Find out about the top things to do in Dover and beyond, including the epic scenery and beautiful beaches in White Cliffs Country in Kent.
Just a short journey from London lies White Cliffs country. I’m talking about the towns of Dover, Deal and Sandwich with their endless beautiful views, tonnes of history, outdoor adventure activities, delicious restaurants…oh and some gardens owned by the stars of Gogglebox! So why should YOU visit?
Reasons To Visit White Cliffs Country
1. Enjoy The Spectacular Scenery
Views in the UK don’t get more magical than that famous view of the white cliffs of Dover! Over 300 ft high and made from chalk, they’re something you need to see to truly appreciate! With miles of coastal paths running along the top, it’s a great place if (like me) you love the great outdoors.
Just along the coast from Dover is the cute seaside town of Deal – a place I have lovely memories of visiting with my Dad when I was little! With its huge pebble beach, quaint high street, colourful seafront and 1000 ft pier, it has a real feel of ye-olde-England!
And for a different type of beauty, head to the lush Secret Gardens at The Salutation in Sandwich. Landscaped to perfection, the gardens are full of colourful flowers. It’s a peaceful place to spend an afternoon… oh and it also happens to be home to Steph and Dom from Gogglebox! After a wander around the gardens, pop to the Kentish tearooms for a homemade cream tea.
2. Explore The History
One of the big things to do in Dover is explore the town’s history. For years, Dover was seen as the gateway to the UK, which certified its importance in British history.
With over 2000 years of history, Dover Castle is the place to go to learn the stories behind Roman invasions, medieval life, wartime events and plenty more. Be sure to climb the Great Tower for a glimpse into a medieval palace like no other, then head down to the Secret Wartime Tunnels where the evacuation of Dunkirk was masterminded.
Imagine this… you’re working on the construction of the A20 between Dover and Folkestone and you come across a well-preserved ancient boat! The Bronze Age boat was recovered, reassembled and found to be around 3500 years old. Pretty incredible, and these days you can visit it at the Dover Museum.
While that’s already tonnes to satisfy any history buff, you can also take a tour of Sandwich Guildhall. Built during the reign of Elizabeth I, the tour includes a visit to the ancient Court Room and Council Chamber and plenty of ancient artefacts dating back to the 13th century.
3. Venture Out To Try Some Activities And Sightseeing
As this part of the country is so beautiful, it would be silly to stay indoors! One of the most fun ways to see the region is on an adrenaline-filled RIB speedboat with Dover Sea Safari. For nature lovers, they also offer tours to see a secret seal colony… how cute!
While the region is absolutely perfect for walkers and hikers… one of the most popular ways to see it is on two wheels. Follow the Cliffs and Castle Route from Deal to Sandwich or explore the beautiful slopes of the North Downs landscape between Deal and Shepherdswell on The Miner’s Way Cycle Trail.
4. Eat Lots Of Delicious Local Food
One of the best things to do in Dover? Eat!
When it comes to food, there’s more to this region than Dover’s sole and Sandwich’s…err… sandwich! The restaurant industry is booming in Kent and there are plenty of independent restaurants in Dover, Deal and Sandwich.
Hythe Bay in Dover is one of the top restaurants for delicious seafood with a view. Located right on the seafront, their Cajun prawns and roast salmon are guaranteed to make you salivate! For gourmet food made from local produce, head to The Allotment in Dover. Along with roasted Dungeness mackerel and a Dover Twist on fish and chips, they have a really comprehensive vegetarian menu.
For sophisticated cooking, Victuals & Co in Deal is the place to go! One of my favourite things about Victuals is their very reasonably priced “Raid The Larder” menu (£21 for 3 courses) where they create dishes using their stock ingredients. Meanwhile food is always served with a smile at 81 Beach Street! This friendly restaurant offers one of the best Sunday lunches in the area.
Sandwich has more to offer than ingredients stuffed between two slices of bread. Once you explore the winding historic streets you’ll find plenty of cute places to stop for a bite to eat.
For delicious Italian food head to family-run Luigis, or for something a bit different, check out Elizavet – the town’s Greek restaurant. Time it right and you’ll get to experience more than just the food, as the restaurant hosts their special Greek night with belly dancers, live band and, of course, some plate smashing!
5. Experience Some Of Dover’s Special Events
From carnivals and regattas to historical re-enactments and fireworks, there’s plenty going on in White Cliffs Country!
