Visiting Dover Castle, April 2021

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.

Visiting Dover Castle in April 2021
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#Dover #Castle #Kent #DaysOut

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.

Seen here sticking up over a hill, this is the Roman ‘Pharos’, or lighhouse, built at Dover (which was called Dubris by the Romans) not long after the Roman invasion in 43 AD. So it’s not far off 2000 years old!
There are some very informative signs to read and learn from as you make your war 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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Linking up with:

Country Kids linky
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

26 thoughts on “Visiting Dover Castle, April 2021

    1. I hope you can make it some time Ann! And if you decide on a longer stay in the area, there are a few more places I could suggest… For example, there’s another wonderful – but quite different – castle just a short drive north of Dover, at Walmer. It has lovely nature play areas to explore as well x

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    1. Thank you Jeremy! I knid of know the feeling as I grew up in Sweden, and although we have a long history there, not much is still around from as far back as many places here, and not as well preserved either. So much of the old Nordic architecture used wood primarily, so the lifespan is rarely as good as for stonebuilt castles etc. I’m loving all the historical places we can experience here x

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  1. Looks like you had a great day for it, it has been a long time since I visited Dover so nice to see the pictures. I will have to take my kids to a Castle this summer. #KCACOLS

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  2. Dover Castle looks like a great place for a day out and itโ€™s useful to know that English Heritage allows for same day bookings. Those views from the viewing platform are stunning. Amazing to see remains of the Roman lighthouse. I love that photo with the 19th century barracks in front of the Saxon church and Roman lighthouse โ€“ really makes you realise how much the castle has changed over the centuries. Thank you for sharing with #CountryKids

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  3. We have not made it to Dover … yet! This castle looks incredible and something I will be keen to check out someday. #KCACOLS

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    1. Thank you Lydia! I know the feeling – Having grown up in Sweden, I’m not used to the abundance of historically important architecture that is available here in England. There are very few medieval castles in Sweden, and not really anything Roman. There are some traces of the Vikings, but nothing of this kind of scale, more like the odd gravemound or runestone x

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  4. Beautiful photos! I’ve been to Dover numerous times but never visited the castle. It looks like an interesting place. Thanks for linking up with #KidsandKreativity, hope to see you back next time.

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