Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Dover

England

By Felicity Long

Dover, the capital city of Delaware, is a charming destination known for its rich history and natural beauty. With its picturesque location on the St. Jones River and the Chesapeake Bay, Dover offers a variety of outdoor activities and sightseeing opportunities.

One of the top attractions in Dover is the historic Old State House, which served as the capitol of Delaware from 1791 to 1933. Visitors can explore the beautifully preserved building and learn about Delaware’s government and political history. The nearby Legislative Hall, currently serving as the state capitol, is also worth a visit.

A must-see for history buffs is the John Dickinson Plantation, the former home of the “Penman of the Revolution” and one of the founding fathers of the United States. The plantation offers guided tours, showcasing the life and times of John Dickinson and providing insights into the colonial era.

For those interested in nature and outdoor activities, Dover has several parks and trails to explore. The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for birdwatchers, with its diverse array of species and beautiful marshes. The First State Heritage Park offers scenic trails, historic sites, and interactive exhibits that delve into Delaware’s past.

Additionally, Dover is home to the famous Dover International Speedway, known as “The Monster Mile.” Racing enthusiasts can catch exhilarating NASCAR races and enjoy the electric atmosphere at this iconic venue.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or thrill-seeker, Dover has something for everyone. With its top-rated attractions and a wide range of things to do, Dover guarantees an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

Discover Dover Castle

Perched on the famous White Cliffs, Dover Castle is a majestic and historic fortress that offers visitors an extraordinary glimpse into the past. With over 2,000 years of history, this iconic landmark is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and anyone looking to explore the rich heritage of Dover.

Step inside the castle grounds and be transported through time as you wander through the various sections of this sprawling complex. Marvel at the imposing Great Tower, which dates back to the 12th century, and discover its fascinating history as a royal palace and a military stronghold.

Explore the underground tunnels, known as the Secret Wartime Tunnels, which were used during World War II as a command center and hospital. Step into the shoes of the brave soldiers who defended the castle during times of conflict and learn about the vital role Dover Castle played in defending the realm.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the medieval tunnels, where you can learn about their use throughout history, from medieval times to the Napoleonic era. These tunnels are a maze of corridors and caverns that offer a captivating insight into the strategic importance of Dover Castle.

As you stroll through the castle grounds, take in the breathtaking views of the English Channel and the surrounding countryside. The picturesque landscape adds to the allure of exploring this remarkable fortress.

For an immersive experience, join a guided tour led by knowledgeable experts who will bring the castle’s stories to life. Discover tales of kings and queens, sieges and battles, and uncover the secrets that lie within the walls of this historic site.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for an awe-inspiring attraction, Dover Castle is a must-visit destination that promises an unforgettable journey into the past.

Explore the White Cliffs of Dover

Stretching along the coast of Dover, the White Cliffs of Dover are an iconic natural wonder that you won’t want to miss. These towering chalk cliffs offer breathtaking views and a glimpse into the rich history of the area.

The White Cliffs of Dover are a symbol of England and have inspired countless artists, poets, and writers. Their striking white color contrasts with the deep blue of the English Channel, creating a stunning visual display.

One of the best ways to experience the White Cliffs of Dover is by taking a scenic walk along the cliffs. There are several designated paths that allow visitors to explore the cliffs and take in the panoramic views. As you walk along the cliffs, keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that calls this area home, including seabirds and rare plants.

For history enthusiasts, a visit to the South Foreland Lighthouse is a must. This historic lighthouse has guided ships along the English coast for over 150 years. Take a guided tour to learn about its fascinating history and enjoy the picturesque views from the top.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a boat tour of the White Cliffs of Dover. This allows you to see the cliffs from a unique perspective and get up close to their impressive height.

Whether you choose to explore the White Cliffs of Dover on foot or by boat, one thing is for certain – it will be an unforgettable experience. Don’t forget your camera to capture the beauty of this natural wonder!

Visit Dover Museum

When visiting Dover, be sure to make a stop at the Dover Museum. This fascinating museum showcases the rich history and heritage of the city and is a must-visit for anyone interested in learning more about Dover’s past.

The museum is housed in a beautiful historic building and offers a range of exhibits and displays that cover a wide range of topics. From the Roman period to World War II, the museum provides a comprehensive overview of Dover’s history.

One of the highlights of the museum is the Roman gallery, which features an impressive collection of artifacts from the Roman period. Here, you can see ancient pottery, sculptures, and other objects that offer insight into life during this time.

Another popular exhibit is the World War II gallery, which explores Dover’s role during the war. Learn about the famous evacuation of Dunkirk and the use of the Dover Castle tunnels as a strategic military base.

