The White Cliffs of Dover

Dover to Deal

Dover to Deal coastal 10.5 miles / 16.9km
Dover to Walmer coastal &  inland 9.1 miles / 14.6km

 

HIGHLIGHTS

Dover Castle  l Views to France l White Cliffs of Dover  l  Fan Bay Deep Shelter l South Foreland Lighthouse l St Margaret’s Bay l Kingsdown Beach l Walmer Castle l Deal

Introduction

This is a stunning, quintessentially English walk. Starting in the port town of Dover, the route ascends to the top of the White Cliffs with great views of Dover port and the castle. You can easily see France on a clear day and your phone will often tell you that you are there! The path descends to St Margaret’s Bay , great for refreshments and a swim. Then it’s up on the cliffs again along to Kingsdown (another pub) and the bustling old fishing town of Deal – a great place for independent shops, food and drink.

Directions overview

The route goes through Dover town to the harbour and steeply up the cliffs behind the port. The terrain is dry and chalky and there are often a lot of people here. It is advised to stay away from the edge as the cliffs are eroding and it’s a long drop! The path descends gradually to St Margaret’s Bay with its pebbled beach and then steeply up again, until you come back down to sea level at Kingsdown and follow a flat coastal path into Deal.

Route details

Start Dover Priory Station South Eastern Railway
End Deal Station South Eastern Railway
OS Route  WALKING POST Dover to Deal
Difficulty Moderate
Length 10.5 miles (17km)
Average time 5-6 hours
Total ascent 975ft

Exmoor ponies overlooking the Port of Dover

View of the White Cliffs

St Margaret's Bay

Flowers on the beach at Kingsdown

View from Deal Pier

Fishing boats at Deal

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WHY NOT TRY

By Car

You can park at the White Cliffs Visitor Centre to avoid the long climb up to the top of the cliffs. There is also parking at St Margaret’s Bay, at Kingsdown and Walmer beaches and in Deal town.

Walk variation 9.1 miles
For a slightly shorter walk including plenty of lovely East Kent countryside, try our Dover to Walmer walk

TRANSPORT

Dover Priory, Deal and Walmer all have fast trains to St Pancras run by South Eastern and slower usually cheaper trains to London Charing Cross.

TOILET OPPORTUNITIES

Pretty good! 
Dover  Public toilets at Dover Station, Marine Parade, White Cliffs Visitor Centre
St Margaret’s Bay Public toilets plus The Coastguard pub for customers. 
Walmer Public toilets on seafront
Deal  Public toilets on pier and at station plus many pubs and cafés

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ALONG THE WAY

Dover Castle
One of the largest and most famous castles in England, now owned by English Heritage. An entrance ticket gives you access to the battlements, the medieval palace in the Great Tower, the WWII Wartime Tunnels and more!

Fan Bay Deep Shelter
This is located just off the coastal path not far beyond the White Cliffs Visitor Centre. It’s a tunnel complex constructed in 1940/41 as accommodation for the gun battery above. Tours leave every 30 minutes throughout the day (and are free if you have a National Trust membership card).

South Foreland Lighthouse
This Victorian lighthouse used to warn ships approaching the deadly Goodwin Sands. Now owned by the National Trust, you can visit the lighthouse and also get a welcome cup of tea and cake at Mrs Knotts tearoom.

St Margaret’s Bay
Great place for a swim, very stony beach so take beach shoes. Noel Coward once lived in the white house at the end of the beach.

Walmer Castle
Once a Tudor artillery fortress that became a stately-home for the Lords Warden of the Cinque Ports, including the Iron Duke of Wellington.

FOOD AND DRINK

DOVER
Cullens Yard Restaurant
11 Cambridge Rd, Dover CT17 9BY
Quality fresh food by the marina 

White Horse Pub
Castle Hill Rd, Dover CT16 1QF
Housed in a Grade 2 listed building dating back to 1365. Good food and drink

ST MARGARET’S BAY
The Coastguard Inn
The Bay, St Margaret’s Bay, CT15 6DY
Lovely views out to sea. Food and drink

KINGSDOWN
The Rising Sun
8 Cliffe Rd, Kingsdown, Deal CT14 8AH
Traditional pub food along with real ale served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

WALMER
Sea Cafe Coffee Shop
Walmer Green, The Strand Walmer Kent CT14 7DY
Great coffee, does real traditional fry ups plus Jerk chicken & more

DEAL
Deal Town Market
High St, Deal CT14 6BE
The thriving weekly Saturday Market offers a wonderful array of fruit, veg, flowers, eggs, meat, coffee, wine, cakes & more

White Cliffs and Kentish fields

Dover to Walmer

East Kent 9.1 miles / 14.6km

HIGHLIGHTS

Dover Castle  l Views to France l White Cliffs of Dover  l  Fan Bay Deep Shelter l South Foreland Lighthouse l St Margaret’s Bay l Kentish Countyside

Introduction

A variation on the Dover to Deal walk. Starting in the port town of Dover the route takes you to the top of the White Cliffs, where you’ll be rewarded with spectacular panoramic views over the coast. Continue via St Margaret’s Bay (great for refreshments and a swim) then head inland, taking in the best of Kent countryside including rolling fields of maize and rapeseed, copses and villages to Walmer station.

Directions overview

From Dover station the route goes through the town to the harbour and steeply up the cliffs behind the port. The terrain is dry and chalky and with a high volume of visitors. Stay away from the edge of the cliffs for your own safety. The path descends gradually to St Margaret’s Bay with a pebbled beach and then  up steps at the end of the beach, through St Margaret’s village and onto rolling paths and tracks through fields to the station.

Route details

Start Dover Priory Station South Eastern Railway
End Walmer Station South Eastern Railway
OS Route  WALKING POST Dover to Walmer
Difficulty Moderate
Length 9.1 miles (14.7km)
Average time 4-5 hours
Total ascent 1138ft

View of Dover Port

White Cliffs

St Margaret's Bay Beach

Fields near Kingsdown

Path near Walmer

St Nicholas Church, Ringwould