Dover, United Kingdom: Home to the Stunning White Cliffs

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Dover is fascinating city; throughout its history it has been a key port during wartimes and now it's a very popular destination for travelers. From the White Cliffs of Dover, United Kingdom to secret tunnels that lead to its Castle, there is so much to do here that it's really hard not to love this city.

Here's a list of things you can do and see when visiting Dover, United Kingdom.

Where is Dover in the United Kingdom?

Dover is located along the southern east tip of the island of the UK. Just outside of London, it easily reachable in many ways.

where is Dover, United Kingdom

Dover is located all the ay in the south east corner of England.

How to Get to Dover, United Kingdom

Dover can be reached in a number of ways. The most popular way to travel to Dover is from London. It is only an hour train ride away, making it the perfect day trip from the English capital.

Another popular way (which is how we traveled to Dover, United Kingdom) is by cruise ship. This city is a popular cruise port, and is visited by many different cruise lines that visit the Baltics, normally in the summer months.

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Local Adjustments

Whenever you travel there are some things that you may forget about. These may be different from where you are coming from, so we like to include them in each of our articles. Here are a few of the local adjustments to keep in mind while traveling to Dover, United Kingdom.


The official language in Dover, United Kingdom is English. 


The currency used in the UK is the Bristish pound, which is significantly stronger than the USD or euro. Right now (June 2022) the exchange rate is 82 pence for every 1 USD. It is definitely better than it used to be, but still makes a difference when you see your credit card statement.

Credit cards are widely accepted in Dover, and you won't probably need much cash to carry on you.


Dover uses the same plug types as the rest of the UK which is type G. Plug type G has 3 rectangular pins in a triangular shape. The standard voltage in the UK is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. 

If you are coming from the US, make sure to get an energy converter, which is different than just a travel adapter. (This is so you don't blow our your electronics from the energy current difference).

Water Potability

The water around the UK is very safe to drink, and this includes Dover. You are free to drink from the tap, and we suggest carrying a refillable water with you while walking around the city.

Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in the UK is pretty similar to many other places in Europe. The average tip in a restaurant is about 10% of the bill. Some places will allow you to add your tip to the credit card, but we suggest leaving a bit of cash instead.

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What To Do in Dover, United Kingdom

Now comes for the fun part! Here are the best things to do while visiting Dover, United Kingdom.

Walk Along the White Cliffs of Dover

Definitely the #1 reason why people visit Dover, United Kingdom. These giants are a breathtaking natural piece of art. With a height of up to 350 feet (110 meters), the White Cliffs of Dover are something to admire. They owe their color to the composition of chalk and streaks of black flint.

You can walk along their 8 miles (13 kilometers) and enjoy nature along the way. There are several areas with nice green grass for a romantic picnic, and you'll find South Foreland Lighthouse at the end of the trail, along with a very cute tea house called Mrs Knott’s Tea-room.

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Dover United Kingdom Pin

Also, for those of you who like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there's a fascinating set of tunnels nearby the tea house used for wartimes throughout history, playing an important role during WWII.

White cliffs of Dover, United Kingdom
White cliffs of Dover, United Kingdom
White cliff ofDover, United Kingdom

The White Cliffs of Dover are the number one highlight of the city.

Do a Picnic at Kearsney Abbey and Russell Gardens

The perfect spot for a picnic and an encounter with nature! The gardens are very well preserved and have massive green areas to enjoy a sunny day out. Have a traditional English tea in its Tea Room, go for a run or enjoy their model boat race.

Something that we absolutely loved about this place is that it's open every single day and it's free of charge to get in and even to park!

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Visit St Margaret’s Bay Beach

St Margaret's Bay is a remote beach situated near Dover at the eastern foothills of the North Downs. The beach is predominantly shingle, with sand exposed at low water. It is approximately 500 metres wide and framed by rocky ledges on either side. You will find a promenade backing the beach.

This is definitely a nice spot if you want to refresh while enjoying the cliffs around you.

Dover United Kingdom bay

This pebble beach is  beautiful place to relax in Dover.

