Fashionable Folkstone under Fire
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
The Guided Tour
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.
1.5 - 2 hours
£15 per person
Min. 10 and Max. 25 group size
Tanya Firth, England Plus Tours
We specialise in private excursions, which highlight the amazing heritage of South East England, led by a professional Blue Badge Guide.