Every September, one of the most impressive forts in Britain hosts an Open Weekend. Head to Dover’s Western Heights for military re-enactments and a chance to peek inside the forts themselves.
Deal is home to both a great music and arts festival and a carnival and regatta in July. The town buzzes with live music, a colourful carnival, beautiful fireworks and of course, there’s plenty of action out on the water too.
For something quirky, head to Deal Braderie on 18th September. Deal’s adorable high street will be full of stalls selling vintage clothing, jewellery, books and antiques!
And if you’re a foodie like me, you’ll want to visit Sandwich for one of their many foodie festivals…
During Le Weekend in June, Sandwich plays host to an authentic Normandy market, classic cars and music, while Sandwich Folk and Ale Festival in July draws some great acts. Then towards the end of August, get ready for the annual Sandwich Festival. It features jazz concerts, a carnival, Italian market and a stunning Illuminated boat parade!
For more top tips on things to do in Dover and White Cliffs Country, click here and check out what’s happening across Kent here.
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27 thoughts on “Things To Do If You’re Visiting The White Cliffs Of Dover”
Great post Chloe 🙂 I’m also trying to see more of the UK this year! I feel like we have such a beautiful country but I’ve just not seen enough of it! My sister even lived in Dover a few years ago but I still never managed to visit. Looks gorgeous – I definitely need to make it that way soon 🙂
Thanks Emily! Oh I know – it feels like there are endless places to explore! I hope you make it to Dover soon – it’s a lovely part of the country!
A very comprehensive post about the White Cliffs Country, amazing greenery, wonderful scenery all inviting for a visit
Thanks! It’s lovely isn’t it? Glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you can visit soon.
I often visit friends in Folkestone and can see the White Cliffs of Dover, but haven’t been into the towns next to them. Will have to check them out. Wish I was around for the Sandwich Festival
Folkestone is lovely too – I was there a few months ago on a really sunny day! Hope you make it down there soon 🙂
The View from the White Cliffs looks awesome. I love the Gardens, the speedboat safari. It looks like a gorgeous place to visit.
Thanks Soumya! Glad you enjoyed the views – so many great places to see in England!
You’re making me want to go back to England with this post! I never got to see the White Cliffs of Dover up close, and that little seaside town is too cute for words!
It really is adorable!! Such a picturesque part of the country. Where are you based?
I’m based in Seattle. Heading to Europe soon though! I haven’t decided where… :/
Looks like such a lovely area and really love the photo of the white cliffs of Dover. I haven’t seen the UK other than London but hope to see more.
Thanks for reading! Yes there’s so much more to the UK than London. Hopefully you’ll get the chance to see more next time you visit!
This is a great post Chloe! The UK is so diverse with each county offering something unique. We’ve just done a road trip in Cornwall and hoping to explore more of Wales before autumn is here. 🙂 Will definitely explore more of Kent on our next trip to mainland Europe – it looks fantastic!
Ah wow – I love Cornwall too. So stunning down there. Glad I’ve inspired you to see some of Kent. It’s well worth the trip if you can find time 🙂
I still have to make my way vising the East of the UK. I live in the South West, on the coast and I simply adore the English countryside.
Ah yes it’s totally beautiful! Lots of places to explore here…
Sigh..another reason why l want to move to the UK 🙂 . This looks lovely. We really need to start exploring more when we visit. We seem to keep discovering new things in London and never venture out 😉 . Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for reading! And yes you should definitely find an opportunity to come back and explore some more…starting with Kent 🙂
I love those cliffs! Whenever I see pictures like this it always reminds me that I need to explore more in the UK (especially now that the GBP is a bit more available…). Great guide – will definitely bookmark it for when I go!
Oh yes definitely!! Thanks 🙂 I hope you enjoy it if you make it over 🙂
Oh wow so exciting Tracie – I hope you make it to Dover soon! It’s certainly worth a visit!
I spent almost 6 months in the UK with my family but did not make it to the White Cliffs Country, will have to visit again and go!
Ahh what better reason to return Brenda?! Cx
I have been to these side of the country side and what a beauty it is! If I could I would go every weekend. Just such a beautiful place to hike, providing the weather is also playing ball.
There are so many beautiful places to visit in this country but this is definitely one of the top ones – esp when it comes to natural wonders! Fingers crossed you have the chance to see it for yourself!
Oooh ok! Well let me know if you make it here!