Tuesday, 12 August 2014

You're Allowed to be a Tourist: Visiting Dover

A few weeks back I had some time off work and Steph and I decided to take a trip somewhere. After much debate, we finally agreed that Dover was going to be our lucky destination.  When I mentioned to a few people (mostly English) that we were heading to Dover for a couple of days, I got the same look of mixed perplex and disgust as they spit out, "But why?"!
Short answer; "Because I haven't been yet." I had yet to see the White Cliffs of Dover and it had made it's way onto my list of things to do and see before leaving England. I knew it wasn't going to be grand, or to effect me in someway once I had my first glimpse, but it is just one of those things you have to do. It's the Niagara Falls of England. Have to see them at least once in your life and once you do, you're good.  
It has also been suggested that we should avoid Dover all together and stay at one of the more charming neighbouring towns where you could see the cliffs but not have to spend any time in Dover. To that I said, "I'm allowed to be a tourist!" Not everything has to be incredibly quaint with English charm, sometimes when it's not, that's when adventures happen.



We were greeted at our charmingly outdated B&B, decorated by your grandmother back in 1985, by a nice hotelier and quickly left again to see the sights. First we booked a combo boat and bus tour of Dover. We didn't actually leave the outer harbour to view the cliffs, but for £25 I wasn't complaining. 













Captain Alfie (that's what we had christened him) then became our bus driver where he took us up to the Western Heights. We got a taste of the views of the harbour and we encountered our first military bunkers. These ones were first built to protect the vulnerable Dover Harbour from Napoleonic period up to WWII. 







Next stop was the National Trust's Visitors Centre where we took a brisk walk along a path to get nice and close to the cliffs themselves. I would have loved to have visited the South Foreland Lighthouse, but time did not permit us on this day.



That hazy line in the middle ground over the water is the pollution of France.





The last stop on our quick tour was the best one. Dover Castle. Run by English Heritage (members go free!) and at £19.30 a ticket you certainly get a lot for your pound. We spent hours here investigating almost every nook and cranny. The history of this complex spans from Henry the II to Operation Dynamo. The war tunnels were interpreted amazingly and definitely the best part of the day. Education is fun!












All in all, I give Dover a thumbs up. But now that I've seen it, I'm good.




Fun travels!

2 comments:

  1. Steph O'KaneAugust 13, 2014

    People of England: There is so much fun right here in your own country! Medieval tunnels? Roman light houses? Boat rides? Beautiful natural sites like the cliffs? Make our own adventures and explore the world, it's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete

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