In addition to these permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts temporary displays and special exhibitions throughout the year. These exhibits cover a range of topics, from local art and culture to maritime history.

Visiting the Dover Museum is a great way to spend a few hours in the city. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking to learn more about the area, this museum offers a captivating glimpse into Dover’s past.

Be sure to check the museum’s website for the latest information on opening hours and ticket prices. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this gem of a museum during your visit to Dover!

Take a Walk along Dover Promenade

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Dover is to take a leisurely walk along the Dover Promenade. This scenic pathway stretches along the coastline, offering breathtaking views of the English Channel and the famous Dover Castle.

As you stroll along the promenade, you can relax and enjoy the fresh sea breeze while taking in the stunning vistas. The promenade features well-maintained paths that are perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.

Along the way, you will come across several attractions and landmarks. One of the highlights is the Prince of Wales Pier, which has a rich history and offers a great spot for fishing or simply admiring the views. Another notable landmark is the Dover Seafront Shelter, an iconic structure that provides a place to rest and take in the scenery.

For those interested in history, the promenade also offers access to the Dover Western Heights, a historic fortification that played a crucial role in defending the English coast. Exploring these military remains provides a fascinating glimpse into Dover’s past.

In addition to the natural beauty and historical landmarks, the promenade is also home to various cafes, restaurants, and ice cream parlors. You can take a break from your walk and grab a snack or enjoy a meal while enjoying the stunning coastal views.

  • Take a leisurely stroll along the Dover Promenade
  • Marvel at the panoramic views of the English Channel
  • Admire the historic Dover Castle
  • Visit the Prince of Wales Pier
  • Relax in the iconic Dover Seafront Shelter
  • Explore the historic Dover Western Heights
  • Indulge in a snack or meal at one of the promenade’s cafes

Whether you are a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a relaxing experience, a walk along the Dover Promenade is a must-do activity. It offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and modern amenities, making it a top-rated attraction in Dover.

Enjoy a View from the Western Heights

One of the must-see attractions in Dover is the Western Heights, which offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and the English Channel. The Western Heights is a historic site with a rich military heritage, dating back to the 18th century.

Visitors can explore the extensive network of fortifications and tunnels that were built to defend Dover and its harbour. The fortifications include the Drop Redoubt, a circular fortress with stunning views, and the Grand Shaft, a spiral staircase that was used to transport soldiers up and down the cliffs.

While exploring the Western Heights, don’t forget to visit the Western Heights Nature Reserve, which is located on the slopes and offers beautiful walking trails amidst lush greenery. This tranquil oasis is a perfect place to relax and soak in the natural beauty of the area.

For history enthusiasts, the Western Heights Heritage Centre provides a fascinating insight into the military history of the site. The centre houses a collection of artifacts and displays that tell the story of the fortifications and the people who lived and worked there.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply looking for a stunning view, a visit to the Western Heights is a must when in Dover. Prepare to be amazed by the beauty and history that this site has to offer.

Go Shopping in Dover’s Town Centre

Dover’s town centre offers a variety of shops and boutiques for you to explore and indulge in a shopping spree. Whether you’re looking for fashion, home goods, or unique souvenirs, Dover’s town centre has something for everyone.

Start your shopping adventure at Dover’s main shopping street, Biggin Street. Here, you’ll find a mix of well-known high street brands and local shops. Take your time browsing through the clothing stores, shoe shops, and accessory boutiques, where you’re sure to find the latest fashion trends and unique pieces.

If you’re a fan of independent shops and boutiques, make sure to explore the narrow streets and alleys that branch off from the main shopping area. These hidden gems are often filled with quirky shops offering handmade crafts, vintage clothing, and one-of-a-kind items that you won’t find anywhere else.

Looking to spruce up your home or find a special gift? The town centre is home to several home goods and gift shops that offer a wide range of products. From stylish homeware and kitchen accessories to artwork and decorative pieces, you’ll find the perfect item to add a touch of style to your home or show someone you care.

Don’t forget to check out the local markets in Dover’s town centre. The market square is a vibrant hub where you can discover fresh produce, local crafts, and antiques. This is a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and support local businesses.

After a long day of shopping, take a break and recharge at one of the many cafes and restaurants scattered throughout the town centre. Enjoy a cup of coffee, indulge in a delicious meal, or treat yourself to a sweet treat as you relax and soak in the charming atmosphere of Dover’s town centre.

So, whether you’re a shopaholic or just looking to pick up a few souvenirs, Dover’s town centre is the perfect destination to satisfy your retail therapy needs. Explore the shops, wander the streets, and discover the hidden treasures waiting for you in this charming coastal town.

