Dover

Dover is one of the busiest passenger ports in the entire world, and there are distinct reasons why this is the case. The Strait of Dover is ideally located on the southern tip of England, making it the closest land point connecting the United Kingdom to the rest of Europe. For centuries, the port at Dover has been the gateway from Britain to France, Belgium, and the rest of the European continent.

During World War II, Dover endured ruthless attacks by enemy bombings, and the city suffered greatly. The war left the city in a state of disarray, and the city center reeled from the postwar effects for decades, but it has returned to its prewar glory. The scenery remains breathtaking, and the haunting war atmosphere that still lingers to a degree adds a certain excitement to the city, making it all the more mysterious and interesting.

The Strait of Dover is magnificently beautiful, as is the city itself. Of course we have all heard songs and tales of the White Cliffs of Dover, but to really appreciate what that truly means, one must visit Dover and see it with their own eyes. The marvelous Dover Castle can be found here; many of France's inhabitants make the trip across the English Channel annually to see the glorious medieval architecture.

Docking & Local Transportation

Cruise ships dock at the Harbour House Cruise Terminal located in the city of Dover. From there, you can easily explore this small and historic coastal town on foot, or arrange for ground and rail transportation to take you to destinations in London and other surrounding areas.

Dover is a very small town, and you'll find that walking will get you nearly everywhere you need to go. Taxis are available, however. Contact Central Taxis (01304/204040) if you need a ride.

Local Interests

The Lions Club of Dover, located at 13 Rokesley Rd. (01304/820082), not only serves the small, close-knit local community of Dover well, but the club is a great tourist attraction, as well, and travelers from anywhere in the world are welcome at the club to learn more about the history of Dover and its fame as a world-renowned port of call.

Being just about the busiest port in all of Europe, a favorite activity of both locals and tourists is watching the ships travel to and from the Dover Strait. Often, land-starved sailors dock and walk ashore, the only land that their feet will touch for weeks. It is altogether a quite interesting and pleasurable experience.

The Dover Castle was once the mightiest castle in all of Western Europe. It sits amongst the majestic White Cliffs of Dover. The castle is an architectural marvel; an edifice of historical and monumental proportion. The majority of the castle dates back to Norman times, when Henry II began construction in 1181. However, additions have been made every century since, so it is truly a historical masterpiece that spans many generations. The Secret Wartime Tunnels are great fun to explore. These tunnels were used during medieval war periods as escape routes, and were utilized in times of upheaval for centuries after. The Dover Castle is located on Castle Rd. To obtain tour information call (01304/211067, www.english-heritage.org.uk).

Dover's town hall, featuring Maison Dieu, was constructed in 1203 to serve as a temporary residence for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury. Inside the hall you can see a fabulous collection of flags and armor, and learn the entire history of Dover through the stories told on the stained glass windows. Maison Dieu (01304/201200) is free of admission, and is located on Biggin St.

Activities

Dining

St. Albans, located at 71 Folkestone Rd., has the tastiest food in town. Featuring hearty breakfasts and a great lunch menu, St. Albans (01304/206308) is the best place to eat in Dover. The snack menu has a number of delicious treats, and you get a complimentary bottle of beer any time you order a snack!