micbinks - UK holiday, leisure & tourist attraction images

UK Tourist & Leisure Attractions - Dover Castle

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Dover Castle, Kent - September 2006

Situated atop the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent is Dover Castle together with its vast network of Secret Wartime Tunnels used to command Operation Dynamo during WWII.  We visited several exhibitions at the castle, along with the Keep and, of course, toured the amazing underground tunnels.

The steep walk up to Dover Castle entrance in Kent
On arrival at Dover Castle we walked up this steep incline to enter the castle perched high on the cliffs above Dover.  A small Dotto Train was provided for those less able.  Soon after entering we...

Dover Castle layout info board
...found this castle plan board in the grounds which showed where the key areas of Dover Castle were.  We decided to concentrate mainly on the inside bits owing to the wind and rain.

A good vantage point at Dover Castle
It was easy to see why a castle had been built here at Dover, originally in 1066 then rebuilt in the 1180s.

Dover Castle in Kent
Here's a rather commanding view of the castle Keep jutting up above the sturdy surrounding wall.

Keep Yard guide
Our friend Bob checked out the notice in the Keep Yard to decide what part of the castle to visit first...

Tourist in the Princess's of Wales Royal Regiment Museum at Dover Castle
...and our choice was the rather uninspiring Princess's of Wales Royal Regiment Museum.

Outside the Naafi Officers' Mess at Dover Castle
The Naafi Officers' Mess at Dover Castle was a good example of how to p*** the visitors off with second rate service, luke warm tea and poor quality food served by surly kids.  BYO and give the catering a miss!

Dover Castle: Secret Wartime Tunnels entrance
The highlight of our Dover Castle visit was the Secret Wartime Tunnels tour.  First off we walked through an atmospheric sound and light exhibition of what life was like in the underground hospital during war time...

1940s telephone exchange in the underground tunnels
...then the guide led us through that amazing underground hospital, and up on another level we came out to this period wartime telephone exchange in the secret tunnels, full of the latest 1940s technology!

Operation Dynamo plotting room at Dover Castle's underground tunnels
Here's the plotting room in the Secret Wartime Tunnels for Operation Dynamo and the evacuation of British and French forces from Dunkirk's beaches.  The castle's tunnels had us enthralled, well worth the visit.

Some of the stonework at Dover Castle in Kent
Dover Castle is run by English Heritage and adult entrance cost £9.50 at the time of our visit, please check out our UK tourist resources for relevant websites.  Back out in the daylight we next moved on to the castle Keep.  Within the Keep were...

Dover Castle Keep
...several exhibitions, including Henry VIII's bedroom for his visit in 1539 and Thomas A Becket's chamber.

Inside the Keep at Dover Castle
Just inside the Keep, Belinda posed for a few photos on the stairs before moving on up the four storeys.

Uninspiring exhibits in Dover Castle's Keep
We thought some of the areas inside Dover Castle's Keep could do with a bit of a revamp.

View towards the English Channel from the Keep roof at Dover Castle
Once on top of the castle Keep we were violently reminded that this was not the best day of an otherwise excellent summer in 2006!

Looking towards the Western Heights in Dover
Despite the rotten weather we managed to get some photos of the view; this one looking towards Dover's Western Heights.

Dover Castle from the top of the Keep
Looking down to the main part of Dover Castle and...

On the spiral stairway in the Keep at Dover Castle
...the narrow spiral stairs in the Keep.

Henry VIII exhibition at Dover Castle
One of the better exhibitions in Dover Castle's Keep was this one of Henry VIII's 1539 visit.  Here we enjoyed whizzing the tapestry thing along reading the details along the way, but we have to report that the Keep exhibits at Dover Castle generally disappointed.

Dover Castle moat?
The moat used to be here?  Our Dover Castle experience was mixed; the Secret Wartime Tunnels aside, we felt some of the castle areas and exhibits were overdue a rethink (modernisation?) and the visitor catering was pretty dire in the two cafés there.

Other castles visited in Kent: Leeds & Bodiam Castles.
And elsewhere: Carisbrooke Castle (IOW), Arundel, Camber, Corfe and Carew Castle.