‘The Lock and Key of England’, as Dover is sometimes known, has always played a significant part in British history, thanks in large part to its proximity to the continent. It was at Dover that Julius Caesar began his conquest of Britain in 55BC; William the Conqueror led his Normans through Dover in 1066; and it was a prime target for the intended invading forces of both Napoleon and Adolf Hitler. It was to Dover that many boats brought British troops during the 1940 Dunkirk Evacuation and it was in Dover’s skies that much of the Battle of Britain took place.

Famous for its White Cliffs, which overlook the English Channel, Dover is perhaps best known nowadays as home to the busiest passenger ferry terminal in the world – and passenger and freight shipping still play important parts in the local economy. Just minutes from the Kent countryside, however, Dover also serves as a gateway to the stunning countryside of the Garden of England.


Dover and its environs host many interesting landmarks, from the site where Louis Bleriot completed the first aircraft crossing of the Channel, to the old Town Gates, to the haunted Maison Dieu Town Hall, to the harbour, marina and seafront. The Dover Museum and the Dover Transport Museum provide more specific visitor attractions.

However, Dover’s military history dominates the landscape. Without doubt foremost among the military monuments is Dover Castle, which was built under orders from William the Conqueror after the death of Edward the Confessor. Also of interested are the Admiral’s Turret, the fortified Western Heights, and Fort Burgoyne, which lies to the north-east of the town.

Outside of Dover, one can walk along the famous White Cliffs or relax on some of Britain’s better beaches. Dover is also surrounded by the magnificent rural countryside of Kent, whose landscape is punctuated by a number of interesting castles, as well as pretty towns like Deal, Sandwich, and, of course, Canterbury.


Dover has the usual range of shops that one would expect from any mid-sized British town. If one is looking for local arts and crafts, though, perhaps better than Dover is nearby Deal, a small town that has for years inspired many artists and other manufacturers of commemorative trinkets.

Furthermore, Dover also serves as the prime starting point for renowned 'Booze Cruises' to Calais, in France, where people go to by alcohol for personal consumption from cheaper French supermarkets.

Nightlife and Eating Out

By day, Dover has much to commend it. However, after nightfall Dover takes on the characteristics one might expect of a seafaring community hardened by years of involvement in nearly every British conflict in history: that is, rough, ready and not especially classy! Exceptions are The Eagle Inn and The Gold Lion. Snoops is the local and typically sweaty nightclub.

With regard to food, Dover has all of the usual suspects, but, being on the coast, seafood is what one should try. The cosy Cullins Yard, on the seafront, is arguably the best seafood restaurant in town.

Tourist Information

Dover Tourist Information CentreTownwall Street,Dover, Kent,CT16 1JRTel. 01304 205108Fax. 01304


London Gatwick, which is about one and a half hour’s drive from Dover, is the nearest major international airport.

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