White Cliffs of Dover are located near the city of Dover, in England, and are part of the coastline of the Kent County and the North Downs formation.
They are called "White Cliffs" because of their composition of chalk and black flint, making the coastline look black and white striped from afar. They reach a height of 110 meters and are listed as part of Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs Site of Special Scientific Interest and as a Special Area of Conservation.
The White Cliffs are a popular spot for tourists to take walks and enjoy the fantastic view, as the cliffs overlook the English channel and the French coast. You can also admire the amazing wildlife: indeed, the chalk grassland provides an excellent environment for many species of wild flowers, butterflies, birds and other animals.
Thanks to its tremendous landscape, the White Cliffs are also often mentioned in songs and literature. For example, William Shakespeare mentions the White Cliffs in King Lear tragedy, when the blinded and hopeless Earl of Gloucester asks to be led to the White Cliffs of Dover, hence the name given to the "Shakespeare Cliff".
Plan your visit of the White Cliffs and enjoy the beauty and magic of this iconic landmark for one day!
How to get to the White Cliffs of Dover from London?
You can take a train from London St. Pancras International train station to go to Dover. It takes a little more than one hour to reach the city with the high-speed train. A one-way ticket costs £36 per person, while it is cheaper (£15) if you choose a slower train (in that case, the journey lasts about 2 hours). Additionally, plan about 45 minutes to reach the Visitor Centre from the train station of Dover.
A bus line (operated by the company “National Express”) connects London Victoria Coach Station to Dover. The journey lasts approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, plus 30 - 45 minutes to reach the cliffs. A one-way ticket costs £12.
The car is the fastest mean of transport to reach the White Cliffs of Dover from London. The most usual way to go to the cliffs is by taking the M2 and the A2 route (it takes approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes). However, it is also possible to reach the White Cliffs by taking the M20 route (the journey lasts 10 more minutes than the first mentioned). Please note that a car park is located near the White Cliffs: it is open every day from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.
Several tours are departing daily from central London to the White Cliffs of Dover. Tours are very comfortable because they remove the hassle of planning the transportation and they often include additional sights that can be visited during the same day trip, such as the Leeds Castle or the Canterbury Cathedral. The price of the tours range between £55 and £120.
What is the ticket price to enter the White Cliffs for Dover?
The admission to the site is free of charge. The cars parked in the parking spot are charged £5 per car.
Is it worth taking a White Cliffs of Dover tour from London?
Yes! Tours are the most comfortable way to visit the White Cliffs of Dover. You will have the benefit to see the White Cliffs of Dover plus other sights nearby, making it the perfect day trip from London. You will not need to plan the journey via public transport or rent a car to drive out of London. The prices of tours are also very competitive, and they always include a licensed guide. You can choose among day trips which combine the White Cliffs of Dover with other attractions, such as:
White Cliffs of Dover + Leeds Castle - Visit this iconic castle in the city of Kent, surrounded by the River Len's lake.
White Cliffs of Dover + Canterbury - Visit the city of Canterbury and its famous cathedral, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
White Cliffs of Dover + Kent - Take a day trip and visit the White Cliffs and the iconic Kent coast.
Check and compare the offers of many tour operators to choose the best White Cliffs of Dover tour from London.
What will you see?
While visiting the White Cliffs, you'll be able to see well-known and historical places, such as:
- Dover Castle: England’s largest castle. Built during the 11th century, it is known as the “Key of England” due to its defensive stronghold status throughout history.
- Samphire Hoe Country Park: a 74-acre nature reserve that counts several types of wildflowers (such as early spider-orchids, rock sea lavenders and rock samphire) and birds (for example, peregrine falcons, stonechats and house martins).
- South Foreland Lighthouse: it was built in 1843 and it is notably known for having been the world’s first lighthouse to use an electric light in 1858, as well as the place where the first radio link transmission was made between England and France in 1899.
- Fan Bay Deep Shelter: twenty-three metres down in the cliffs you'll find a network of abandoned tunnels, where you can have a tour tunnel experience along with a professional guide. You can explore the dark tunnels with headlamps, see sound mirrors and go back in the 1940s, when these tunnels served as accommodation for the gun battery against the Nazis during World War II.
As mentioned before, a car park is located near the White Cliffs: it is open every day from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.
The White Cliff Visitor Centre is open daily from 10.00am to 5.00pm, until 5.30pm during summer holidays. However, it is closed on Christmas days (December 24thand 25th, 2019).
The Fan Bay Deep Shelter tunnel tour experience is open from Fridays to Mondays between 11.00am and 3.30pm from the end of March to the end of October.
Tickets for the Fan Bay Deep Shelter tunnel tours are sold at the tunnel entrance under the rule of “first come, first served”. There is a tour every 30 minutes throughout the day with a maximum of 12 people for each one. Please note that the last tunnel tour is at 3.00 pm each day.
- Travel lightly: carrying a small bag with only the most important items will be better for your back!
- White Cliffs of Dover include various hiking trails. That is why it is better to wear comfortable shoes and bring some water bottles.
- Go early: it will be less crowded, and you will enjoy your visit even more!
- All visitors must wear comfortable shoes or boots to do the Fan Bay Deep Shelter tunnel tour. Sandals and heeled shoes are unsuitable.