The White Cliffs of Dover
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
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.
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.
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
WHY NOT TRY
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
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.
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
ALONG THE WAY
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.
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
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
The Rising Sun
8 Cliffe Rd, Kingsdown, Deal CT14 8AH
Traditional pub food along with real ale served in a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Sea Cafe Coffee Shop
Walmer Green, The Strand Walmer Kent CT14 7DY
Great coffee, does real traditional fry ups plus Jerk chicken & more
White Cliffs and Kentish fields
Dover to Walmer
East Kent 9.1 miles
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
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.
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.