Excursions from Dover: the best day trips around Dover

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Located in Kent, southeastern county of England, Dover is a beautiful coastal town, famous for its white chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel, and is also one of the most important English ports of the Channel itself.

Suggestive and almost ethereal, it contains its most beautiful treasures among narrow streets and green fields, telling stories dating back to the Middle Age, the period in which the wonderful Dover Castle (later rebuilt in 1180 by Henry II), today almost a symbol of the city, between marvelous Anglican churches and secret tunnels.

But the surroundings of the pretty city also hide wonders not to be missed. Today we will introduce you to a small and unusual England, waiting to be discovered. Here are a few day trips to be made around Dover.


  1. Canterbury
  2. Maidstone and Leeds Castle
  3. Ramsgate and Broadstairs
  4. Margate
  5. Eastbourne
  6. User questions and comments

1 - Canterbury

Famous for The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury is one beautiful medieval English town, not far from Dover.
Renowned for its wonderful Cathedral (founded in 597 AD as the seat of the first Christian Diocese of Great Britain), declared UNESCO World Heritage together with the Abbey of Sant'Agostino and the Church of San Martino, this small town seems to have preserved much of the suggestive, medieval and mysterious atmosphere of Chaucer's work.

Characterized by Gothic architecture and stone houses, it is a city whose visit almost evokes a journey back in time. Must-sees in Canterbury on Thematic museum, dedicated to the tales of Chaucer, and theHowletts Wild Animal Park, where you can observe more than 450 animals in danger of extinction, including: gorillas, African elephants, Chinese leopards, rhinos and many others.

  • Range: km
  • it is just over 20 km from Dover (30 by car or public transport). We recommend taking a National Rail train from Dover Prior to Canterbury East (fares from € 9,00). Alternatively, Bus 15 Stagecoach into East Kent from Dover (fares from € 4,00). Get directions
  • Cathedral: 9:00 - 17:00; Abbey of Sant'Agostino: 10:00 - 18:00; Church of San Martino: 11:00 - 15:00 / 11: 00-16: 00 (Saturday); Howletts Wild Animal Park: 9: 30-17: 00; Canterbury Tales Thematic Museum: 10 am-00pm.
  • Cathedral: 12.50 pounds / € 14,01 (adults), Abbey: 7.20 pounds sterling / € 8,07 (adults), Church of San Martino: Free; Howletts Wild Animal Park: £ 22.95 / € 25,73 (adults), Canterbury Tales Theme Museum: £ 10.95 / € 12,27 (adults).
  • Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle and Cliffs Canterbury Cathedral and Famous Stories Private Tour

2 - Maidstone and Leeds Castle

Nestled between the east bank of the Medway and vast expanses of hops, Maidstone is located in the part of Kent dubbed the "Garden of England" for its lush vegetation, less than an hour's drive from Dover.
This little English town is famous for the wonderful Leeds Castle, in Renaissance and medieval style, which rises right in a village near Maidstone, even defined as the most beautiful castle in the world.

Also not to be missed is the Kent Life and Maidstone Museum: the first is an open-air museum that recalls and recounts the traditions and lifestyle typical of Kent; the first; the second a museum located inside an ancient manor, which exhibits over 660.000 works of art and artifacts by local masters.

  • Range: 66,7 km
  • Maidstone is 66,7 km from Dover (1 hour by car, a little more by public transport).
    We recommend the Nationall rail train, from Dover Priory to Maidstone east, fares from € 11,00, or alternatively Bus National Express 021, fares from € 12,00. Get directions
  • Leeds Castle: 10:00 - 16:30; Kent Life: 10:00 - 18:00. Closed on Thursday. Maidstone Museum: 10am - 00pm. Closed on Sunday and Monday.
  • Leeds Castle: £ 26 / € 29,06 (adults), Kent Life: £ 9.95 / € 11,12 (adults), Maidstone Museum: £ 2 / € 2,24
  • Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich

3 - Ramsgate and Broadstairs

Ramsgate is a small coastal town located just over 29km from Dover. Famous for the Ramsgate Tunnels: a labyrinth of caves and tunnels, used as an anti-aircraft precaution during the war. A small unmissable pearl in Kent, which amidst history, blue seascapes and small and characteristic English cafes in the port district (where you can even savor a real culture linked to this aromatic drink) will enchant and amaze you.

Broadstairs is a small fishing town, referred to as "the crown jewel of Thanet", located just 3.5km from Ramsgate.
Characterized by white beaches and Cretaceous rocks it certainly is one of the most beautiful seaside resorts in the UK: it is said that even Queen Victoria spent her holidays there as a child and that Charles Dickens wrote "David Copperfield" in Broadstairs. Among the most beautiful beaches: Viking Bay and Joss Bay, both surrounded by white cliffs and blue seas.

  • Range: 29,8 km
  • It is 29,8 km from Dover (half an hour by car and less than an hour by train). We recommend National Rail train, Dover Priory to Ramsgate, fares from £ 13 / € 14,52. Get directions
  • Ramsgate Tunnels: 9:45 am - 17:30 pm. Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Ramsgate Tunnels: £ 7.00 / € 7,82 (adults).

4 - Margate

Margate, another little pearl of Kent. Small seaside town, characterized by golden beaches and mild climate all year round, it offers enchanting green and luxuriant landscapes. Considered today the city of hipsters, who find in Margate a peace and tranquility not existing in other English metropolises, this tender seaside town offers attractions on a "human scale": small and typical cafes, theaters and a unique Art Gallery: Turner Contemporary Art Gallery, which exhibits contemporary art, th-century landscape prints and sculptures by Anthony Gormley.

  • Range: 33,4 km
  • Approximately 33,4km from Dover (less than an hour by car or public transport). We recommend National Rail train, Dover Priory to Margate, fares from £ 16 / € 17,90. Alternatively, Bus Stagecoach in East Kent 15, from Dover Pencester road; fares from £ 5 / € 5,59. Get directions
  • Turner Contemporary Art Gallery: 10:00 - 18:00
  • Turner Contemporary Art Gallery: Free.

5 - Eastbourne

Located in the county of East Sussex, just over 95,6km from Dover, Estbourne is one of the most famous seaside resorts in England and is renowned for being the sunniest place.
Characterized by a Victorian-style promenade, wonderful pebble beaches that contrast with a typically mountainous rear landscape, it has a very cheerful cultural life, which unfolds in the many theaters and art galleries; wonderful about it Devonshire Park Theater, in which beautiful theatrical performances take place periodically.
Also not to be missed are the views from Beachy Head e Seven Sisters: the latter is a suggestive and beautiful complex of cliffs.

  • Range: 95,6 km
  • 95,6km from Dover (less than two hours by car or public transport).
    We recommend National Rail train, Dover Priory to Eastbourne, fares from € 11,00. Alternatively, Bus Stagecoach at Hastings 99 the Wave or 98, from Hastings town center station to Eastbourne town center, fares from € 6,00. Get directions
  • Devonshire Park Theater: Based on shows, held at 19pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday), 45pm (Wednesday and Saturday).
  • Devonshire Park Theater: £ 19 / € 21,27 (adults), £ 9 / € 10,08 (under 16), £ 10 / € 11,19 (children 16-25).

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