If you are you are headed for a camping holiday in France or beyond then the chances are you’ll be getting the Le Shuttle. It’s faster than the ferry and very convenient with services every 20 minutes. We like to avoid the stress of traffic leading to missed trains by camping near Folkestone the night before. This way we can get up and catch an early train before it starts getting busy.
Our list of 7 great campsites near Folkestone are all within half an hour’s drive of the check-in terminal so are perfect for stopovers either before or after your train.
Folkestone is much more than a stopover point though and it’s worth staying for a day or two if you have the time. Even an afternoon will give time you time for a stroll through town or along the beach.
Need more inspiration for camping trips? Read more of our camping guides here:
Catching the Eurotunnel
The Channel Tunnel is such an easy way to travel to Europe. We have a campervan it’s much easier than the ferry as you just drive on and off forwards – none of that tricky manoeuvring that they make you do on the ferry!
This dashcam video is a great step-by-step guide guide to catching the Eurotunnel and shows just how easy it is:
If you need more information on catching the Le Shuttle, the Eurotunnel website has a wealth of information.
Driving in Europe
Driving in France and further afield throughout Europe opens you up to different array of rules and regulations. Make sure you have the below kit for driving in Europe. If you don’t then you may end up with a hefty fine:
- Warning triangle
- Reflective hi-vis safety jackets (one per person – Rave On!)
- Breathalysers (just don’t use them for fun before you set off like we did & then need to buy more)
- Headlamp beam converters (for driving on the “wrong side” of the road)
- GB sticker (post Brexit – see below)
The safety kit we take with us (click here to buy) has all you need in one pack, including replacement bulbs and a first aid kit.
The AA has a great guide (click here to visit) if you need more information including a country by country comparison PDF.
Driving in Europe after Brexit
You’ll also need to read up on any changes to driving in Europe after Brexit. Not much should change however do make sure you have an up to date driving license, a motor insurance green card from your insurer and be sure to carry your vertical registration documents.
One thing that will change is that you’ll need a GB sticker, even if your number plate has GB on it – click here to buy a magnetic one from Amazon.
The Drum Inn, Ashford
7 Miles from Eurotunnel Check-In (15 mins)
Easily accessible from the junction of the M20, the Drum Inn campsite is ideally located for a stopover before an early morning Eurotunnel train – indeed it’s the closest site to check-in terminal. Attached the historic and welcoming Drum Inn pub it’s perfect for a couple of pints of real ale, some home-cooked pub grub and a good night’s sleep.
There’s a 12 electric-hook up pitches, 14 touring pitches and a level grass tent field. 5 hardstanding pitches are open all year. The toilet and shower block are basic but clean. For those leaving early, the site gate is opened by a combination lock provided on arrival.
Book ahead using their online booking form and select a table at the restaurant – it can get busy at peak times in the restaurant, but they do try and prioritise campers.
If you have time then there are a couple of good walks nearby, just ask behind the bar. The Battle of Britain Memorial is a 15-minute drive away.
Little Switzerland, Folkestone
8 Miles from Eurotunnel Check-In (20 mins)
A small, family-run site, ideal for campervans and tourers, Little Switzerland, a former WW2 base, is perched beneath the white cliffs of Folkestone with breathtaking views across the channel from the on-site café.
Walk down the Warren and ramble along the coast then head back to the licensed café for tea and cakes. There’s also an onsite clubhouse for an evening drink.
The Valiant Sailor pub is a short walk away on top of the cliffs. A cosy, dog-friendly pub serving homemade meals from local produce with a range of craft and keg beers on tap. Pop in on the way to the Battle of Britain Memorial – a miles walk from Little Switzerland.
This site really deserves more than a pre-tunnel overnight stay however if you are staying for one night you’ll still get the wonderful views and a short drive to the tunnel in the morning.
The Lodge Campsite, Ashford
11 Miles from Eurotunnel Check-In (20 mins)
A rural and tranquil site, The Lodge, is small and compact with 12 grass pitches for tents, caravans and campervans. Overlooking fields and set in a smallholding with sheep, goats, chickens and piglets as your neighbours the quiet site is perfect for good night’s sleep.
A 10-minute walk away is dog-friendly The George Inn, originally a farm in the 1500s, with excellent value set meals and real ale. The Lord Whisky Sanctuary is also close by – the tea rooms are open from 10 am-5 pm and serve English Breakfasts, Cream Teas and Sunday Roasts.
The petrol station 250 yards away has basic supplies; there’s a village store in Stelling Mills and you should be able to pick up some fresh free-range eggs from the Lodge’s resident chickens!
The facilities are basic but adequate and electric hook-ups are available. Access to the site is from Junction 11 and it’s another site ideal for a stopover before the Eurotunnel.
The Sunnyfield Campsite
12 Miles from Eurotunnel Check-In (20 mins)
If you have more than one night to spare then The Sunnyfield Campsite is an idyllic haven set in a grassy meadow surround by trees, wildflowers and wild birds. There’s a minimum stay of two nights but it’s so worth planning a visit into your trip.
Back to basics simplicity awaits with showers in a converted horsebox and compost toilets. The meadows are car-free, but you get a wheelbarrow to kart your kit. No caravans but campervans are welcome on the grass pitches.
Campfires are not just allowed but encouraged – each spacious pitch has its own fire pit, perfect for toasting marshmallows and gazing into the dark night sky.
Walk across the beautiful North Downs countryside to one of the local pubs. The George Inn, The Tiger Inn and The Tiger Batts are all within easy walking distance. There’s a farm shop, a garage and a village store nearby.
At weekends Sacha and Philip fire up the wood-burning pizza oven and serve up delicious home-made pizza and an onsite coffee shop whips up delicious lattes.
Simplicity and seclusion make the Sunny Field a real treasure of a site.
Dunn Street Farm Campsite, Ashford
19 Miles from Eurotunnel Check-In (30 mins)
A working farm with sheep, cattle and horses, Dunn Street Farm is another back to basics, proper campsite. Relaxed and laid back, the grass pitches are spacious with have open views to one side and are sheltered by trees and hedges. It’s a pick your spot campsite but there are 16 hook-ups available. Tents, campervans and caravans are all welcome.
The North Downs are wonderful for walking so pack your hiking boots and ramble through the fields making sure you plan a stop off at one of the local pubs. The local Wheel Inn has recently reopened as a free house and serves local real ales and good pub grub.
If you are feeling adventurous, the Kent Gliding Club is 20 -minute walk down the road and you can book ahead for a flight on a glider! Or, you could visit the café (open weekends only) and watch.
An honesty box system sells local apple and pear juice, free-range farm eggs charcoal. Fires are allowed, and bricks are to put under your firepit to keep protect the grass. You can even buy logs on site.
A little further away than the other sites on our list but it’s just off Junction 9 of the M20 near the village of Westwell and it’s an easy route down to the Eurotunnel Check-In Terminal.
Need more inspiration for your camping trips? Read more of our camping guides here: