Dover has been a permanent settlement since at least the time of the Romans, who were the first to record its presence, giving it the name Dubris. It also marked the start of Watling Street, a major Roman road. The Roman lighthouse built on the present-day site of Dover Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Britain.
Today Dover is a major port town facing into the English Channel and, at just 21 miles from the French port of Calais, it is the closest port to continental Europe on mainland Britain. It is most famous for its white chalk cliffs which have been celebrated in song.
National Express operates a regular coach service (number 007) to&from Dover Eastern Docks and Pencester Road, to London Victoria Coach Station. It has intermediate stops at Canterbury, some north Kent towns, and local stops in south-east London. It's much cheaper than the train service.
Fare and timetable information is available from South East Trains, tel. +44 8457 484950.
Due to its proximity to continental Europe, Dover is one of the busiest cross-Channel ports in the UK, with 18 million passengers passing through its gates every year. Regular ferry services operate to Dover from Calais and Dunkirk.
The ferry between France and Dover costs €13-22 each way if on foot or bicycle, and around £90 for a car, although big discounts are available if booked in advance or with special offers. P&O Ferries operate to and from Calais while DFDS Seaways sails from Calais and Dunkirk.
Other routes are present within the UK (and might be cheaper).
Stagecoach East Kent are the main bus operator in the Dover area. Maps, timetables and fare information are available on their website. Stagecoach run both urban, rural and inter-urban local buses, including regular buses to Deal, Folkestone, Canterbury and further afield.
Dover is small enough that much of it can reasonably be explored on foot. The main shops are in King Street, Cannon Street and Biggin Street.
- 1 Dover Castle, Castle Hill, CT16 1HU, ☏ . Known as the "Key to England", the castle has 2,000 years of history contained within its walls, including a Roman lighthouse, a Saxon church and a Norman keep. Below ground a series of casements and tunnels have been dug into the chalk. From these tunnels Operation Dynamo (the Dunkirk evacuation) was planned. adults £17.00, children £10.20, concessions £15.30.
- 2 Battle of Britain Memorial. A very touching memorial dedicated to the men who fought and died in Britain's most desperate hour. Vintage airplanes are also on display.
- 3 [dead link] Roman Painted House. Well-preserved ruins of a Roman townhouse that includes a hypocaust heating system and mosaic fragments.
- 4 The White Cliffs of Dover, Langdon Cliffs, Upper Road, CT16 1HJ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 South Foreland Lighthouse, The Front, St Margaret's Bay, CT15 6HP, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 6 Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery. Includes a 3,500-year-old wooden boat that was found preserved in mud.
- 7 Grand Shaft. Triple staircase constructed in Napoleonic times to enable quick troop movements between Townwall Street and the abandoned Western Heights fortifications.
There is a cliff-top 6-km walk from near the Eastern Docks to St Margaret's Bay.
- Walk the scenic North Downs Way, a walking trail that follows the low hills that run alongside the coast
The main shops are in King Street, Cannon Street and Biggin Street.
Country pubs nearby:
- The New Inn, Canterbury Road, Etchinghill, ☏ . A 16th-century coaching inn, country pub and very popular restaurant a short drive from Dover (junction 12, M20). Fantastic reputation for fine cuisine, open seven days a week for lunches and evening meals. Terrific food, real ale, oak beams & cosy atmosphere.
- Curry Garden Restaurant, 24 High Street, ☏ . Daily noon-3PM, 6PM-midnight, including Bank Holidays. Dover's oldest Indian cuisine, on the main high street, close to the town hall. A take-away menu is available, offering 10% discount on all orders over £15 collected from the premises. Great special take away offer of 1/2-price take away, every 2nd Sunday of each month, on cash and collect orders only. Good selection of dishes on the menu.
- Marine Court Brewers Fayre, Marine court, ☏ . On Dover's seafront with views of Dover. Modern pub food.
- The Cricketers Pub, Crabble Avenue (from Dover town centre, go up the one way system to Buckland Brige, turn left at first traffic lights and then first left into Crabble Avenue; the pub is opposite Dover Rugby and Football grounds), ☏ . M-W 3PM-midnight, Th-Su noon-1AM. The Cricketers is a friendly village pub catering for all ages, in the village of River, opposite the crabble cricket and rugby pitches. It is the home of home of Dover Football Club. The Cricketers has been an important focal point for the community for over 100 years.
- Cinque Ports Arms, Clarence Place Western Docks CT17 9DQ, ☏ . Great Dover pub food: sandwiches, jackets and snacks - all freshly prepared to order.
- St Margaret's Bay is just a few miles east towards Deal. This bay breaks up the white cliffs with a small hillside village, a scenic beach, lots of parking and some eateries (including the Coastguard Pub, the closest pub to the continent). On a nice day, the afternoon sun lights up the white cliffs on the French side of the channel quite clearly.
|Routes through Dover|
|END ←||UK France||→ Calais|
|END ←||UK France||→ Dunkirk|
|London ← Canterbury ←||NW SE||→ END|
|London ← Folkestone/Channel Tunnel ←||W E||→ END|