Sunday, November 4, 2012

White Cliffs of Dover...

"There'll be bluebirds over, The White Cliffs of Dover Tomorrow... Just you wait and see"

As a history nerd and a lover for travel, I've always wanted to see the White Cliffs of Dover. Yesterday, I finally had a chance to do so!

It was my first day-trip outside of London as I left early morning and got back around 8pm. Nicole joined me for the excursion to the southern most tip of England/closest to the continent.  We took off from London Victoria for a two hour journey through the English countryside, arriving in Dover around 10:30am.  We decided to do the cliffs before lunch with the rest of the town and the Castle post lunch.

Grabbing a quick bus ride, we came to the base of the first of many footpaths of the day. In England, for those of you who don't know, there are tons of public footpaths throughout the countryside. Designed to showcase the history and landscapes of the UK, they often run along coasts, through farmlands, cities, you name it. It's an awesome way to get to see a lot more than on a coach.  Starting at the base of the cliff, we worked our way up to the start of the National Trust site. While there is a brief 10-minute overview walk, Nicole and I kept venturing for the final destination: the lighthouse.

White Cliffs of Dover

 Looking into Dover Port

Start of the Public Footpath

Along the journey to the lighthouse, it was a bit muddy post rain showers the day before, but it took us over old farmlands as well as old stone remains from houses. Thankfully, the rain held off while we were there, and we were able to see the coast of France in the distance. From Dover, it is about 20-22 miles from France. Next time I go, I will have to bring my passport to take the fairy back and forth. I've gone in the Chunnel from taking the Eurostar to Belgium, but taking the boat on the Channel needs to happen in the future!

just hanging out...

France is right below the clouds 

Upon arriving to the lighthouse, we had a nice cream tea to refresh from the almost three hour hiking journey. The tea room included photos of those who work there- old family members, as well as photos of those who used to work the lighthouse. 


Post tea and scones with clotted cream (yum!), we took a public footpath that led us to one of the main roads that runs into Dover. Taking the scenic route of farmlands/cluster of houses with the Channel to the other side allowed us to see more of the countryside.

Arriving back into the town centre, Dover Castle was next! Because we spent a lot of time walking the cliffs and the countryside, we really only had time to do one of the many tours offered at the castle. Thus, we chose to do the Wartime Tunnels from World War II on how they were used for the Battle of Dunkirk.  I've done a lot of tours on the UK in WWII as well as how other countries handled the war, fought, etc. (Poland trip in 2010), but this has to be one of the best I've done. The exhibits are built into the actual tunnels, carvings are still on the wall from the soldiers that were stationed there, and the experience of a blackout was amazing.  It's worth the money to do it. I couldn't take any photos inside, but here's one on the outside!

Entrance to Wartime Tunnels

Nicole and I arrived back at the train station exhausted this evening. It was a jam-packed day, but worth it! I know I'll be taking other day trips and trips before visiting Dover again. Yet, I will go back as you can clearly spend more than one day in the town, and may still not see it all!

Have you ever been to Dover? Stay tuned for my travel trips there!