, after you reach the top of the next hill, where the signposts
In fact, this is the very last section of the North Downs Way, a long distance walking trail. I’m currently working on completing it. If you would like to do the trail from the beginning, you can read about that in my guide about walking from Farnham to Guildford.
Walk up to the clifftop
As you make your way up the hill, there is mix of dirt track and steps. You do walk away from the coast for a bit, but don’t worry, this is correct. When you get to the top, you start to get those wonderful views. Bonus if it’s a misty day.
From here, most of the rest of the walk between Folkestone and Dover is pretty flat along the top of the cliffs. Make sure you look back regularly, because that’s where some of the best views are.
Actually, I lie about there being no more uphill, there is another small section where you walk down and up. Although, it’s a pretty section, so it’s allowed.
For the second half of the walk between Folkestone and Dover, you are joined by a busy road which will travel with you for the rest of the way. Don’t worry though, it’s not bad at all. There are still great views, with a cool view of the railway line down below.
So, although I say walking the other way towards Folkestone is better, this last bit heading towards Dover was pretty cool. Seeing the ships come in, over in the distance, marking the finishing line.
Just before you reach Dover, there is a very steep downhill, then up again, then down. However, it’s relatively short.
Well, that concludes my journey of hiking from Folkestone to Dover. I didn’t stick around in Dover, however, come back a couple of weeks later to walk the next section from Dover to Deal.
More walks near Folkestone and the South East Coast
If you want more cliff goodness, then you could try:
- Walking from Margate to Ramsgate via Broadstairs – 8ish miles
- Seven Sisters, from Seaford to Eastbourne – 13ish miles
- Newhaven to Brighton – 10 miles
- Birling Gap Friston Forest circular – 9ish miles
If you want less cliffy walks, then you could try:
- Hastings to Rye – 13 miles
- Faversham to Whitstable – 9.5 miles
- Ramsgate to Sandwich – 8 miles
- Whitstable to Herne Bay – 4.8 miles
- Rye Harbour to Camber Castle (partially along the coast path) – 10 miles
For a more detailed look, you can read my guide on the best coastal walks near London.
If you would like more information on the England Coast Path then check out the National trails website.