The view of the site from on top of the Great Tower
Dover Castle is situated near the stunning White Cliffs of Dover in Kent county, making it a great escape from London City. This 12th Century medieval castle has provided fundamental defence from shore attacks during the course of English history. Dover Castle has become a popular tourist site suitable for the whole family, groups of friends and individuals. The combination of the castle with white cliffs, the sea and harbour in the background provides spectacular views. It is no surprise that this castle has often been used in TV and film.
Dover Castle is quite easily accessible by car, train and bus. This website page provides information on directions and public transport. There is a free car park at this venue which is always helpful. It is best to check the opening times and prices on this website when planning your visit. The castle may be open during the week on certain dates whilst at other times it is only open on weekends. As Dover Castle is a protected site, an English Heritage membership card will give you free access to this venue, for further information click here.
I think the good part of a whole day may need to be set aside for seeing Dover Castle. There is a lot of exploring to do and information available to take in. This interactive map gives a good idea of the top places to explore. Some of the great points of interest include the Admiralty Lookout, the Great Tower and Secret Wartime Tunnels.
The importance in history of the Admiralty Lookout can really be understood once you see the view of the coast and sea from inside. For photographers this might just be the highlight of the day. There is a stair case to the open part of the lookout where there is a telescope. If you are lucky enough to go on a clear day with good weather, you'll be able to see the coast of France (or so I'm told). Unfortunately we went on a rather rainy day but I still tried my luck.
Telescope above the Admiralty Lookout
Regardless of weather conditions the view of the white cliffs and English coast line can still be appreciated.
Two WWII anti-aircraft guns on site
The Secret Wartime Tunnels have been around for over 200 years. Some parts were used in the Second World War as air raid shelters, an underground hospital and a military command centre. Tours are carried out throughout the day of the underground hospital.* With the use of smell, sound and visual affects the scenes of the war are recreated. The tour guide will give you information regarding the different rooms. It's an eye opening experience to learn what it must have been like during the war. For further info and photos have a look at this web page. This underground tour lasts 20 minutes so if you are slightly claustrophobic perhaps it might be a good idea to have a quick chat with the tour guide beforehand.
The Great Tower is something that children may particularly enjoy as it is very interactive. The rooms inside have been set up to represent a medieval era. Through the year there are 'meet the characters' day, dates for these can be found here. There is also a reconstruction of a kitchen with replica historical kitchenware and mock food items. This kitchen is designed so visitors can have fun trying out the equipment. Again a great place for photo taking for everyone. If you go up the stairs to the top of the tower you will find a well. It is now used as a wishing well (none of my pennies landed in the bucket).
Wishing well on top level of the Great Tower
You most certainly will feel like you have travelled back in time by the end of this educational visit. If you are interested to find out more about this castle have a look at this page.
*Remember to ask the receptionist when buying your ticket what time the tour meet up is.