Folkestone is gradually reinventing itself as a hub for the arts and culture and the regeneration centres on the Creative Quarter in the historic Old Town where the steep, cobbled Old High Street offers a bustling street scene. Artists’ studios, shops and galleries, including the Georges House Gallery encourage visitors to participate in the creative experience alongside cafes and restaurants.

Top of Old High Street by Shane Record

At the top of the Old High Street Googies Art Café in Rendezvous Street displays work by local artists and stages live music and special events. Close by, craftsmen at the Easthope Studios, have produced and restored stained glass windows for new and historic buildings for over 40 years and for those looking to learn an alternative craft Jo Letchford Mosaics offers workshops in her studio in the Old High Street. Further along the street you can watch Shane Record most days as he paints in the Print Room, his studio gallery.

In Tontine Street Silkworm Studios runs ocassional silk screen printing workshops and you can learn about film making at the Folkestone Film Factory. Nearby, the Quarterhouse performing arts centre is an important social hub and a flagship building within the Creative Quarter and offers a busy programme of events including film, music and comedy.

Other places to buy art include in the area include the Johnny Cotter Gallery in Rendezvous Street and the Neville Pundole Gallery situated just off the Leas and art exhibitions also take place at The Grand Hotel.

Folkestone also has a strong literary heritage. Charles Dickens lived and wrote here, as did HG Wells, setting famous works like Kipps in the town. The annual HG Wells Festival takes place in the Autumn includes films, historic walks and short story and art competitions.

The town’s popular Book Festival takes place every November and features a week of literary events, performances and lively debate with a host of well known and emerging authors, poets and performers.

White Horses by Charles Newington

The Folkestone Triennial is a three-yearly exhibition of contemporary artworks sited in public spaces throughout the town and last took place in the summer of 2011.

The Folkestone Art Trail is a circular self guided walk and for guided walks Pavement Poundersoffer tours that highlight Folkestone’s literary and artistic history.

Folkestone artist Charles Newington created the White Horse that can be seen on the escarpment of Cheriton Hill, overlooking the Eurotunnel terminal, near Folkestone.

For more information visit Folkestone.

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