Attend a Performance at the Marlowe Theatre

The Marlowe Theatre is a premier cultural destination in Dover. Located in the heart of the city, it offers a wide range of performances, including plays, musicals, ballets, operas, and comedy shows. If you’re looking for an entertaining evening, attending a performance at the Marlowe Theatre is definitely a must-do activity in Dover.

The theatre itself is a stunning architectural masterpiece, with its grand facade and elegant interior. Whether you’re a theatre enthusiast or simply looking for a fun night out, the Marlowe Theatre provides a memorable experience for all.

With a diverse program of shows, there is something for everyone at the Marlowe Theatre. From classic Shakespearean plays to contemporary dramas, from beloved musicals to avant-garde productions, the theatre’s lineup never disappoints. The talented performers and world-class production values ensure that each show is a feast for the senses.

In addition to the main auditorium, the Marlowe Theatre also has a smaller studio space, which offers a more intimate setting for experimental performances and emerging artists. This provides a unique opportunity to discover new talent and experience innovative productions.

Before or after the show, you can enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the theatre’s bars or restaurants. The on-site facilities are top-notch, ensuring that your visit is comfortable and enjoyable from start to finish.

Be sure to check the Marlowe Theatre’s schedule in advance and book your tickets early. Popular shows tend to sell out quickly, so it’s best to plan ahead. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, attending a performance at the Marlowe Theatre is a fantastic way to experience the vibrant arts scene in Dover and create lasting memories.

Wander around Kearsney Abbey Gardens

If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in nature, a visit to Kearsney Abbey Gardens is a must. Located just outside of Dover, this beautifully landscaped park offers a serene setting for relaxing walks and picnics.

The gardens are a perfect blend of formal and informal landscaping, with manicured lawns, vibrant flower beds, and winding paths that lead you through different sections of the park. As you wander through the gardens, you’ll stumble upon charming bridges, a tranquil lake, and picturesque views of the surrounding countryside.

One of the highlights of the gardens is the arboretum, which showcases a variety of trees from around the world. It’s a great place to learn about different tree species and appreciate the beauty of nature. The gardens also feature a children’s play area, making it a popular spot for families.

In addition to its natural beauty, Kearsney Abbey Gardens also has a rich history. The park was originally the site of a Victorian mansion, which was later transformed into an abbey. Although the abbey is no longer standing, remnants of its past can still be seen throughout the gardens.

If you’re lucky, you might even catch a local event or concert taking place in the gardens. From summer fairs to outdoor performances, Kearsney Abbey Gardens is a lively hub of activity during the warmer months.

Overall, a visit to Kearsney Abbey Gardens is a delightful way to spend a day in Dover. Whether you’re a nature lover, history enthusiast, or simply looking for a peaceful retreat, this charming park has something for everyone.

Take a Boat Trip to the Goodwin Sands

One of the most unique and thrilling experiences you can have in Dover is taking a boat trip to the Goodwin Sands. Located just a few miles off the coast, the Goodwin Sands are a treacherous and ever-changing sandbank that has claimed countless ships throughout history.

Board a specially-equipped boat and set off on an adventure to explore this infamous area. As you sail towards the Goodwin Sands, you’ll be able to take in stunning views of the coastline and the iconic white cliffs of Dover. Keep an eye out for marine wildlife along the way, as dolphins and seals are often spotted in these waters.

Once you arrive at the Goodwin Sands, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about its fascinating history from your knowledgeable guide. Hear stories of shipwrecks and daring rescues, and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by sailors navigating these treacherous waters.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even don a wetsuit and snorkel to explore the shallow areas surrounding the sandbank. Discover a vibrant underwater world teeming with marine life and observe the remains of shipwrecks up close.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a wildlife lover, or simply seeking a unique and exciting experience, a boat trip to the Goodwin Sands is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Dover. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable adventure!

Visit the Roman Painted House

Located in the heart of Dover, the Roman Painted House is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts. This well-preserved Roman house offers a unique glimpse into the lives of ordinary Romans who lived in Dover almost 2,000 years ago.

The Roman Painted House is a remarkable archaeological site that was discovered in the late 1970s during construction work. It is believed to be one of the best-preserved Roman houses in Britain and has provided important insights into Roman life and culture.

Visitors can explore the different rooms of the house, which are adorned with stunning and vibrant wall paintings that depict various scenes from Roman mythology and everyday life. The paintings are considered to be some of the finest examples of Roman art in the country.

In addition to the wall paintings, the site also features an audio-visual presentation that provides historical context and interpretation of the house. Visitors can learn about the Roman occupation of Dover and the significance of the Painted House in the Roman period.

