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The Castle that is ‘The Key to England’


Medieval Castle
The Great Tower
Secret Wartime Tunnels
Experience Operation Dynamo
Roman Lighthouse
Commanding the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent, Dover Castle has a long and immensely eventful history. Before becoming a stone castle under the reign of King Henry II in 1160s the site began as an Iron Age hill fort, and it still houses a Roman lighthouse, one of the best-preserved in Europe. Under the Anglo-Saxons it became a part of a fortified settlement before being converted by William the Conqueror, into a Norman earthwork and timber-stockaded castle very soon after his victory at Hastings in 1066.

Dover Castle
Photo trevilo
From then on Dover Castle was garrisoned uninterruptedly until 1958, a continuous nine-century span equalled only by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. The stronghold hosted royal visits by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I and Charles I’s Queen Henrietta Maria: and from 1740 until 1945, its defences were successively updated in response to every European war involving Britain.

Relaxing in the grounds of Dover Castle
Photo Visit Kent
Dover Castle has everything you need for a great day out. Visit the Anglo-Saxon Church of St Mary-In-Castro, admire the Roman Lighthouse (Pharos), be impressed by the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment Museum, spot ships in the English Channel from the Admiralty Lookout and see the World War I Fire Command Post, go ghost hunting and feel the eerie chill in the Medieval Tunnels, work up an appetite on the Battlements Walk and enjoy spectacular views whilst eating a picnic or take refreshments at the cafes. If your feet are tired, take the Land Train. Be tempted by the unique gifts at the shop in the Inner Bailey.

Tunnels below Dover Castle
Photo Visit Kent
Visitor Information
Dover Castle (EH) is open daily, 10am to 5pm (closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays November to January). Entry costs around £16 for adults, £10 children. Castle Hill, Dover, Kent, CT16 1HU. Tel: 01304 211067

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