Dover Castle: All You Need To Know In 5 Minutes

July 5, 2019

by Irma Vuckovic

Feature DOVER CASTLE Photo by Nilfanion on Wikimedia - Dover Castle: All You Need To Know In 5 Minutes
© Photo by Nilfanion on Wikimedia

Dover Castle in Kent is a fascinating place with a long, eventful history. Situated at the shortest sea crossing of the English Channel, it has served as one of the country’s major strategic sites from the Roman invasion to the Cold War. 

 

Dover Castle played an essential role in the Second World War. The evacuation of 338,000 soldiers from Dunkerque through the castle tunnels was coordinated without the use of technology. Also known as Operation Dynamo, this is considered to be one of the greatest rescue operations in history. 

 

Immerse yourself in England’s rich culture as you admire the classic medieval interior of Dover Castle. You are set for an enriching experience filled with fun and discovery. We present to you everything you need to know about your upcoming visit to Dover Castle. 

 

Dover Castle Main Attractions

Have fun solving puzzles and cracking codes in the escape room inspired by the castle's role in the Cold War

© Photo by Nilfanion on Wikimedia Commons

 

Roman Pharos 

Dating from around 50 AD, Roman Pharos is the oldest lighthouse in England and one of the oldest in the world. It was used to help Romans navigate from France across the English Channel.

 

Great Tower 

The Great Tower, commissioned by King Henry II, lies at the heart of Dover Castle. Admire the rich furnishings of the six main rooms, including the king’s private chamber. Don’t miss the stunning 360-degree views across the English Channel from the tower.

 

Fire Command Post 

Dover Castle served as a military headquarters during the First World War: this is where senior army officers defended the approach to Dover from the sea. The recreated fire command post tells the story of this significant time in the castle’s history. 

 

Secret Wartime Tunnels

In 1940, Dover Castle tunnels housed the command center of the Operation Dynamo. Venture inside to see where the rescue operation was masterminded. Stunning special effects, projections and authentic film footage bring this historical event to life.

 

Underground Hospital

Experience the authentic atmosphere of the Second World War hospital and its operating theater, recreated to the tiniest detail. Follow the story of an injured fighter pilot and learn about the challenges of treating injuries during the war. 

 

The Bunker Escape Room

Have fun solving puzzles and cracking codes in the escape room inspired by the castle’s role in the Cold War.

 

How To Get To Dover Castle

Dover Castle is the perfect destination for a day trip from London.

 

The drive to the castle takes around two hours. Parking on premises is free of charge, and there is also a free shuttle to the castle from the offsite parking lot.

 

Alternatively, take the train from London St. Pancras Station. It takes an hour to reach Dover Priory. You can either walk to the castle for about 30 minutes or take a taxi. 

 

 

Dover Castle Opening Hours 

Dover Castle opening hours vary depending on the season, and we recommend checking their website before your visit. 

 

Summer 2019 opening hours: 

 

Castle

Monday – Sunday

9:30 am – 6 pm

The Bunker Escape Room

Monday – Sunday

1 pm – 5 pm

 

Dover Castle Tickets And Guided Tours 

Admission prices to Dover Castle fall into two categories: with or without Gift Aid. The Gift Aid admission price includes a voluntary donation of 10%, which enables the castle to reclaim tax on the whole amount paid and thus boost their funds. 

 

Membership starts at £60 per year and gives unlimited access to over 400 historic sites across the country. 

 

Ticket type

Admission without Gift Aid

Admission with Gift Aid

Member

Free

Free

Adult

£20.90

£23.00

Child (5-17)

£12.50

£13.80

Student

£18.80

£20.70

Senior (over 65s)

£18.80

£20.70

Family (2 adults + up to 3 children)

£54.30

£59.80

 

Bunker Escape Room 

The tickets’ prices start at £14.00 per person for members and £18.00 for non-members, depending on the number of participants. Non-members who visit the escape room get a 25% discount off the admission ticket. 

 

Underground Hospital Tour 

This 20-minute tour is available for groups of 11-30 participants only. An expert English Heritage guide will accompany you through the castle tunnels and underground hospital. The tour is included in the admission price and no reservation is needed.

 

Dining Options At Dover Castle

Dover Castle has three good dining options, all focusing on homemade dishes and local ingredients

© Photo by Raphael Nogueira on Unsplash

 

Dover Castle has three good dining options, all focusing on homemade dishes and local ingredients. Each of them also offers vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free options and kids’ menus.

 

The Great Tower Cafe serves a selection of snacks, sandwiches and soups. For dessert, you can choose from a variety of cakes and scones, accompanied by cream tea. 

 

NAAFI Restaurant, once used by soldiers stationed at Dover, is a place for a more substantial meal. The restaurant offers a selection of hot lunches, sandwiches and baked goods. 

 

Secret Wartime Tunnels Tearoom is a small café inside the original Napoleonic tunnel complex. They sell snacks, sandwiches, cakes and ice cream.

 

Accommodation At Dover Castle

Dover Castle offers accommodation in the two cottages located on its grounds: the former prison Peverell’s Tower (for 1-2 guests) and the elegant Georgian Sergeant Major’s House (for up to 6 people). Both cottages require a minimum stay of 3 nights.  

 

There are several other accommodation options near the castle: the new comfortable Travelodge Dover hotel and the more traditional English Bed & Breakfast Churchill Guest House are both good choices. 

 

Popular Tourist Destinations Near Dover Castle

Canterbury is a beautiful historic city in the UK and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site

© Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

 

Head to Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery, within walking distance from the castle, to learn about the fascinating history of the area and see the remains of a large wooden 3,000-years-old boat. 

 

Canterbury, one of the most beautiful historic cities in the country and home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is only a 10-minute drive from Dover Castle. With its cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and the famous Canterbury Cathedral, it is a must-visit when you are in the area. 

 

Dover Castle – Something For Everyone

Dover Castle is the perfect place for an amazing day out in beautiful surroundings. With its 2,000 years of history, the castle has something for everyone, from history buffs to families. This unique location guarantees a day filled with activities, learning and fun, accompanied by spectacular panoramic views of the region.