Dover castle, England

Dover castle

Dover castle is the largest castle in England that is located in Dover, Kent, England. It is a medieval castle that was founded during 11th century. Although the castle was there since the Iron age, but during the reign of Henry II the castle took a recognisable shape. He spent more than 6 thousand pounds out of his annual revenue of approximately 10 thousand pounds (which was a lot of money that time). In current days this area is owned by English heritage. Due to its strategical location this castle is known as the Key to England.

Dover castle
Entering into the Dover castle premise.

Tunnel of Dover castle:

This castle has a three mile long network of medieval tunnels. Centuries after centuries these tunnels are giving bonus during the war and also to prevent any invasion (as France and Napoleon were very close from there). Few of those are facing towards the English channel. These tunnels played an important role during World war II against the German invasion. There is a guided tour available in every hour that lasts for 45 minutes. During the tour you would know about the underground hospital, bunkers, and also how the radio communication was done secretly. During the tour they display some video clips (also audio) to give you a better understanding. Although most of them are related to World war II.

Dover castle
Didn't see too many statues inside the castle premise.

When I was there it was a rainy day, so initial portion of the tunnel was having wet floor (but not slippery). Also we didn't need to wait for long in the queue as most of the tourists hadn't arrived yet in the morning (or may be due to the continuous rain). But usually there is a long queue for the tunnel tour. During rush period you might need to wait for more than an hour. They don't have any pre-book (or online) for the tunnel tour. If they consider implementing this, it could save lot of time for the busy tourists.

Dover castle
I think this is an administrative building. Didn't see any entrance for the tourists.

Exploring the castle:

We had already booked the train ticket for London (as prebook gives a cheaper deal), so was in a hurry to explore the Dover castle. We didn't go inside the church and few towers. But we've visited the Keep as it was another main attraction from the castle. Each floors of the Keep displays various stuffs. Moving from one floor to another was through the narrow stairs. We didn't take that much photo from inside as we were unsure whether taking photograph was allowed or not. But the display gallery was very clean and attractive like any other castles in UK. From the top (or roof) of the Keep we got a bird's eye view around. Other parts of the castle, Dover city, Dover port everything was looking really nice from the top. It was really windy and cold up there, that's why other tourists were not spending much time there. After leaving the keep we walked for few minutes around the building before leaving.

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Dover castle as viewed from the Dover cliff.

How to Go:

Well, I must say the public transportation between the castle and the Dover city centre wasn't that good for us. The bus was not that frequent. Waiting for a long time at the stoppage but didn't see the bus. So instead walked around half an hour to go to the castle. It wasn't that much easy to walk during a continuous rain. The whole day was raining so had to do the same while returning. During our walking didn't see any bus passing us. If you have your own car then it would be much easier for you to go there (or if you hire a taxi). They have a car parking facility for the tourists. GPS coordinate of the Dover castle is (51°07'41.7"N, 1°19'24.4"E).

tunnel, dover castle
A view inside the tunnel of Dover castle.

Opening and closing time:

Opening and closing time might vary based on the time of year. But usually it is from 10am to 4pm during weekend. During weekend the Dover castle might remain closed during working days. You can check the opening times from the english heritage website.

Dover castle
A church inside the Dover castle premise. Didn't get time to explore that.

Entry fee:

Usually visiting castles are a bit expensive compare to other countries. Besides this is a very popular castle in England. It requires £20.90 per adult to enter inside the Dover castle. If you have any plan to visit any other English heritage sites then you can buy a pass that would help you to explore them with a cheaper price. So think about it.

Dover castle
Not sure why a cannon facing towards the church.

How long it takes:

Usually it takes around 2-3 hours if you do not participate in any guided tours. There are two guided tours available and each takes nearly an hour. Also there is a queuing for those tours as well which adds up to the visiting time. So including everything it might take up to 6 hours to have a complete castle tour. For our case we participated in only one guided tour (other one is Escape Bunker tour I think). We've finished the tour within 4 hours before heading for London's train.

Dover castle
More cannons, but these are facing to the right direction.

Where to Stay in Dover:

Being a port city Dover is having in a rush most of the time. Lost of people use the ferry from Dover to reach France (and vice-versa). That's why they have a very good accommodation facility for the visitors. Most of those tourists use to stay in Dover for the night as the ferry leaves very early in morning. We've stayed in a Bluebells Guest House which was really clean and with high quality of amenities. We were there a bit early but the property owner allowed us to do an early checkin. It was pissing raining that time and it helped us a lot to be in a dry place before exploring further.

Dover castle
Here you go! No pirates are allowed to invade.

Where to Eat:

There is a restaurant inside the castle premise. It is good for fast foods, tea, and coffee. The service of the restaurant is really good. If you want to have food in the Dover town then there are plenty of options from Italian to Indian, pubs, etc. As we love to eat Indian dishes that's why we've picked White Cliffs Tandoori restaurant. Later on we found that it was a Bangladeshi restaurant and was nice to talk to them. Being their country fellow they've treated us nicely as well.

foods in dover
A portion of our food from the dinner in Dover.

What else is near by:

Walking around the white chalk cliff of Dover is a popular attraction. You can visit the cliff after visiting the Dover castle (or vice versa). Also walking around the Dover city is a nice idea (i.e. near Dover town hall). Spending few minutes in park Pencester Gardens would be nice too. We've gone to the castle through this park. The Dover river is flowing beside this park as well.

Dover castle
View towards the main castle building.

Dover castle
More edifices from the Dover castle.

Dover castle
Entering inside the Keep's premise.

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Walking around the old buildings.

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More view from the ground in front of the main building.

Dover castle
Looks like it is inside a kitchen.

Dover castle
Several wine pipa.

Dover castle
Depicting the cooking of old times.

Dover castle
Big cooking pots mean preparing dinner for more people.

Dover castle
Assume it is a water well inside the Keep to supply drinking water?

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Looking inside the well.

Dover castle
Stairway that leads to the top of the building to see some magnificent views.

Dover castle
View towards the Dover city and the port.

Dover castle
View towards the English channel over the church.

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At the roof of the Keep. It was very windy and rainy.

Dover castle
A tower inside the castle premise.

Dover castle
Current days this is serving as a restaurant.

Dover castle
A modern day cannon facing towards the English channel.

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Outside the castle wall.

White cliffs of Dover
The window in the cliff wall are the window from the underground tunnel of castle.

Dover castle,
County: Kent,
Country: England,
GPS coordinate (51°07'41.7"N, 1°19'24.4"E).

This article has written by Lonely Traveler,
for the blog

Sunday, 23 September 2018