Fashionable Folkestone under Fire



World War II


The Tour / Experience:

Folkestone, a Kent seaside resort made fashionable by the Victorians and visits by Edward VII, played a very important role in the First World War with approximately 10 million troops and many others, including refugees, medical staff and civilians passing through its port. For many soldiers who left for the Western Front from Folkestone, its harbour was the last sight of home.

However, Folkestone’s story is about far more than just troop movements. It also witnessed the arrival of thousands of Belgian refugees and the severe loss of civilians’ lives during the air raids carried out by zeppelins of the German Air Force.

Just as Folkestone was recovering following the damage of the First World War, it once again found itself at the forefront of the next major military conflict. The Second World War broke out in September 1939. By the summer of 1940, France, which is only just over 20 miles away across the English Channel, was occupied by Nazi Germany and heavy-duty long-range guns threatened Britain, especially Dover and Folkestone, due to their position on the Channel coast.

On this 1.5-hour guided walk of Folkestone, we will see the places where the main action took place during both world wars. We will discover the history of Folkestone, which is not that normally associated with seaside resorts and which does not lie on the surface, but which makes us appreciate the sacrifice people had to make during those war years. We will see the bomb sites, we will hear the stories of famous people and common people, we will learn about flying bombs and the role of Folkestone in preparation for D-Day. We will finish our walk at the recently refurbished and reopened Harbour Arm, where we will be able to see the historic railway tracks and the platform from where soldiers embarked on ships to leave for the Western Front in WW1 and where the troops landed after being evacuated from Dunkirk in 1940.


The Highlights: 

  • Detailed wartime story of Folkestone, which found itself in ‘Hellfire Corner’ between 1940 and 1944
  • Battle of Britain and shelling
  • Learn about ‘Operation ‘Fortitude’ prior to D-Day
  • The royal visit by King George IV and Queen Elizabeth in 1944
  • Fascinating commentary provided by a professional Blue Badge Guide


Tour Details: 

Meeting Point: From train stations/hotels/cruise terminal: Ashford International, Canterbury, Folkestone and Dover


Contact Details: 


Tour gallery

About the guide

Name: Tanya Firth

Qualifications: South East England

Languages: Russian