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Delights of Dover Castle

Delights of Dover Castle

A fantastic outing for all the family

Tucked away around the corner of Dover port, we wound our way up steep Castle Hill in the car and when we reached the entrance to Dover Castle, we were firstly overwhelmed with the stunning views.

Panoramic vistas stretch all over the North Downs and Kentish shoreline, including the Western Heights and we were lucky to have a clear day so we could pick out glimmers of France on the horizon.

Perched above the famous White Cliffs of Dover, Dover castle is an iconic landmark on the English coastline and was built in 1066 and there really are historical treats for everyone.

I had gone with a tour of the WWII tunnels in mind, but the historical points of interest range from Roman, to Medieval and onto WWII.

Slightly apprehensive about how engaged my six year old would be in the war tunnels, I need not have feared.

The secret wartime tunnels were worth the short wait, as we walked within the White Cliffs of Dover with state-of-the-art, special effects and real film footage bringing to life the dramatic rescue of the British Army from the beaches of Dunkirk.

A real highlight was the tour of the underground hospital in another set of tunnels, which follows an injured RAF pilot who is treated on the operating theatre.

There are bunk rooms which replicate the accommodation the soldiers would have had, and a life-like kitchen. With voices telling the story, smells, sounds, pictures and noises, this was a really vivid and amazing experience for the kids, who were transfixed with the implements used to operate on wounded soldiers.

We also enjoyed time at the Fire Command Post, which was unveiled in 2015, which tells the story of Dover’s positioning as a military headquarter and you can even have a go at communicating in Morse code!

A trip to Dover Castle is definitely a good way to up your step count for the day, and after we had done the tours of the tunnels, we then made our way over to the Roman and Saxon part where we saw the oldest surviving lighthouse in the country. It was once used to help with navigation in Roman times across the English Channel from France.

There is also the Anglo-Saxon Church of St Mary in Castro.

A walk around the battlements and a quick glance in the medieval kitchens, and my six year old was running out of steam.

But we will definitely be back to do a tour of the Great Tower with its medieval interiors and links to Henry II.

Dover Castle really offers a full day’s worth of historical treasures, and its spacious and organised layout makes it a pleasure to experience, not to mention it’s breathtaking views and fresh sea air from the Channel.