What to See in Dover, United Kingdom

Here are some of the things to check out while sightseeing in the city of Dover in the United Kingdom.

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Dover Castle

If this is your first time Europe and the UK, let us tell you something: you will find a lot of castles made many centuries ago.

Dover Castle is a medieval castle from the 11th Century. and it has been named as the "key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. The wartime tunnels lead into here, and the design of it is pretty amazing. Take a look at this map:

Dover Castle has been improved, expanded and renovated since its creation, but It was King Henry II who gave Dover Castle its recognizable form as a stone fortress in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Dover, United Kingdom

The fortress in Dover is perched on a hill over the city.

Secret Wartime Tunnels

As mentioned above, the Secret Wartime Tunnels are a fascinating set of tunnels used more than once. They were first created in the 18th century, when England was under threat of Napoleonic France. The goal of the tunnels was to use them as barracks for the large number of needed troops.

They remained unused until beginning of the 20th Century. During World War II, they brought them back into service, used as a control center for naval operations and as a hospital for troops.

What made them really famous was Operation Dynamo, in 1940. This was a designed plan to rescue 338,226 troops from the French, Belgian and British armies, trapped by the invading German army on the coast of Dunkirk.

South Foreland Lighthouse

England is proud to mention that this was "the first lighthouse to use an electric light". Its main goal was to warn mariners of shifting sands and guide them through the Strait of Dover. A place of innovation and science, the lighthouse was the first to display an electric light anywhere in the world.

There's no direct vehicular access to the lighthouse though. Parking is available at the White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre. You will then have to take a stunning 2 mile cliff top walk along the cliffs following the way-marked trail.

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Western Heights

The Western Heights of Dover are one of the most fascinating fortifications in Great Britain. Forts, strong points and ditches compose it, designed to protect the country from invasion.

Created in the 18th and 19th centuries, their goal was to protect Dover from attacks both from sea and land. It has been reputed to be the 'strongest and most elaborate' fortification in the country.

One of its highlights are the Grand Shaft Barracks. This huge barracks could accommodate 700 men, on land between the Redoubt and the cliff to the south.

Grand Shaft Barracks

This is another great piece of architecture planned for wartimes. The main goal of this barracks was the convenience and safety of the troops. In the event of an attack by the French, this whole in the ground would be ‘the shortest and securest communication with the town’.

Without the Shaft, troops would have had to use the badly-maintained roads and tracks leading down to Dover, which being based on chalk became very slippery and dangerous in wet weather.

In the following video you'll be able to appreciate the whole place:

Pines Garden

Pines Garden is house and large garden, located on the winding beach road from St Margaret's at Cliffe village down to St Margeret's Bay.

It has many fine features including a cascade and adjoining lake, a specially created grass labyrinth and organic kitchen garden with over 40 different species of fruit and vegetables. A beautiful and relaxed place for a nice cup of English tea.

Dover Museum

For those of you who are History lovers, this is for you. Dover is home to one of the most important ports in British history, and the city's rich maritime history is captivatingly documented at the Dover Museum. Learn about their local history from the Stone Age to the time of the Saxons and the Romans. 

Immerse yourself in Dover's history from medieval times to modern times with six scale models illustrating the city's development over the centuries, from its humble beginnings as a Stone Age farming community to its current form as one of the busiest ports in the world.

In this museum you will find the oldest known maritime ship on display in the world. Discover the Bronze Age ship, an archaeological treasure believed to be 3,500 years old.

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Samphire Hoe

To create country park they had to use 4.9 million cubic metres of chalk mark from the Channel Tunnel excavations. You can find it at the bottom of a section of the White Cliffs.

It is accessible by the public via a single-track tunnel controlled by traffic lights, which crosses over the South Eastern Main Line running in a tunnel underneath. Visitor facilities are available, including car parking, toilets and a tea kiosk.

