Whilst Deal was fun in a kind of ‘faded English seaside town with castles’ kind of a way, we were a bit unsatisfied and it was only just early afternoon and the sun was shining.
As we drove through Dover, I saw a sign for ‘White Cliffs of Dover’ and made an executive decision.. detour time.
So we went up the steep hill past Dover Castle to see what the famous White Cliffs of Dover had to offer
The land at the top above the famous white cliffs (and maybe the cliffs themselves?) is managed by the National Trust . For a few pounds, you can park your car in plentiful car parking and then explore the cliffs. A number of walks head off over the cliff tops towards a lighthouse in the distance. We didn’t have enough time to walk that far, but theres still plenty to see.
The visitors centre at the start offers food and drink and nick knacks in the National trust tradition – we came back for coffee and cakes once we had explored.
Right in front of the visitors centre is a view of the Port of Dover – a busy ferry terminal with regular roll on roll off ferries to France and also a commercial shipping port – it’s not the prettiest place in the world but it is fascinating watching the ferries come and go and load up with people heading off to France.
I’ve done this trip many times myself – the first time was when I was 17 and a group of my fellow college friends decided on the spur of the moment to get foot passenger tickets and go to Boulogne for lunch on a beautiful Easter bank holiday Monday. That was such a long time ago, it doesn’t even feel real anymore.
The path along the white cliffs sits right at the top of the cliff and made me nervous as there really isn’t anything stopping you tripping and falling 200 feet to the bottom However, on balance I love the lack of nannying intervention and the natural uninterrupted views across the white and green landscape are significantly enhanced because of it.
Normally you can see France clearly as it is only 25 miles away, but there was a haze from the morning rain and fog, so it was hidden from view.
So we walked for a bit, marvelled at the views and soaked up the summer sunshine.
Can’t really ask for more than that.
If you’re in that part of the world and it’s a nice clear day (warm or cold) – I’d heartily recommend a visit.
Once the kids had finished photobombing me, we walked back to the visitors centre and indulged ourselves a little at the cafe before getting back in the car and driving the easy 45 minutes back up the M20 and home again.
In the end, an unexpectedly good end to what was already a pretty fun day.