White Cliffs, a picnic, and a glass of Pimm’s are all you need to enjoy a day trip to Dover. Whether you are living in London or just planning a trip to the UK, a visit to Dover and the White Cliffs is a must!
Getting to Dover
Getting to Dover from London is easy. Trains run out of Charing Cross, Victoria, or St. Pancras Station and can take one hour on the high speed while the regular train will take two hours. If you are planning on doing a few trips by train while in the UK, it’s worth getting a railcard because it will save you on all rail fares. Jugo and I bought the two together railcard which cost £30 for a year membership and discounts prices by 1/3. Our round trip to Dover Priory cost only £24.60 when we booked through Trainline.
Dover is a coastal town in the South-Eastern part of the UK, rich in history and stands across the English Channel from Calais, France. In the town, you can see Dover Castle. We decided not to visit since a single ticket cost £19.40 and we’ve already seen our fair share of castles. To get to the White Cliff trails, you can walk along the waterfront. There are signs all over the town that will direct you to the trails. If you don’t mind rocky beaches, this is a great spot for some swimming. If you are interested in visiting Calais, France, take the ferry at Dover. The price starts at £39 for a one-way ticket.
There are a few different routes to take for Hiking Trips at The White Cliffs which include:
- A 20-minute walk to the viewpoint
- A 40-minute walk to the Fan Bay Deep Shelter which is a series of tunnels used during WWII. It takes about 45 minutes to go through the tunnel and cost £10 for an adult ticket.
- 50-minute walk to the South Foreland Lighthouse and Mrs. Knott’s tearoom
If you like going on hiking trips, you should also check out the Quirang on The Isle of Skye in Scotland.
A Picnic On Dover’s White Cliffs
The trail we took involves a 50-minute walk to the lighthouse. All along the path, there are amazing views and fantastic spots for your picnic. We kept things simple bringing a mix of cheeses, salami, tomatoes, hummus, bell peppers and some naan bread to eat.
The South Foreland Lighthouse
After walking for about 50 minutes, you will get to the lighthouse. This lighthouse is part of the National Trust which is an organization that’s dedicated to preserving the nation’s heritage and looking after special places. There has been a lighthouse on the White Cliffs since 1300’s. Presently, the lighthouse that stands is a Victorian style built in 1846 which the Knott family has served as keepers for five generations. If you like history, guided tours are available for £6 at the lighthouse.
Mrs. Knott’s Tearoom
As if we weren’t stuffed enough from our picnic, we went in search of dessert by visiting Mrs. Knott’s tearoom at the lighthouse. There you will find tasty cakes, scones, soups and sandwiches to go along with your pot of tea or coffee. Also, it’s a quirky tearoom that has 1950’s style to it with music to match. If it’s a nice day, there’s plenty of picnic tables outside in addition to the lounge chairs to soak up some rays while you snack and relax.
Ending the Day in Dover
On the way back, we really wanted to unleash our inner photographer and did our best to capture the stunning views of the White Cliffs. Interesting enough, at the end of the trail we discovered ponies! To wrap up our day, we thought it was only fitting to sit out in the sun and have a jug of Pimm’s. Pimm’s is a very popular English drink during the summer. It’s similar to a Sangria using garnishes like apples, oranges, lemons, strawberry, and mint yet has gin instead of wine.
Dover is the kind of place you go to when you need to escape the city, breathe some fresh air and be in nature. It’s the perfect London day trip! You can easily imagine what it must have been like sailing into Dover and seeing those white cliffs hundreds of years ago. We had a blast there and so far, it’s been the highlight of our time in the UK.
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