DOVER CASTLE lies on England’s Channel coast, on the east side of the town off the A2 road to Canterbury. Trains serving Dover run regularly from London’s Charing Cross Station. The port of Dover is one of the five Channel ports known as the ‘Cinque Ports’, which were responsible for defending England from invasion during the Middle Ages.
The castle is open daily from April through October, from 10 am to 6 pm (dusk in October), and from November through March, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission costs £6.60 for adults, £3.30 for children, and £5 for seniors. Family tickets, good for two adults and three children, cost £16.50. Tel: 01304 201628.
ACCOMMODATION: The Woodville Hall has been named the best small hotel in Kent by the Welcome to Kent Scheme. It was built in 1820 as a home for Henry Colman, of Colman’s Mustard fame, and rests in a 40-acre secluded park. Suites are available from £95. Tel: 01304 825256. St. Brelades Guest House, another award-winning hotel in town, offers bed and breakfast from only £18 per person. Tel: 01304 211486. Owler Lodge Guest House, in the village of Alkham, is ideally located for travellers taking in nearby attractions in Canterbury, Sandwich, Deal, or Folkestone, in addition to Dover. Double rooms start at £42 for bed and breakfast. Tel: 01304 826375.
NEARBY: Not far from Dover Castle stand two well-preserved examples of Tudor-era coastal forts. Deal Castle, about six miles north-east of Dover, was built by order of Henry VIII and once housed 119 cannon in its semi-circular bastions. The castle is open daily from April through October, 10 am to 6 pm, and on Wednesday to Sunday from November through March, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission costs £3 for adults, £1.50 for children, and £2.30 for seniors. Tel: 01304 372762.
Walmer Castle, a sister fort to Deal standing only a mile to the south, is still the official residence of the Wardens of the Cinque Ports, among whom were the Duke of Wellington and Winston Churchill. (The Queen Mother holds the honourary position today, and sometimes visits the castle.) Walmer Castle is open daily from April through October, 10 am to 6 pm, and on Wednesday to Sunday from November through March, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission costs £4 for adults, £2 for children, and £3 for seniors. Tel: 01304 364288. Both properties are in the care of English Heritage.