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Folkestone White Horse

Folkestone, Kent

Location Guide

The horse, on Cheriton Hill, Folkestone, was designed by artist Charles Newington, it is a modern attractive outline figure rather than the solid shape that most white horses have.

It is constructed of cut chalk slabs, in trenches, pinned together and pinned to the ground.

It is on the escarpment of Cheriton Hill, overlooking the Eurotunnel terminal, near Folkestone.

The proposal to make a white horse to mark the millennium was controversial. Planning permission was granted, but then

referred to a Public Enquiry. It was announced in March 2002 that the horse could be constructed. Work began in the autumn of 2002 and the horse was completed in 2003.  The slabs were installed in June by most of the Folkestone horse team and a large number of Gurkas, stationed in Folkestone.  The slabs were transported down the hill on sleds. The finishing touches were added shortly after. A time capsule, containing the names and good wishes of numerous supporters of the Horse, was buried deep behind the Horse’s heart on 18th June 2004.

In August and early September 1999, a full size mock up (267ft by 150ft) was on the hill constructed of pieces of white tarpaulin, but this was objected to by English Nature and had to be removed.

In May 2003 it was reported on the BBC website that Europe has said the creation of this white horse is illegal and demanded it be removed. The Daily Telegraph reported legal action by Europe against the British government. I can't find any mention of this being overcome, or of anything else happening on this.

Environmental note:- The use of cut blocks is a new way to create white horses and should be low maintenance, it should also mean that the plants and weeds get disturbed less, relevant to those who don't like the surface of hillsides being disturbed, although by the actions of a number pressure groups it seems not to have satisfied them. The sods of earth that were cut, was all replanted elsewhere higher up the same face, so not a single plant was harmed, in fact it may have helped them and those that were more rare to spread.

Some statistics:-

  • Length (fore hoof to hind hoof) - approx. 93 metres / 306 feet

  • Height (nose to lower hooves) - approx. 48 metres / 160 feet

  • Number of slabs used, and number of stainless steel anchor screws - approx. 700

  • Average width of outline - 60cm / 2 feet


Further information Grid



Folkestone White Horse, Kent

Ceremonial County: Kent

Grid Reference:

TR 198382

Map Link:

Ordnance survey TR198382

Aerial photo:

Google Aerial Photo



Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:


Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:

Introduction to hillside figures

How to photograph hillside figures

Listing of hillside figures



Planning Grid


Folkestone White Horse, Kent

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

The best views are from Weymouth Rd, NGR TR 198370, off Cheriton High Street, M20 (J12) roundabout and the Tesco car park, NGR TR 194370 off M20 (J12).


The site is privately owned, is very steep, is a candidate Special Area for Conservation (SAC) and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), so access is restricted to the public footpath which runs along the top of the hillside (from which a view of the Horse is extremely limited and distorted).





Things To Do, See and Photograph:


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Opening times:

Visible when light.



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Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Keith Park Section: White Horse & Hillside Features Key:
Page Ref: folkestone Topic: Hillside Last Updated: 01/2012


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