Originally a small fishing village, Folkestone developed during the 17th century into a much bigger town able to protect the coast from wars and invasions from the Continent. At the beginning of the 1800's the town included a harbour and, with the railways in 1843, it's seaside resorts became a fashionable tourist destination shaping the town's prosperity.
Today some of the affluence of the town has gone, lost due to a change in tourism trends, but it still retains some of its original wealth. The town features many activites, such as indoor winter sports, walking by the sea or in its award winning Coastal Park, shopping, sightseeing. And it is a place destined to improve with time; over the last years lots of regeneration has been taking place like the new Creative Quarter, a part of the old town transformed into an artists area full of quirky cafes, galleries and boutiques.
Folkestone has always been a busy transit town for people travelling to France, with the Channel Tunnel the town has got very good connections to the continent. From 2009 high speed services reach Ashford International and Ebbsfleet and the journey time to London is around 52 minutes. Even by car, Folkestone is located at the end of the M20 and on the A20, Ashford, Maidstone, Canterbury, Dover and London are accessible.
Although Folkestone is good value for money at the moment, this is expected to change with the high speed connections and increased investment in the town. Folkestone comprises chiefly of classic Victorian properties, and of all sizes, from small terraces up to grand villas, some of which have been converted into very large and rather glamorous apartments. The major new development is just outside at Hawkinge, and consists of small developments of family homes.