This is a trip that is possible to do on a single day if you’re travelling from London, or even to enjoy a nice weekend. A sandy beach town located on the southeast coast of England, and one of it’s main attractions is Dover Castle, also known as the “Key to England”.
The journey to Dover takes about 1h30 and can be done straight from London Charing Cross station – Dover Priory is the last stop (visit the Southeastern website to learn more about prices and time tables). When I went, part of the track was going through repairs, so I had to get down at Folkestone and took a bus replacement arranged by Southeastern to Dover.
Once in Dover, the first stop was at Dover Castle. We walked for 30mins to get to the Castle from the train station. There are signs to show the way, which is very helpful, and once you are there the view is breathtaking.
Dover Castle is a medieval construction from the 12th century and was where Henry II lived. It is known as the “Key to England” due to its importance as a fort to defend the country, and it is also considered the biggest castle in England.
The Castle went through a series of improvements, the most important being the one done by Henry II, which shaped the Castle to how we know it today. It’s possible to visit the Great Tower with replicas of the King and Queen’s room, as well as the secret war tunnels.
Inside the outer walls of the Castle it’s possible to visit the old Roman lighthouse, which is dated from the year 43 AD, as well as the observatory deck that was once used as a military base. There is also a war museum located inside the cliffs that is worth a visit.
Dover is known by it’s White Cliffs, a characteristic caused by all the limestone on the rocks.
It’s a port town, with a huge movement of ships everyday, including cargo ships, but is still a small and calm town. These cities on the east cost of England that i’ve had the opportunity to visit have something very peculiar – while they are located by the beach, they maintain the English country charm.
After a walk through the Castle, we went for a walk on the beach, the day was chilly, but the Sun made an appearance which made the weather perfect. There are a few restaurants, pubs and hotels on the edge of the beach, and on one end we found a charming marina and a place to practice water sports.
I will certainly return to Dover, the view is beautiful and the trip was very pleasantly surprising.