North Downs Way

The North Downs Way is a long distance footpath through Surrey to the Kent Coast at Dover. It is 153 miles (246 km) long, and it runs along the chalk ridge of the North Downs. Despite going through one of the most built up parts of Britain, it still takes in plenty of quiet open and beautiful countryside. The path is available since 1978.

If you are an avid hiker and want to do the whole trail on your own, you should aim to take twelve days to complete the Trail. This allows a comfortable 13 miles a day. The trail has steep ascents and descents in places, and more energetic climbs up Box and the Colley Hills in Surrey and those in the Mid Kent Downs.

Roman Painted House

A little jewel for history lovers. Built about AD 200, this fascinating house formed part of a large mansion or official hotel for travelers. It stood outside the great naval fort of the Classis Britannica, but in AD 270 the Roman army demolished it during the construction of a larger fort.

The long-lost Roman 'Saxon Shore' fort lies buried under modern Dover. A large section of its west wall survived inside the Roman House cover building.

Blériot Memorial

If you're into aviation, you will probably like this. Louis Bleriot was a French aviator, inventor and engineer. He was the first person to use the combination of hand-operated joystick and foot-operated rudder control as used to the present day to operate the aircraft control surfaces.

In 1967 Blériot entered the International Air & Space Hall of Fame. This memorial remembers his work.

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What to Do in Dover, United Kingdom: Extras

Already seen most of what Dover has to offer and want something a bit more? Here are a couple of other things you can add to your list.

Take a Day Trip to London

Just an hour away lies the beautiful capital of the UK. When visiting Dover, you could easily take a day trip to London and enjoy all the beautiful things this city has to offer.

If you are traveling by car, the path is very direct; if need to move by public transportation, you can get there for around US$20 by bus or US$60 by train (prices may vary depending on the time of the year).

London, day trip from Dover, United Kingdom
London Eye, Day Trip from Dover, England
Day trip to London

London is just abhor outside of Dover.

Have Breakfast at The Eight Bells - Wetherspoon

This is just one of our personal favourites of the UK. Wetherspoons is a british pub company with almost 900 pubs and a few hotels. Its main feature is that they convert unconventional premises into pubs.

The Eight Bells pub stands in the shadow of St Mary’s, one of Dover’s main parish churches for more than 400 years. The church was totally rebuilt in 1843, except for the tower, which has the eight bells, giving this pub, part of the former Metropole Hotel, its name.

They have weekly food promotions, they host Ale beer festivals and (what we love about it) they have super tasty breakfast with unlimited coffee (including cappuccinos!). Take a look at this fascinating company by visiting The Eight Bells.

We do want to be clear though- this is not going to be your best meal in Dover, nor an unreliable site to see. Even though it's not considered the classiest of establishments, it's definitely a good place for a cheap meal & drinks!

Getting Around Dover, United Kingdom

The city of Dover is quite small, and is actually very walkable! If you are coming on a cruise ship, there are taxis right outside the port that will arrive into the heart of the city within minutes. 

If you don't want to walk too much there are also plenty of taxis around the city that you can flag down, or you can order an Uber.

Other Things to Know While Visiting Dover, United Kingdom

Now that you know the best things to do in Dover, United Kingdom, how to get around, and more, here are a few other things to keep in mind.

Weather in Dover, United Kingdom

The UK gets a lot of rain, and can have pretty harsh weather for a lot of the year. While it doesn't really snow, there is plenty of rain throughout the year, especially in the winter.

Being located on the water, surrounded by cliffs, it can also be very windy here! We suggest dressing warm, and being prepared in case experience a cold, windy , or rainy day.

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The Best Time to Visit Dover, United Kingdom

The Best time to visit Dover is definitely in the summer, when there is the most warmth and sunshine. Temperatures get super nice in the months of June, July, and August, and you may even get to enjoy a beach day!

No matter if you are a history lover, a nature fan, or simply someone who like to experience new things, Dover is a city that will satiate your thirst for wanderlust!

If you're traveling through Europe and the UK, we strongly recommend you to take a few days to enjoy this English city. It not only has a lot to offer but it's also a great way into or out of London, England's capital city.

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