We are departing this morning to spend a few days in the Kentish coastal town of Folkestone. I will try to keep a record of our movements and activities here. For the location of Folkestone, see this map. For an etymology of the name, look here.
I started my packing yesterday, assuming the weather would continue much the same as the last few days. I therefore probably packed too many warm garments as the long awaited heatwave seems to have arrived. But, then, a sudden reversal is only too possible in these islands. I might yet be glad of extra layers.
Black Sheep Coffee
To save on washing-up, we did not have breakfast at home. Instead, bringing our wheelie cases behind us, like Bo Peep’s lambs their tails, we set off down Pentonville Road on foot, and called in at Black Sheep Coffee near King’s Cross.
Coffee and croissants
Photo by Tigger
You do need me to say what we chose but I will, anyway: coffee and croissants!
We were in plenty of time, as usual and could afford to relax in Black Sheep and then make our way across to St Pancras International Station.
Tigger had already booked train tickets online and we collected their cardboard analogues from a machine on the station. (For Cambridge, we had electronic tickets stored in the wallet on Tigger’s phone but that facility was not available in this case for some reason.)
The HS1 (“High Speed 1”) runs on the special fast Eurostar tracks and speeds through the countryside at an impressive rate. Tickets are a little more expensive than those for the “ordinary” trains serving the same destinations but you save some time and the train interiors are, in my opinion, nicer.
Speeding through the countryside
This glimpse of the view through the window gives some idea of our progress through the landscape. (Not all views are as pretty, of course!)
Folkestone Central Station
We arrived at Folkestone Central Station which proved to be pleasantly quiet.
In the streets
We left the station and went into the streets. Our immediate destination was the nearest bus stop.
Aboard the bus
We hauled ourselves and our baggage onto the first of two buses necessary to reach the hotel. The buses here are single-door, which means you have to overcome your London reflex to dash straight aboard and instead stand back to let people off first.
We broke our journey to take a rest from the heat (yes, it’s definitely a heatwave, British style) and from dragging our luggage. A nearby branch of Costa supplied our needs. We found comfortable chairs and it was tempting to bide a while…
Tea and toasted teacakes
We stayed so long that we decided to prospect for tea and toasted teacakes. Served with butter and strawberry jam, they were delicious.
The bus station
We eventually made our way to the bus station and located the stand for our next bus.
We had a short ride on this bus which brought us to near the hotel.
An inhabitant of Folkestone
On the way, we passed this inhabitant of Folkestone. We reached the hotel and checked in. The room will not be ready until 4 pm, so we have handed in our luggage for safekeeping and retired to the hotel lounge for what should be no more than an hour’s wait.
4 pm came and we confronted a busy lift in order to reach our room which is on the 8th floor, something which, if I am honest, makes me somewhat nervous.
A view from our room
The room has a balcony which, owing to said nervousness, I don’t expect to use but I did venture onto it to take the above photo. If you look carefully just above centre in the photo, you will see what looks like a floating house. There is something about it here.
We have made tea and sorted out such things as power points for charging our phones and backup batteries. We plan to go out again later but I will post this now.