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What to do in Dover


Barley928
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There are several tourist attractions in and around Dover - Dover Castle and Canterbury Cathedral to name but two.

 

Herding such a large party on and off public transport might be difficult so you could look at a bespoke coach tour. Try these local operators for suggestions and costs:

http://www.baylissexecutivetravel.co.uk/services/

https://britannia-coaches.co.uk/

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Simplest & cheapest would be Dover Castle, on the "White Cliffs above Dover. with views over the countryside,  the town, the harbour & your ship, and - except in poor visibility - the coast of France.

It was built in the 12th/13th Century by Henry 11  on the site of a Roman lighthouse and  a series of Medieval tunnels (tunnels are open, the lighthouse survives but no inside access). As well as the magnificent main Keep there are numerous  barracks & other buildings,  defensive walls and ramparts which have been added over the centuries.

The castle has been in continuous occupation right through from 12th Century to World War 2, and includes further tunnels , underground hospital & command centre for that conflict, during which time the area was known as Hellfire Corner. It was also the HQ for the Dunkirk evacuation.

It's worth a very full day.

The castle  is only about a mile & a half from the cruise terminal but the last part is up a long steep hill from town to castle.

Despite your numbers, probably best to get there & back by taxis - fix a return time with the drivers. There are audio guides for parts, plenty of signage, literature & knowledgeable staff. You could fix up a guide, but probably best to allow your large group to split up & explore independently. Do fix up the guided underground tour/s (no extra charge) when you arrive, because they can only be accessed in groups. 

Other than the castle,  Dover is rather disappointing - it's very much a port town with cars & trucks passing through to & from the ferry terminal, and little of interest.

 

Best foray out of Dover would be to the historic cathedral city of  Canterbury.

It's under 30 minutes by frequent direct trains (Dover Priory to Canterbury East), half-hourly service, return fare under £10.

Even for your size of party, and even including a taxi hop from cruise terminal to station, this will be cheaper than by van.

 

If you want a guide for either place, sorry I can't help.

 

Leeds Castle, about 40 minutes from Dover by road, is also worth considering. But altho it's picture-postcard much of the remodelling has been done in the 19th/20th century.

Inconvenient by taxi + train + taxi and no suitable bus service, so it would need your own pre-booked van.

 

JB :classic_smile:

 

 

 

 

Edited by John Bull
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As JB says, Dover Castle is a must and you can spend quite a few hours there. Also, nearer the time have a look at the White Cliffs website for things that are going on. There is a 'secret' fort up on the cliffs and the local historical society hold open days there which are really worth attending (only twice a year though so may not be when you are there).

https://www.whitecliffscountry.org.uk/Home.aspx

 

There are tours at Canterbury Cathedral if you want to do that and there is also a walking tour there, which is interesting.

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This may have been 8-10 years ago but we toured with a company called White Cliff tours.  It was just the two of us; there was supposed to be another couple joining us, but they didn't show so we had a private tour and driver.

 

He drove us around the city of Dover, toured with us through Dover Castle and took us on a short walk along the white cliffs, drove us to various nearby towns and by several other castles, also kind of secret lanes down to the shore, etc.  He also made sure to find some thatched cottages for me.

 

While at Dover Castle we did the WW II secret tunnels tour, which was very interesting.  We were staying in Canterbury for the night before heading to the airport, so he drove us there and dropped us off at our hotel.  We then enjoyed roaming around Canterbury and the cathedral on our own.

 

It was an excellent day and the guide really went out of his way to show us many extras.  Not sure if the company is still going, but worth looking at.

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A lot might depend on the makeup of your group, how long you are there for, and whether they all need to stay together. Less mobile people might be fine with a simple taxi ride to the castle (making sure of a ride back as there is no rank there) and making use of their excellent facilities for the less able.

 

The more adventurous might well follow JB's advice and take a train to Canterbury or spend the day at the castle anyway. 

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On 9/13/2019 at 2:37 AM, PhilbeachTraveller said:

As JB says, Dover Castle is a must and you can spend quite a few hours there. Also, nearer the time have a look at the White Cliffs website for things that are going on. There is a 'secret' fort up on the cliffs and the local historical society hold open days there which are really worth attending (only twice a year though so may not be when you are there).

https://www.whitecliffscountry.org.uk/Home.aspx

 

There are tours at Canterbury Cathedral if you want to do that and there is also a walking tour there, which is interesting.

We were in Dove May of last year.  Took a taxi and walked the Cliffs, plus we were able to visit the "secret" bunker that is run by the National Trust.  

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11 hours ago, daddyo said:

We were in Dove May of last year.  Took a taxi and walked the Cliffs, plus we were able to visit the "secret" bunker that is run by the National Trust.  

We visited the Drop Redoubt, which is run by The Western Heights Preservation Society. They also do tours  on the 3rd Sunday of every months (must book with them though). 

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  • 2 months later...
4 hours ago, pinebro said:

JB- can you recommend a golf course near dover? 
       Affordable, memorable British golf is all we need. Thank You!

 

You need an answer from a local like CC member philbeach.

Or at least from someone who gives a damn about golf :classic_tongue:

 

But here's a list of the top 100 courses in the county of Kent.

https://www.top100golfcourses.com/golf-courses/britain-ireland/england/kent

The top two, Royal St George's and Royal Cinque Ports are within a 20 minute drive of Dover.

Do check accessibility for non-members.

 

JB :classic_smile:

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15 hours ago, John Bull said:

 

You need an answer from a local like CC member philbeach.

Or at least from someone who gives a damn about golf :classic_tongue:

 

But here's a list of the top 100 courses in the county of Kent.

https://www.top100golfcourses.com/golf-courses/britain-ireland/england/kent

The top two, Royal St George's and Royal Cinque Ports are within a 20 minute drive of Dover.

Do check accessibility for non-members.

 

JB :classic_smile:

As JB has said the most famous is Royal St George's where The Open is taking place in June 2020 but next door it it is the Princes where public members can play but it seems a bit expensive (£90) . Otherwise, there is the Royal Cinque Ports in Deal which is a private members club but you can book online as a visitor (don't know the fee) and the Walmer & Kingsdown in Kingsdown, also near Deal which you can also book as a visitor for about £40-£50. In the other direction, there is Etchinghill and a lovely one between the seafront and the Royal Military Canal in Seabrook/Hythe called the Hythe Golf Club (my friend belongs to that one) which is only about £20-£25 . 

 

As JB says, check the websites for the ones you are interested in to see what the fees for visitors would be as they vary a great deal. Also see how far you want to travel to these (none of them are hugely far away from Dover).

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  • 2 weeks later...

We will be in Dover next year.  I like the idea of heading to the Dover Castle but I'd also like to find some short white cliff walking trails to enjoy.  Are there any trails near the Castle for us to enjoy the scenery?

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