,m Dover - United Kingdom



Location: Castle Hill Map

Tel. 01304 211067

Open: daily

Nov- Jan: Thu- Mon

Closed: Jan 1, 24- 26 Dec

Dover is at the narrowest point of the English Channel between Great Britain and mainland Europe. For most tourists, the city in the county of Kent is just a "transfer station" on their way between England and France. However, Dover has more to offer. Since about 50 AD. the city at the Roman port Portus Dubris is permanently settled.

The oldest finds from the Dover area date from the Bronze Age. In 1974 it was bronze axes, probably from France, in 1992 the remains of an approximately 17 m long seaworthy boat were found. Both finds can be seen in the Dover Museum. Of course, there are a large number of relics from the Roman period, after all, the occupying power stationed their Classis Britannica fleet in Portus Dubris. In the Middle Ages, Dover belonged to the Cinque Ports, an association of initially 5 port cities to protect the coast of Britain. In modern times, the canal port was steadily expanded, and at the same time the city's fortifications were strengthened. However, with the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994, the Port of Dover lost some of its importance.


Getting here

By plane
The nearest airports are those in and around London:
London City Airport (approx. 130 km) is served by flights from Dresden, Frankfurt am Main, Nuremberg and Paderborn, among others.
Gatwick (approx. 130 km) is south of London and is served by Berlin, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Friedrichshafen, Hamburg and Munich, among others.
Stansted, north-east of London (approx. 160 km) is served by low-cost airlines from Berlin, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt-Hahn, Hanover and Memmingen, among others.
Heathrow Airport is at the opposite end of London from Dover and is therefore significantly less convenient.

By train
Dover Priory railway station is on the Folkestone Road. It is approximately 10 minutes' walk from Pencester Road. There are connections to London (St. Pancras, Charing Cross and Victoria), Canterbury, Rochester and Margate, among others. Dover Priory can be reached by bus from the ferry terminal. For timetables and prices, see the South Eastern Railway website or National Rail.

By bus
National Express: Route 007 from London Victoria Coach Station via Maidstone, Canterbury to Dover and on to Deal. Buses stop on Pencester Road.

In the street
From Dover, the A2 (Watling Street) heads towards Canterbury, then onto the M2 motorway to London
The A20 goes from Dover to Folkstone and on to London as the M20
The A256 goes from Dover to Ramsgate.

By boat
Dover ferry port is one of the largest passenger ports in Europe with around 14 million travelers a year. The route to and from Calais is served by the following ferry companies:
My FerryLink

The route to and from Dunkerque from:

Dover is also frequently served by cruise ships.

By bicycle
The EuroVelo 2, which runs on the same route as the NCN 1, and the NCN 2 start and end respectively in Dover.

On foot
Walkers on the E2 European long-distance path enter or leave the British Isles at Dover - arriving or crossing over by ferry from the mainland.



Castles, palaces and castles

Dover Castle, Castle Hill. Phone: +44 (0)13047211067. Open: 28 March to 31 July & 1 to 30 September daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1 to 31 August daily 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1 October to 1 November 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., then until 2 p.m. February only weekends 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (as of 2015). Price: Adults: £19.40, Children (5-15 years) £10.80.

The way up to the castle is quite steep (13% in places), from Pencester Road bus station you can take route 15 (Stagecoach) (fare £1.30 each way as of 2015)
The number of visitors in the tunnels is limited to 1,000 per day.

Towering over the busy port, the castle is an imposing sight - both from land and sea. The location has been important for a long time, the first fortifications made of earthen walls were built in the Iron Age. The Romans built a lighthouse, next to it there is a church from Anglo-Saxon times. In 1066, Wilhelm the Conqueror strengthened the fortifications, the mighty keep was built in the 12th century, and “modern” barracks were built in the 18th century. The whole area, except for the sea side, is surrounded by a medieval curtain wall. In 2009, the keep was reopened after a restoration during which the rooms were reconstructed as they looked in 1184 when the king visited.

The keep, the so-called Great Tower, was built in the 1180s by order of King Henry II and characterizes the appearance of the castle. The Great Tower served primarily as a lavish living quarters for the king and as accommodation for important guests, who were also entertained here. Today the rooms are furnished in the colorful style of the Middle Ages. With the help of various experts, the furnishings, utensils, wall hangings and door fittings were reconstructed. You can see the King's Hall, the King's Chamber, the Great Chamber where the king and his entourage dined and the Guest Chamber where important guests slept.

