Thursday, 25 May 2017

Dover for the weekend..

Jamie looks for France and we saw it too.
So I had my teenage nephew (Jamie) to look after for the weekend - he likes walking (thankfully) so I decided on Dover. It has the cliffs - obviously, and a castle too. I've never been to Dover apart from on a school trip to France so the experience would be new to both of us.  We have no car so to the train station...
Now Victoria is cheap but slow - to the tone of 2 hours. However you can get there in 1 hour 5 minutes from St Pancras, The train pulls up in the heart of the town (which is quite small anyway) so there is not far to go.  I booked a guest house close to the station and we dropped our bags off and took to the hills.

If you like walking as much as us you will not find this hike an issue.  See my route HERE . You will see by the route we visited the castle first - this was to find out when it opened the next day (Sunday), as we planned to go in the morning. The hike itself is fairly flat after the first climb - once you are on top there is not much up and down - very unlike the walk at Seven Sisters in Sussex. My route takes you to the lighthouse where you will find tea and cake - take cash. It's run by the National Trust and you can also pay for a tour on the lighthouse etc - we did not.
South Foreland Lighthouse

It's worth pointing out there are a few car parks at East Cliff again run by the NT - leaving your car here only costs a few quid unless you are a member. There are many vantage points for some great photos along the route - and you can also vary the walk by going out one way and coming back a slightly different version.
White Cliffs of Dover

After tea and cake we started to walk back and realised we had some time on our hands - apart from the 'pretend to throw yourself of the cliff photo' there was another opportunity on our way back - Fan Bay Deep Shelter.   Also run by the NT these labyrinth of tunnels cut into the cliffs and put a bit of history into our day. They were constructed for WW2 and have been renovated by the National Trust so they can be seen (with a guide) and their story can be told. You have to wear a helmet and not be afraid of confined spaces..
Let's go mining!

We loved it - the whole experience was great and our guide did a super job. We actually got to learn a few things - some quite surprising..  I think the whole tour lasted about 1 hour and was really adventurous. Also mobile phones do not work underground so Jamie had no choice but to join in - ha!
one of the tunnels at Fan Bay

A hike back to the Guest House and our day was done - food and bed! Sunday we had to get the train home but visited Dover Castle first. Currently on Sundays they open at 10 - it was pretty expensive working out at £31 for the both of us. English Heritage look after the castle and although they have done a great job keeping it in fine shape - I think the cost is a bit steep, if you are a large family - take you bank manager along!
Dover Castle

When all was said and done we did have a really good time - lots of photos, climbing the Keep for a great view of Dover and looking through the onsite museum to see the history of the soldier.  Condition wise it certainly is one of the better castles I've been to.  Note - it is on a hill for obvious reasons so expect another climb to get to it however like the train station it is very central. So that's it - we picked up our bags and headed for the station.
A quick mention for the Norman Guest House for a lovely stay, great breakfast and for looking after our bags while we hiked!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds really good. Well done Uncle Ray Jamie had a terrific time and has been telling us all about it.
    We also loved our gifts.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for looking after him xxxx