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Holidays in Dover

Fascinating port with close naval links and Roman history

UK | South Coast | Kent | Dover
White Cliffs of Dover

The white cliffs of Dover are the first things that visitors to England see when travelling over from the Channel from France and beyond. This major port is also a historic holiday resort that’s a gateway to the Kentish coast.

If you’re interested in Roman history, Dover is the holiday destination for you, with no less than 60 sites found. Most popular is the Roman Painted House, the Pharos in the grounds of Dover Castle archaeological finds in and around, and the fort near Richborough. At the Roman Painted House you can see over 400 sq.ft  of preserved Roman wall painting, the largest amount north of the Alps. A total of 26 panels survived a demolition and burial by the Roman army in 270AD.

Dover Castle

English Heritage-managed Dover Castle dominates a giant hill above the town with commanding views over the English Channel. Known as the ‘key to England’, the great fortress has played an important part in the defence of the realm for over nine centuries, a span equalled only by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. The castle played a crucial role in the World Wars too. Tunnels that honeycomb the mount, built during Napoleon’s time, where extended during WW2 to provide a hospital and it was the naval command base for smaller bases all along the Kent Coast. Remnants of outposts and pillboxes still stand along the county’s cliff tops. The castle hosts events and there’s so much to see, a day’s exploration could be easily swallowed whole.

Anybody that lives in the South-East has probably passed through the port of Dover if they’ve taken a driving holiday in France. First established in 1606, it is the second busiest cruise port in the UK and the activity never stops. Dover itself is full of diverse shops and eateries and it has a good nightlife, with a wide selection of nightclubs, pubs, restaurants and cinemas.

Dover is nice and close to a number of smaller coastal resorts in Kent like Deal, Kingsdown, Sandwich and further north - Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate. The beaches are less populated and more natural the further south you journey. Look out for the masts of old shipwrecks on the sea horizon. The treacherous Goodwin Sands claimed many ships and lives for hundreds of years before modern navigation technology became prevalent. Made up of miles of submerged sand dunes, that are occasionally revealed at low tide, the Goodwin Sands hosted an annual cricket match, until the teams had to be air lifted off one year by the coastguard. It’s a wonderful natural phenomenon that’s played a role in protecting our shores for hundreds of years.

“Dover Castle has played an important part in the defence of the realm for over 900 years…”

A day trip to Boulogne in France is possible from Dover too, for a pleasant walk around the port town. Ferries run constantly from Dover and nearby Folkestone, so why not go shopping for some real French ingredients for your self-catering pot one day.

Dover has a really good tourist information centre, so be sure to visit to get all the local tips and updates for the area. We have some lovely holiday cottages in and around Dover. Why not take a look at our collection and feel inspired?

While you’re there

The Roman Painted House

The Roman Painted House was built around 200 AD and is one of the finest Roman houses open to the public.

Dover Museum

The Dover Museum is a fascinating place for the whole family, go along and explore Dover's history and see the ancient Bronze Age boat.

Dover Castle

Guarding our shores from invasion for more than 20 centuries, the Dover Castle sits spectacularly above the White Cliffs of Dover.

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