Dover Castle during the Second World War
Over the centuries, an extensive tunnel system was dug into the chalk cliffs below the castle. The first tunnels were built in the Middle Ages. In the 18th century, because of the threat of invasion by the French, the need for barracks and storerooms increased, and these were then built 15 m below ground level. During World War II, the tunnels served as the base for Admiral Ramsay's coordination of the British Expeditionary Force during the evacuation of the Dunkirk beaches. "Operation Dynamo" had its nerve center deep in the tunnel system, here Ramsay and his team worked continuously for 9 days, 339,000 people could be saved. Visitors can now take a tour of the tunnels. In the tunnel you are placed in the plight of a fictional pilot who was shot down over the coast. The ensuing dramatic struggle for survival is documented with audio commentary, sound effects and snippets of conversation. One passes reconstructed dormitories, canteens, washrooms and a makeshift operating room furnished exactly as it was at the time. Behind it is the heart of "Operation Dynamo", the plotting room, which has been restored with great attention to detail.



St Mary's Church, Cannon Street. Church with Norman tower. - This tower is the oldest building in England as the tower was built by the Romans. He has a medieval degree. This is not widely known, but was briefly addressed in HR2 on 30/7/21. The pink mortar used gave the lighthouse a dramatic appearance. It was probably one of many Roman towers built in the year 100 after the Roman occupation.



Dover Town Hall with the Maison Dieu Hall. A pilgrim hostel from the 13th century.

Roman Light House


Dover Museum, Market Square, Dover, CT16 1PB. Tel: +44 (0)1304 201066 Email: museumenquiries@dover.gov.uk. . Among the exhibits is a 3,500-year-old Bronze Age boat. Open: Monday to Saturday 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday (April to September) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (as of 2015). Price: adults £4.20, children £3.00.
Dover Transport Museum, Willingdon Road, Whitfield, Dover, CT16 2JX. Tel.: +44 (0)1304 822409. Open: 21 March to the end of October, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holiday Mondays 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (as of 2015). Price: adults £6.00, children (5-16 years) £4.00.
Crabble Corn Mill, Lower Road, River, Dover, CT17 0UY. Tel.: +44 (0)1304 823292. Open: Easter to September Saturday/Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (as of 2015). Price: adults £4.00, children £3.00.
Victorian era mill museum, cafe.

The Roman Painted House, New Street, Dover, Kent CT17 9AJ. Tel.: +44 (0)1304 203279. Open: 1 April to 23 April & 1 June to 24 September daily except Monday 24 April to 31 May Tuesday & Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1pm to 5pm clock (as of 2015). Price: adults £3.00, children £2.00.



Connaught Park

White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre, Langdon Cliffs, Upper Road, Dover, CT16 1HJ. Tel: +44 (0)1304 202756 Email: whitecliffs@nationaltrust.org.uk. Open: Visitor Center until July 15 & from September 7 to November 1 daily 10am to 5pm, July 16 to September 6 daily 10am to 5.30pm, November 2 to December 30 daily 11am to 4pm Car park daily 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (as of 2015).

boat tours
Dover White Cliff Tours, White Cliffs Tours, Clock Tower, Esplanade, Dover, Kent CT17 9BX. Tel: +44 (0)7971 301379 Email: info@doverwhiteclifftours.com. Open: May, June, July & August daily at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm or 5pm in summer, March, April & September only at weekends, in winter by appointment (weather permitting). Price: adults £10.00, children under 15 £5.00.
Cruise along the chalk cliffs on the Southern Queen with views of Dover Castle, the Roman Lighthouse and the adjacent Church of St Mary. You also pass the port with the ferries to France.


Practical hints

Dover Visitor Information Centre, Dover Museum, Market Square, Dover CT16 1PB. Tel: +44 (0)1304 205108 Email: tic@doveruk.com. Open: Apr-Sept: Mon-Sat 9:30am-5pm, Sun 10am-3pm. Oct-Mar Mon-Sat 9:30am-5pm
Official website of the city administration (English)
Telephone: area code 01304, from abroad +44 1304

Postcode section: CT 16 and CT 17

post office
Post Office, 68/72 Pencester Road, CT16 1BW. Open: Monday to Saturday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.



