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Dover Castle & White Cliffs of Dover

Overview For Travellers Passing Through Dover Or On A Day Trip From London


Dover Castle

Dover Castle

Dover Castle Official Web Site


Dover with its key geographical location as the nearest point to France from England has always been a natural place to fortify against possible foreign invasion.


Dover Castle sits strategically upon the famous White Cliffs of Dover, overlooking the port and town far below.

Way back before the Normans started building castles in England the site was originally an Iron Age hill fort, and later housed a Roman lighthouse and later still an Anglo-Saxon church, part of a Saxon fortified settlement.


After the Norman invasion, William the Conqueror raised the first Dover Castle in earth and timber soon after invading England in 1066. From then on the castle was garrisoned uninterruptedly until 1958, a continuous nine-century span equalled only by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle.

Secret Wartime Tunnels were dug deep beneath the castle, within the 'White Cliffs' themselves. For many the tunnels are the highlight of a visit.

Today you can tour the Secret Wartime Tunnels. Dover Castle, the Roman Lighthouse and much more. There is much to see, an average visit taking a whole morning or afternoon. Dover Castle is open daily from 10 a.m.(09:30 in August) until late afternoon.


The Castle although not far from the town centre is up a very steep hill, continuously steep uphill for 10-15 minutes. If you don't fancy the climb there is an hourly public bus or a plentiful supply of taxis.

Dover Ferry Port

View of Dover Ferry Port
From White Cliffs Visitor Centre

The White Cliffs Of Dover

From Dover Castle its a 20 minute walk to the Dover Cliffs Visitor Centre (signposted). On the way you can make a small diversion to where Bleriot landed after making the first manned flight across the English Channel.

You can follow public footpaths down into Dover Town coming out close to the ferry terminal.

The famous White Cliffs of Dover are best seen from out at sea, not when you're standing on top of them!. For those who aren't able to view them from a ferry or cruise ship there is a pleasure boat service that runs out of the port in Dover.


For those who have their own transport there is a White Cliffs Visitor Centre up on top of the cliffs run by the National Trust. This is just to the east of Dover Castle, there is a parking charge if you are not a member of the National Trust. Unfortunately its a very steep walk from Dover town up to the top of the cliffs. There is a public bus you can get to just past Dover Castle at the top of the hill but its still a 15 minute walk the visitor centre from there.

There is a great view from here down into the ferry port directly below, a very nice cafe/restaurant and short or long walks can be taken along the cliffs.

About 45 to 60 minutes walk along the cliffs is South Forland Lighthouse which is open for tours for much of the year.

Dover White Cliffs Tours

Dover White Cliffs Tour Bus

Dover White Cliffs Tour Bus

Dover no longer has a hop on, hop off open top sightseeing bus.

There is a small local company however that runs what it calls a Dover Rover service which is very much like a hop-on, hop off service. It shuttles between all the places worthwhile in and around Dover.

The same company also offers boat tours where you can view the famous white cliffs from the best vantage point, out at sea. Needless to say you can do combinations of both bus and boat offerings.

The ticket office of Dover White Cliff Tours is at the Marina at the west end of the beach beyond the Best Western hotel. There is a small cafe on their premises too.


Day tours are also operated to places like Canterbury and Leeds Castle. Dover White Cliffs Tours have their own web site which you can easily find on any search engine.

Travelling To Dover From London Independently

The two ways of coming to Dover from London by public transport is the railway from London's Victoria, London Bridge, St Pancras or Charing Cross Stations or the cheaper, slower National Express coaches from London Victoria.

We have dedicated pages detailing Dover train services and Dover coach services between Dover and London and its airports.

Dover Cruise Ship Transfer From London Stopping At Dover Castle

Cruise Shuttle Bus From London

The Cruise Bus At A London Hotel Pick-Up

A value for money, dependable transfer that collects you from your Central London or Heathrow Airport hotel and takes you to your waiting cruise ship at Dover. At Dover you can go straight to your cruise ship or opt to visit Dover Castle. The bus will make a brief stop at Dover Castle before going onto the cruise ship. If you want to make a visit to Dover Castle you leave the bus which will then come back to the castle a couple of hours later so you can complete your journey to the cruise ship.

The service picks up from hotels in all the major Central London hotel districts as well as selected hotels at Heathrow Airport before going onto Dover.

London to Dover Cruise Ship Via Dover Castle - Full Details


Leeds Castle, Dover and Canterbury Day Tour With River Cruise From London

The Leeds Castle, Dover, Canterbury and Greenwich day tour is a very varied tour with a lot packed into a busy day.

First stop is Leeds Castle where we are allowed access before Leeds Castle is opened to the public with our own private tour!. Leeds Castle although not the biggest castle in England is surely the prettiest with a fascinating history that stretches to modern times. Its then onto Dover for a photo stop and the famous white cliffs admired. From Dover and then onto Canterbury close by. Canterbury is the centre of Christian worship since its beginning in England. We explore the famous Cathedral and get glimpses of the medieval centre of of the city.

Last but not least we travel to Greenwich, famous for the meridian line but with a great naval and scientific heritage. We leave the touring coach for good here as after a short walking tour we take a river boat from Greenwich right into the heart of London taking around an hour. On the boat you take in many historic sights along the river, even travelling under Tower Bridge. The tour ends at Embankment Pier in the centre of London close to Big Ben and Westminster Abbey.


Leeds Castle, Dover and Canterbury  Day Tour From London Ticketing
Dover Hotel and Cruise Terminal Map
The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways
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