Photo: Digimist

History buffs can’t miss a visit to Dover Castle. A medieval castle founded in the 12th century, it remains the largest castle in England. Dover Castle has more than 2,000 years of history from an Iron Age fort to a Roman lighthouse to a Saxon church to its current incarnation as a castle.

Nicknamed the “Key to England” for its defensive significance along the Dover coast, the castle guards the nearest landing point from mainland Europe. Climb the soaring Great Tower built by Henry II to get sweeping views across the country and spectacular views along the White Cliffs of Dover. You can experience the medieval life of King Henry II’s court in the richly bedecked tower. Walk along the battlements, and you can see France across the Straights of Dover, making the castle an emphatic declaration of England’s power.

However, don’t spend all day with your head in the clouds. Journey underground to Dover’s secret tunnels which were first built during the Middle Ages. Greatly expanded during the Napoleonic Wars to provide barracks for soldiers in the case of a French invasion, these tunnels span more than three miles. Extending down into the chalky cliffs on which Dover resides, some of these tunnels are still undiscovered! These tunnels were converted into air-raid shelters, a military command centre, and an underground hospital during WWII when the Nazis threatened to invade Britain. Tour the underground tunnels and feel the weight of history. Imagine yourself as a Dover resident scrambling to get below ground during WWII or as a 19th century soldier anxiously awaiting the invasion of Napoleon!


Castle Hill, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU
Tel: 0870 333 1181
Times: 10:00 – 18:00, Daily, April-July
9:30 – 18:00, Daily, August
10:00 – 18:00, Daily, September
10:00 – 17:00, Daily, October
10:00 – 16:00, Saturday & Sunday, November-March