Located in the far south-east of England, Dover is the closest English city to the mainland and France. The shortest distance in the Dover Strait of approximately 34 kilometers is measured between South Foreland, northeast of Dover, and the Cap Gris-Nez near the French port of Calais. The chalk cliffs of Dover are famous. The Romans mistakenly attributed the (probably pre-Celtic) name Albion for Britain to the white rocks because of the phonetic similarity to their word albus for white.



Being the English city closest to mainland Europe, Dover has had a strategic importance for centuries.


Bronze age

In 1974 the Langdon Bay Fund was discovered off the coast of Dover. It contained French-made bronze axes and is probably what was left of the cargo of a sunken ship. At the same time, this find also makes it clear that there were trade routes across the Channel between England and France as early as the Bronze Age, or even earlier. In 1992, the so-called Boat of Dover from the Bronze Age was discovered in six meters of water. It is one of the oldest finds of a seaworthy boat. The year 1550 BC was determined by means of the radiocarbon investigation method. determined as the year of construction of the boat. Both finds are on display in the Dover Museum in Market Square.


Roman period

In Roman times, Dover was an important fortified port called Portus Dubris. The Roman street "Watling Street" (Anglo-Saxon: Wæcelinga Stræt), which led across Britain, began in Dover. The British fleet of the Romans (Classis Britannica) was also stationed at Dover and controlled the straits from there.

In 50 AD, the Romans erected two lighthouses on either side of the estuary that still existed at the time. Remains of these can now be found on the Western Heights and in the foundations of Dover Castle where they were built. The Painted House is a former Roman administration building and one of the best preserved Roman buildings in Britain. Right next to it is the fortified port of the Roman fleet. A Saxon coast fort was built over both in later centuries.


Anglo-Saxons and Normans

After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror marched his troops to Westminster Abbey in London to be crowned. However, he did not take the direct route, but marched via Romney, Dover, Canterbury, Surrey and Berkshire. Since 1050, Dover has played a leading role in the "Cinque Ports" alliance, in which the country's most important seaports had joined forces. This aroused the interest of the conqueror. The medieval chronicler William of Poitiers reports of William's march on Dover:

"Then he marched on Dover, which was said to be invincible and held by large numbers of soldiers. However, they were very afraid when he approached and they trusted neither their bastions nor the number of their troops... While the inhabitants prepared for an unconditional surrender, (the Normans) set the castle on fire out of greed for booty and a large part stood immediately on fire... (William paid for the repairs and) took possession of the castle. The duke then stayed in town for another eight days to have new fortifications built.”

Archaeological research has shown that a new castle was built near the Saxon church of St Mary de Castro, which later became present-day Dover Castle. On the remains of the prehistoric ramparts, construction work on the castle began in 1168 by order of Henry II. In 1180 the Norman keep was built in the center of the complex, which now houses a museum. In the 13th and 14th centuries, massive ring structures were added as further security measures for reinforcement.

The Normans built two churches at Dover. The Church of St Mary the Virgin (on Roman foundations) survives today, while the Church of St James the Apostle was destroyed in World War II. They also restored the monastic church of St. Martin le Grand and founded a new monastery dedicated to St. Martin. Remains of this monastery were later remodeled when Dover College was built.


Middle Ages

The town hall, built by Hubert de Burgh in 1203 and once a hostel for pilgrims, still stands in the center of the town. In 1216 Dover was attacked by the French but was successfully defended by Hubert de Burgh. In 1295, 10,000 French soldiers attacked again, this time burning down the city. Due to its excellent trade-promoting location, the city quickly flourished again.

Tudor period
The defenses were further strengthened during the reigns of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, who lived in constant fear of invasion by enemy troops. The castle was fortified and given a moat.

Epoch of the Stuarts
During the English Civil War, the city of Dover sided with the King and was eventually taken unopposed by Parliament's army. The future King Charles II landed in Dover on his return to England from exile on May 26, 1670. It was here that he signed the secret peace treaty that ended hostilities between England and the French King Louis XIV.

