Once known as the Gateway to England, Dover Castle was one of the country’s most strategically important fortresses and was in use as a military base through WWII. Visit to immerse yourself in the castle’s centuries-long history: Take a tour of the Great Tower, accompanied by either costumed performers or lifelike holograms; walk the battlements; see an underground hospital used in WWII; and visit the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment and Queen’s Regiment Museum.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Tours of the castle’s Secret Wartime Tunnels run several times an hour and typically last for 50 minutes.
You must take a guided tour to visit the Underground Hospital.
There’s an on-site restaurant, café, tearoom, and ice cream parlor, as well as two gift shops.
Steep slopes, cobblestones, and gravel paths may be difficult to navigate for wheelchair users.
Only the ground floor of the Great Tower is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Dover Castle sits near the Port of Dover, on the southeast coast of England, and is easily accessible by both private vehicle and public transit. The closest train station is Dover Priory, and the 15, 15X, 80, 80A, and 93 buses all stop close to Dover Castle. Visitors arriving by car should follow the A2 and A258 roads. There’s free on-site parking.
When to Get There
Dover Castle is generally open from late morning until early evening in warmer months (April–October) and on weekends in colder months (November–March). Opening hours vary throughout the year, so check the schedule prior to your visit. The on-site tearoom and ice cream parlor open seasonally, while the restaurant and café are open on the same days as the castle.
Medieval English Castles
Dover Castle is the largest castle in England, but it’s not the only one worth exploring. Stop by Warwick Castle—another fortress built on the orders of William the Conqueror—for an insight into the torturous tactics of medieval England, or pay a visit to the Tower of London for a look at the Crown Jewels and Beefeaters.
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