A South East England vacation wouldn’t be complete without exploring the town of Dover, a major ferry port and gateway to the European mainland. Facing the narrowest part of the English Channel, it’s located in the historic county of Kent and home to some of England’s most sought-after attractions. Tour ancient Dover Castle, take a day trip to Calais, France and catch the dramatic ocean views as you stand atop the famous white cliffs of Dover.
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The Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa is a waterfront gem that blends 19-century character with 21-st century boutique charm. State-of-the-art rooms and facilities, and welcoming service complete your Dover getaway experience.
See the White Cliffs of Dover - These white chalk cliffs once welcomed sailors and sheltered soldiers. The cliffs make for a striking picture when approaching the port by boat, but get a bird’s-eye view of the flora and fauna by walking along the clifftop paths. History buffs will recognize this area for the important role it played in the dramatic evacuation of Dunkirk during World War II.
Unlock history with the Key to England - Dover Castle is the largest English castle and may be the oldest standing building in Britain. Strategically built to strengthen England’s weakest point at the narrow sea crossing, this 11th century medieval fortress played an important role in the nation’s defense; hence the alias “Key to England”. Check out the Great Tower, whose protective walls in some spots reach a thickness of 20 feet.
Sail through time - Stroll through Dover Museum, a gallery displaying priceless Bronze Age artifacts. It also houses the Dover Bronze Age Boat, a wooden vessel discovered in 1992 and believed to be about 3,000 years old – making it the world’s oldest seagoing boat.
Find your way back to shore - Venture just outside Dover where the South Foreland Lighthouse stands tall. One of the few surviving Victorian lighthouses, it was the first to use electric light and receive a ship to shore message.
Spring, summer or early fall are the best seasons to visit. Temperatures linger in the 50s and 60s, and many privately owned castles and mansions are open April, September or October. Sightseers are plentiful in August, and on Sundays and national holidays, so plan for crowds in Canterbury and the seaside towns.