Napoleonic Wars
During this time, Dover became a heavily fortified garrison town, as an invasion by Napoleon's troops had to be expected at any time. They had gathered at times in the town of Boulogne and could be seen from Dover on a clear day. First, gun batteries were dug in mounds along the shoreline and the Western Heights. They were supposed to support the defense of the castle, which was no longer up to date with the latest defense technology. In 1804, the "Western Heights" were once again massively expanded with stone fortifications, so that two new forts with trenches were built there. In addition, the "Grand Shaft" was created, a stairway leading down from the forts on the hill to the city, allowing troops to quickly get down from the hill to the shoreline.

19th century
Between 1801 and 1901 the population increased sixfold. The port was expanded with additional moles; the city became more and more a seaside resort. A pleasure pier and an ice skating rink were built. Beach carts were purchased and impressive hotels and apartments were built on the sea side. A railway connection was created and ferry traffic with the continent was expanded. On the west pier is the Admiralty Pier Turret (coordinates 51° 6′ 36″ N, 1° 19′ 12″). An 1880 armored turret with two 16 inch (40.6 cm) rifled muzzle-loading guns that have a range of approximately 7 km. Each gun weighs about 80 tons; these are the two biggest guns in Britain. The armor of the turret consists of layers of wrought iron and wood, a composite armor Anno 1880. Only a few test shots were fired from the gun emplacement. The position was deactivated in 1906, and the directional drives and ammunition elevators were later removed. The guns themselves are still capable of firing and are on their carriages.

20th century
In the early 20th century, Dover was the center of English Channel defenses during World War I. The town, along with Folkestone, was the main port of embarkation for troops shipped to France. During the war, the city was bombed by zeppelins, airplanes and passing warships. The first bomb dropped on England exploded near Dover Castle on Christmas Eve 1914. During this time, the inhabitants often had to seek shelter in bunkers or caves. The city was colloquially known as Fort Dover and was largely under martial law due to the constant threat. On February 27, 1916, two miles from the city, the British passenger liner Maloja was sunk by a German submarine while en route from London to Bombay. 155 people lost their lives; the dead were lined up in the Market Hall for identification.

During World War II, the city was shelled 3,059 times by long-range guns from the French bank. This killed 216 residents and damaged 10,056 homes. A number of caves and tunnels in the chalk cliffs were used as shelters. During the Dunkirk evacuation (Operation Dynamo), these dugouts housed the military headquarters of the evacuation. During the war, the city was also called "Hellfire Corner" because of its location.


Town twinning

Dover is a member of the Cinque Ports Cities Association (French Five Ports), an association of towns in the counties of Kent and Sussex. Originally founded as a military and economic alliance of five port cities on the English Channel, it was an influential political power in the late Middle Ages. Today, the alliance mainly serves the economic cooperation of the port cities in south-east England.

There are also town partnerships with the city of Calais on the French side of the English Channel and with the Croatian port of Split.


Economy and Infrastructure

Due to its proximity to mainland Europe, Dover Ferry Port is one of the busiest ports on the English coast. Millions of people make the crossing from the UK to France every year. There are regular ferry services to Calais and Dunkirk. The opening of the Eurotunnel in 1994 and the end of the legendary hovercraft link to Calais in 2000 have diminished the port's central role.



The A2/M2 connects Dover's car ferry port (Ship Ferry Vehicular Terminal at the Eastern Docks) with Canterbury and London. The M20 also leads to London via Folkestone. The A258 leads to neighboring Deal and the A256 to Sandwich.

The ferry companies P&O Ferries and DFDS serve the route to and from Calais, LD Lines French Boulogne-sur-Mer and DFDS Dunkirk. In front of the Western Docks is the terminal for cruise ships (Cruise Liner Terminal).

Dover Priory station, which is centrally located near the arterial road to Folkestone, has a direct connection to London Victoria Station with the Southeastern Railway (including stops at Canterbury East Station). Some trains split at Faversham on the return journey. A reduced fare tariff applies to off-peak times. By rail, Dover is also connected to the high-speed rail network to/from Ashford, Ebbsfleet International and St Pancras (London) stations.

Regional bus services are operated by Stagecoach; national connections are provided by National Express.

Two long-distance footpaths, the Saxon Shore Way and the North Downs Way, start in Dover. The city is also part of the National Cycle Network.