JUN 24,2013 - JUN 24,2013 (1 DAYS)
There are, mainly, two top attraction in Dover: The Castle and the Cliffs. Every one of them deserves a FULL one day. Allow time for Dover downtown only for having a lunch or for shopping (cheaper than many other places in the UK !). The Dover Castle is the first line of defense for the UK for centuries. The extensive site includes: a mighty fortress (the greatest in the UK), medieval royal palace, the Secret Wartime Tunnels dug deep under / into the white cliffs and present, astonishingly the "Miracle of Dunkirk Retreat" (operation Dynamo) in year 1940.
Opening Times: Daily 09.30/10.00 - 18.00.
Price: 17 GBP. Concessions: 15.30 GBP.
I climbed the whole way to the castle on foot. I was among very few who arrived to the castle on foot. You are told, on your way up the castle hill to "go to the tickets office and pay your entrance fee". It is up to you whether you pay or just continue walking into the huge site and explore it for hours without being checked even once. You are not asked to show your ticket even when you take part in the various attractions (like visiting the underground tunnels etc'). Coming with a car you must pay for your entrance tickets before being allowed to enter the site with your car. A great part of the visitors enter the Castle site with a member card - so, practically, they pay nothing for every visit...
It would be a good advice to plan your visit ahead and target it in sync with one of the numerous special events' days during the year: Roman Festival, Clash of the Knights days, Knights Tournaments, Falconry days, WWW II weekends, St. George Festival day, Children Festival.
Walk to the Castle: You will see the brown signposts of Dover Castle from the moment you leave the Priory Dover Railway Station. It is 40-45 minutes walk to the Castle hill, passing the town centre with its attractive fountain:
The last section of climbing the steep Castle hill is quite demanding. You are rewarded by having nice views to the sea and Dover Harbour.
Allow, at least, 5-6 hours for the whole visit of the Castle hill and its attractions. Come no later than 09.30-10.00 !!!
Even without the special events there was plenty to see and do. Spectacular castle, amazing views and friendly staff. Even if the morning is misty or windy it contributes to the eerie atmosphere. With bright weather you'll have beautiful panoramic views:
Dover Cliffs from the Castle Hill (Admirality Lookout):
Dover Castle walls:
Roman Lighthouse Pharos and St. Mary-in-Castro Church:
St. Mary-in-Castro Church interior:
The Great Tower:
Views from the Tower top terrace are magnificient:
Do not miss visiting the main Castle / Palace Henry II galleries and rooms including also the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment Museum:
There is also a permanent exhibition of UK battles and wars during the centuries in Dover Castle (here the Imperial India room:
Medieval tunnels used also in the Napoleonic wars + Battlements Cannons (18th - 19th centuries):
A walk around the perimeter is stunning. There are amazing views of the town of Dover and the English Channel:
The WWW II Secret Tunnels themselves justify the hefty entrance price. Advice : go to the tunnels first as they have a long queue later in the day of more than an hour. They are 26 metres beneath the castle. There were the heart and the brain of Operation Dynamo - the evacuation of allied troops from the beaches of France in Dunkirk. Visitors witness the place where this operation took place: round-the-clock planning to assemble a huge fleet of ships to evacuate 338,000 British and French troops from Dunkirk: