Dover has been a permanent settlement since at least the time of the Romans, who were the first to record its presence, giving it the name Dubris. It also marked the start of Watling Street, a major Roman road. The Roman lighthouse built on the present-day site of Dover Castle is one of the oldest buildings in Britain.
Today Dover is a major port town facing into the English Channel and, at just 21 miles from the French port of Calais, it is the closest port to continental Europe on mainland Britain. It is most famous for its white chalk cliffs which have been celebrated in song.
The A2 runs north to Canterbury and on to the M2. The A20 follows the coast south to Folkestone, and the A256 heads north towards Ramsgate, Broadstairs and Margate.
National Express operates a regular coach service (number 007) to&from Dover Eastern Docks and Pencester Road, to London Victoria Coach Station. It has intermediate stops at Canterbury, some north Kent towns, and local stops in south-east London. It's much cheaper than the train service.
By trainThe only remaining station is Dover Priory, which is west of the central shopping area, and about a walk from the Eastern Docks.
Fare and timetable information is available from South East Trains, tel. +44 8457 484950.
Due to its proximity to continental Europe, Dover is one of the busiest cross-Channel ports in the UK, with 18 million passengers passing through its gates every year. Regular ferry services operate to Dover from Calais and Dunkirk.
The ferry between France and Dover costs €13-22 each way if on foot or bicycle, and around £90 for a car, although big discounts are available if booked in advance or with special offers. P&O Ferries operate to and from Calais while DFDS Seaways sails from Calais and Dunkirk.
Other routes are present within the UK (and might be cheaper).
Stagecoach East Kent are the main bus operator in the Dover area. Maps, timetables and fare information are available on their website. Stagecoach run both urban, rural and inter-urban local buses, including regular buses to Deal, Folkestone, Canterbury and further afield.
By footDover is small enough that much of it can reasonably be explored on foot. The main shops are in King Street, Cannon Street and Biggin Street.
phone: +44 1304 211067address: Castle Hill, CT16 1HUKnown as the "Key to England", the castle has 2,000 years of history contained within its walls, including a Roman lighthouse, a Saxon church and a Norman keep. Below ground a series of casements and tunnels have been dug into the chalk. From these tunnels Operation Dynamo (the Dunkirk evacuation) was planned.
Battle of Britain MemorialA very touching memorial dedicated to the men who fought and died in Britain's most desperate hour. Vintage airplanes are also on display.
Roman Painted HouseWell-preserved ruins of a Roman townhouse that includes a hypocaust heating system and mosaic fragments.
phone: +44 1304 202756address: Langdon Cliffs, Upper Road, CT16 1HJ
phone: +44 1304 852463address: The Front, St Margaret's Bay, CT15 6HP
Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat GalleryIncludes a 3,500-year-old wooden boat that was found preserved in mud.
Grand ShaftTriple staircase constructed in Napoleonic times to enable quick troop movements between Townwall Street and the abandoned Western Heights fortifications.
- Walk the scenic North Downs Way, a walking trail that follows the low hills that run alongside the coast
Country pubs nearby:
phone: +44 1303 862026address: Canterbury Road, EtchinghillA 16th-century coaching inn, country pub and very popular restaurant a short drive from Dover (junction 12, M20). Fantastic reputation for fine cuisine, open seven days a week for lunches and evening meals. Terrific food, real ale, oak beams & cosy atmosphere.
Curry Garden Restaurantaddress: 24 High StreetDover's oldest Indian cuisine, on the main high street, close to the town hall. A take-away menu is available, offering 10% discount on all orders over £15 collected from the premises. Great special take away offer of 1/2-price take away, every 2nd Sunday of each month, on cash and collect orders only. Good selection of dishes on the menu.
Marine Court Brewers Fayreaddress: Marine courtOn Dover's seafront with views of Dover. Modern pub food.
address: Crabble AvenueThe Cricketers is a friendly village pub catering for all ages, in the village of River, opposite the crabble cricket and rugby pitches. It is the home of home of Dover Football Club. The Cricketers has been an important focal point for the community for over 100 years.
phone: +44 1304 203907address: Clarence Place Western Docks CT17 9DQGreat Dover pub food: sandwiches, jackets and snacks - all freshly prepared to order.
- Ramada Hotel, Singledge Rd, Dover, 4 star, 10 minutes from ferry port
address: 1 Castle StreetPleasant B&B at the foot of the castle. Limited off-street parking available.
- St Margaret's Bay is just a few miles east towards Deal. This bay breaks up the white cliffs with a small hillside village, a scenic beach, lots of parking and some eateries (including the Coastguard Pub, the closest pub to the continent). On a nice day, the afternoon sun lights up the white cliffs on the French side of the channel quite clearly.