Historic DOVER is 66 minutes by train from London, is full of history and already gets 58 million tourists a year. It has England’s oldest castle as well as the white cliffs. Its position alone sets itself to be the best place to leave or stop for the Fjords, Baltics or the Canary’s not least a UK coastal cruise. However simple searches online reveal so little about it. Dover is possibly more like the cruise ports you visit abroad. An enclosed harbour that can facilitate many ships and you may see more than one ship in at any one time, in fact, Dover is Britain’s second busiest cruise port!
Whilst many will go to London as it is such an easy trip, and London has endless sights to see, Dover has a few things that make it different – one is special – the Safari Park !!!
- Port Lympne Safari Park – 17 miles away, about 25 minutes.****
- Dover Museum
- White Cliffs and Langdon Bay a protected area with great views of the cliffs.
- Samphire Hoe Country Park – walk and picnic on a park created by the Channel Tunnel
- Western Heights with views of France on a clear day
- Blériot Memorial – the place of the crash of the first cross channel flight, it is just a stone memorial.
- South Foreland Lighthouse – a Victorian lighthouse on the cliffs
- Dover Castle with its secret wartime tunnels ****
The big winners for us are the quaint town of Dover itself, the Safari Park or the Castle. There is so much history to the castle. Here is their web site.
Dover and the neighbouring lands like Hastings were at the centre of the war for power. The royal families of France and England fault and married to gain the lands. Hastings battle of 1066 saw William the Conqueror become the first Norman king of England. William was the son of the Duke of Normandy. His son Henry ruled Anjou and his mother ruled Normandy. Their son Henry inherited both and married Eleanor of Aquitaine, gaining her lands. When his uncle died in a shipwreck she became heir to the English throne and took it. By 1154, Henry was King of England and the most powerful lord in France but his wife Eleanor took off and a civil war erupted as sons Young Henry, Richard and Geoffrey tried to seize Normandy.
Richard was the one who went on a crusade, see the wonderful films we have of Malta and the Greek islands and the crusader castles and hospitals. Another brother John was left behind but was not much of a fighter. He had the barons rebelling against him and the French attacking the castle. Let’s just say the area and the castle has a lot of history.
Dover is used by 0ver 20 cruise lines and has 200,000 cruise passengers a year. Information on cruise parking is here.
Here are some of the cruise ships that use DOVER
Departing from DOVER are
- Pacific Princess
- Seabourn Quest
- Saga Sapphire
- Sea Princess
- Spirit of Discovery – Saga’s exciting new ship
- Disney Magic –
Ships that stop at DOVER include
- Celebrity Reflection
- ms Rotterdam
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Oceana Marina
- Viking Sun
- Viking Sea
- Viking Jupiter
- ms Europa
- Phoenix Artania
- Phoenix Amera
- Costa Mediterranea
- Costa Pacifica
Without a doubt the best excursion from Dover is the Safi Park – seriously a proper safari park!