Best known for its white cliffs made famous by the Vera Lynn song ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ in the 1940s, Dover is located on the English Channel. Once a popular seaside resort town, it is now a bustling arrival and departure point for passengers travelling by sea.
Dover is home to a majestic castle, and is a good base for exploring the medieval village of Rye, the city of Canterbury known for its grand cathedral, and the historic Sissinghurst Castle and Gardens.
Considered England’s gateway to Europe, the Port of Dover dates back to the early 17th century. It is located 122 kilometres east of Central London and just 34 kilometres west of France. It is the busiest passenger port in the world, welcoming 16 million travellers, 2.8 million passenger vehicles and 86,000 coaches every year.
The harbour is divided into 2 sections: the Eastern Docks and the Western Docks, which are set about 1 kilometre apart. The Eastern Docks are predominantly used for ferry services that run to neighbouring France, while the Western Docks are used for large ships and can accommodate up to 3 cruise ships at a time.
- Bank, ATMs and money changing facilities.
- Public telephones, tourist information and booking desks.
- Long-term car parking.
- Special needs facilities.
- A range of shops and eateries.
How To Get Around
Dover itself is compact and easy to navigate on foot. Taxis are easy to hail and major car rental companies have depots here.
The nearest train station that operates services to London is Dover Priory, which is located 2.4 kilometres from the port. A shuttle bus connects the station with the ferry terminal between 7am and 8:40pm and costs £2 each way. The National Rail’s high-speed train to London takes one hour 20 minutes with fares starting from £38.50 (AUD$70) for a day return and £77 (AUD$140) for an open return.
National Express operates coach services from Dover to London. The trip takes just over 2 hours and fares start at around £19 return (AUD$34).
Travel time to Gatwick Airport is around 45 minutes by car, and to Heathrow is around 1 hour and 45 minutes. Frequent train services operate to both airports, connecting through London.
- Currency - the currency in Dover is the Pound Sterling (GBP). Coins denominations include: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 pence; 1 and 2 pounds. Note denominations include: 5, 10, 20 and 50 pounds.
- Time Zone - Dover uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is the same as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Daylight Saving Time, used in the summer, is 1 hour ahead (UTC+1).
- Weather - average temperatures in Dover range from 17 degrees Celsius in July and August to 5 degrees Celsius in January and February. The driest month is March with an average of 46 millimetres of rainfall.
- Dover Castle - dating back to the 12th century and built by Henry II, Dover Castle is one of the oldest castles in England. Highlights include the Pharos Lighthouse (said to have been built by Romans in the 1st century), the military museum housing WWII spy equipment and the secret wartime tunnels that sit 200 feet below ground.
- The White Cliffs - world-famous, the White Cliffs of Dover are a natural wonder. Walk the Prince of Wales Pier for an excellent view, or take a 40-minute White Cliff Boat Tour that departs from the Marina. Alternatively, drive to the White Cliffs Park where you'll discover amazing views over the English Channel and the port.
- Walmer Castle - originally built by Henry VIII in 1539, Walmer Castle has been voted one of England’s best tourist attractions. Beyond the moat discover this Tudor Castle's private royal apartments, which still house the yellow chintz armchair where the Duke of Wellington died in 1852. The formal gardens include the Queen Mother's Garden, which was presented to her on her 95th birthday.
- Roman Painted House - dating back almost 2,000 years, the Roman Painted House has been dubbed ‘England's Pompeii’. This impressively preserved structure features a unique ancient under-floor heating system and award-winning bacchic murals.