We’re so grateful for being able to get out and about more again, after the latest covid lockdown which at times felt almost endless. Fingers crossed for no more setbacks. Last week we had an errand to Dover, and decided to combine that with a visit to Dover Castle.
Dover Castle is an English Heritage site, and as with all the other sites of theirs that are currently open, you need to make a booking for your visit on their website (all links in this post will open in a new tab). Something which is really great about English Heritage’s booking system is that it allows for same day bookings, so you can decide on the actual day if you wish to go or not. If you’re plannig to go at a popular time, such as weekends or holidays, it’s of course recommended to book further in advance.
We’ve been to Dover Castle a few times before, but for whatever reasons I’ve not got around to blog about it – until now! In this post, I will take you along on our sunny spring day walk around the grounds. Due to covid restrictions, the indoor areas are currently closed, but there is still plenty to enjoy, including fantastic views of the surroundings. The plan is that indoor spaces will be open from 17 May, and I’m hoping to get another post done before then (with photos from our previous visits) about what you can expect to see at Dover Castle once it’s fully open again.
It’s become a tradition of ours to start off our visits to Dover Castle by going up onto the viewing platform (a.k.a. the Admiralty look-out) overlooking the port, and that’s what we did this time too. I could quite happily spend ages up there, looking down at the world below, which looks tiny and almost unreal from high above.
Penguin however rarely likes to stay in one spot for very long (unless there’s a bench for him to get comfortable on) so after ooh-ing and aah-ing at those views for a few minutes, we headed back down the staircase and continued our wander around the site.
Eventually we approached the Great Tower, which is the central castle building. It was Henry II who initiated this build, starting from c.1180.
There are many different routes you could take around the grounds of Dover Castle. On this occassion, we chose to walk along part of the battlements.
One of the main features on that route is the Avranches Tower, which is a crossbow tower from late 12th century.
Another prominent building in the castle grounds is the Church of St Mary-in-Castro, with foundations from c.1000 AD. It sits proudly on a hill, together with the Roman Pharos mentioned earlier.
There are also plenty of old canons as well as more modern anti-aircraft guns placed along the battlement walk. Oh, and some pretty good views to look at as well!
In the left picture above you can see the viewing platform where we began our walk, and to the right is a view that sums up the centuries of architectural history of the site, with the Saxon church and the Roman lighthouse seen behind the late 19th century officers’ barracks. And that concludes our spring walk around the grounds of Dover Castle. Thank you for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour!
To learn more about the rich history of Dover Castle through the centuries (or millenia even!), take a look here: History of Dover Castle | English Heritage.
Until next time, take care x
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