Seaside holidays 8: panoramic view
Leas Shelter, Folkestone
In the foreground of this oil painting by James Williamson we see the Leas Shelter. From there, people have a panoramic view of the Lower Leas, Folkestone beach, harbour and English Channel.
Many of Folkestone’s fashionable visitors gathered here to enjoy the sunshine, conversation, a fine sea view and some light refreshment.
Below there was a steep drop down to the Lower Leas and the beach, via the Zig Zag path.
You can see the Victoria Pier. In the distance, a cross-channel steamer is just leaving Folkestone Harbour.
Visitors are already on the beach. Some of them paddling or swimming in the sea.
Several sailing fishing boats have just left harbour.
At the top of the beach you can just see the humpback curves of the Switchback Railway. This was an early wooden rollercoaster. Even from the Leas above, people could clearly hear the shrieks of the people riding on it.
Below the cliff was where visitors could have some fun. As well as the rollercoaster, there were concert parties, Punch and Judy shows, sweet, toy and ice cream sellers, donkey rides, a camera obscura, rowing boats, pleasure boat trips, a stroll along the pier… and of course the opportunity to have a paddle or swim.