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Dover Castle, Dover

4.6
#1 of 1,649 in Things to do in Kent
Perched on the edge of the equally renowned Cliffs of Dover, Dover Castle awes with its sheer size, imposing architecture, and historical significance. This 12th-century construction is the largest castle in England and towers over the modern town of Dover as well as the site of what is believed to be a former Saxon town. A network of tunnels, thought to have been constructed during the Napoleonic Wars, exists under the castle. A visit to Dover Castle represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Dover tour itinerary planner to plot your vacation.
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Dover Castle Reviews
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4,510 reviews
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4.6
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  • Before checking out the Castle we visited the underground tunnels used during the war. One lot as a war cabinet and the other as an interim hospital. Really interesting. The castle is very well preser...  more »
  • Dover castle stands high and austere on the massive chalk cliffs of Kent. It's walls are huge and can be seen from miles away. It has been a defensive site since the Iron Age and the Romans built a la...  more »
  • Dover castle is a very impressive castle with amazing views from all angles. A bonus for families with young children is to look around the castle it's not a guided tour. You just make your way around...  more »
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  • A great day out. Definitely need the whole day to explore the whole site. We came down to see the castle, not realising the WW11 weekend was on, so that was an added bonus. We did the war time tunnels tour early on and still waited 45 minutes to go in, but it was well worth it. I wouldn't want to wait longer though. The keep is huge and impressive, we especially liked the wooden floors and the way they vibrated slightly as people walked about. There are tunnels and steps and steep gradients everywhere. Great views from all sides. Impressive.
  • A great day out. Now offering yearly pay as well as monthly pay membership so it is not too expensive in one go if you want to join. Food and drink are around normal price for any tourist attraction. As I have mobility problems we phoned in advance and booked a mobility scooter as my one is not powerful enough to get up the hills. It was ready and got around the outside of the castle with ease. If you want to walk into an area just leave the scooter outside but take your key with you. To get around the war time tunnel tour you swap to a smaller scooter and swap back on exiting them. There are a few tight corners but it is possible to get around them. The only problem with the whole castle experience for disabled people is in the castle there are over 100 steps as I am not able to get up or down them I had to miss that part out but my family thoroughly enjoyed it. Even though I could not access the castle we all had a brilliant day and are looking forward to visiting other English Heritage attractions.
  • This is not directed at the castle, the gift shop or the employees associated with those branches of the castle, but rather, this unsightly 'one-star' is solely directed at the cafe. I was told because I had the misfortune of lugging a suitcase around as I couldn't leave it at the hotel that day, that I was not allowed to sit in the cafe because the suitcase was a problem. Doesn't make much sense as if a suitcase is a problem, why admit anyone to the castle in the first place? Seriously, why admit someone at all if they have a suitcase if it is such a problem? How/why is the cafe the sacred highlight of the whole area? Did his majesty build the cafe before all else back in the 12th century and I just happened to miss the sign indicating this? A bit stupid then, is it not? Is there any logic at all to this? (I doubt it, got the vibe it was more of a high-horse power-trip if anything). However, besides this issue, the castle and its employees are awesome and the gift shop employees were fantastic and helpful people. For all of you, five bright and shining stars.
  • After a long day at the white cliffs, our next destination was Dover Castle. We arrived rather late, so only had a little over an hour to explore, but as there was a special event at the tower after hours, we knew we’d have an opportunity to adventure through that area later in the day. The castle grounds are quite expansive and there are many outlying buildings within the outer walls. We started off by taking the second to last tour of the day through the war tunnels, which is a mostly automated 50 minute experience; I honestly thought the automation was gimmicky and unnecessary, I could have watched a documentary if all I wanted was voice overs and images projected on walls, the short period of time when we had our guide actually talking were much more interesting. The castle grounds stretch between buildings from different time periods and you are free to roam anywhere you like, from the oldest surviving lighthouse in the country, the Roman Pharos built around AD43, which you can actually walk into and touch, over the Anglo-Saxon church right next to it, to the great stone castle itself, which dates back to 1180. With such a strategic location, overlooking the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent, the castle has a vast and varied history, much of which has been preserved and documented. There have been settlements, forts and fortifications in this spot since the iron age! After closing time we headed straight to the great tower, which is beautifully outfitted with furnishings and decorations mimicking it’s 12th century use, with royal bed chambers, a throne room, kitchens, church rooms, schools and armories. The staff was stellar and very willing to engage in conversation about the exhibition. The tower alone is worth the entry fee, with a plethora of rooms to explore and a stunning view from the battlements. Sheep are kept as versatile lawnmowers, they were grazing outside the castle walls when we left for dinner. Dover castle is absolutely gorgeous, stuffed to the brim with history and absolutely worth a visit! 
  • We visited for the annual WW2 event held every year around this time. Plenty to do and see and being English heritage members it only cost £5 for one adult and 2 children with no carpark fee. Bargain. It's a beautiful castle for a bit of Norman conquest and medieval history but there's so much more. There were displays of German and allied firepower (small weapons as there wouldn't be room for tanks etc... go to Bovington for that), a replica Spitfire, war time entertainment, the secret tunnels, operation dynamo and the WW2 hospital. This weekend is so well worth it.

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Where to stay in Dover

Boutique hotels and guesthouses are tucked among Victorian homes in the shadow of Dover Castle. Consider lodging next to the striking white cliffs of Dover with a view over the water. Cottages and inns farther inland give access to the surrounding countryside and offer comfortable accommodations at lower prices.
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