The Roman Painted House also offers educational activities for children, making it a great destination for families. Kids can participate in interactive sessions where they can learn about Roman life and even try their hand at creating their own Roman-inspired artwork.

A visit to the Roman Painted House is a fascinating and immersive experience that allows visitors to step back in time and gain a deeper understanding of the rich history of Dover and its Roman past.

Explore the Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve

Located just outside of Dover, the Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve is a hidden gem for nature enthusiasts. This unique reserve was created from the material dug out during the construction of the Channel Tunnel. Today, it is a haven for wildlife and offers visitors a chance to explore its diverse habitats.

Samphire Hoe boasts a stunning coastal landscape with cliffs, pebble beaches, and stunning sea views. The reserve is home to a wide variety of plants, birds, and insects, making it a paradise for nature lovers and photographers.

Visitors can take leisurely walks along the well-maintained footpaths to fully appreciate the beauty of the reserve. There are also several picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy a meal while taking in the scenic views.

The reserve is host to a range of activities and events throughout the year, including guided walks, birdwatching sessions, and environmental education programs. These activities provide a great opportunity to learn more about the local ecosystem and wildlife.

Whether you’re interested in birdwatching, photography, or simply enjoying the great outdoors, the Samphire Hoe Nature Reserve is a must-visit destination in Dover.

Learn at the Dover Transport Museum

If you’re interested in the history of transportation, the Dover Transport Museum is a must-visit attraction in Dover. Located in the former train station building, the museum offers a fascinating overview of the region’s transportation history and the development of various modes of transport.

The museum features a wide range of exhibits, showcasing vintage cars, motorcycles, buses, trams, and more. You can learn about the evolution of these vehicles and their impact on society, as well as the stories behind their design and construction.

One highlight of the Dover Transport Museum is the comprehensive collection of historic railway memorabilia. From steam locomotives and signal boxes to tickets and uniforms, you can explore the world of railway travel and gain insight into the lives of those who worked on the tracks.

The museum also offers educational programs and workshops for both children and adults. These interactive sessions provide visitors with hands-on experiences, allowing them to learn about the science and technology behind transportation innovations.

Whether you’re a transportation enthusiast or simply curious about how people traveled in the past, a visit to the Dover Transport Museum is sure to be a rewarding experience. Take your time to explore the exhibits and immerse yourself in the rich history of transportation. You might even leave with a newfound appreciation for the ways in which we get from point A to point B.

Opening Hours: The Dover Transport Museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm.

Admission: Admission fees apply. Please visit the museum’s website for more information.

Note: Due to COVID-19, some attractions and activities may be temporarily closed or have limited availability. It is recommended to check the museum’s website or contact them directly for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.

Enjoy a Day at the Crabble Corn Mill

If you’re looking for a unique and educational experience in Dover, be sure to visit the Crabble Corn Mill. This historic attraction offers a fascinating glimpse into the area’s agricultural heritage and provides fun for visitors of all ages.

The Crabble Corn Mill is a working watermill that has been fully restored to its former glory. As you explore the mill, you’ll learn about the traditional methods of flour production and see the machinery in action. The knowledgeable staff are on hand to answer any questions you may have and provide insight into the history of the mill.

One of the highlights of a visit to the Crabble Corn Mill is the chance to see the waterwheel in operation. Watch as the powerful wheel turns, powering the grinding process that transforms grain into flour. This mesmerizing sight is truly a testament to the ingenuity of early milling techniques.

Visitors can also take a guided tour of the mill, where they will learn even more about the milling process and the important role it played in the community. The tour provides a deeper understanding of the historical significance of the mill and its impact on the local economy.

In addition to the mill itself, the Crabble Corn Mill also features a small museum dedicated to the history of milling in the area. Here, you can explore exhibits that showcase the tools and equipment used in the past, as well as photographs and documents that provide insight into the lives of the people involved in the industry.

After your visit to the mill, be sure to stop by the on-site café for a refreshing cup of tea or a delicious slice of homemade cake. The café overlooks the mill and its surroundings, providing a peaceful spot to relax and take in the beauty of the area.

Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply curious about traditional milling techniques, a visit to the Crabble Corn Mill is a must-do in Dover. Immerse yourself in the rich history of the area and enjoy a day of fascinating discoveries at this top-rated attraction.

Discover the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Museum

The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Museum is a must-visit attraction for history enthusiasts and military buffs. Located in Dover, this museum celebrates the rich history of the British Army’s oldest infantry regiment.

At the museum, you can explore a wide range of exhibits that highlight the regiment’s impressive legacy and its contribution to major conflicts throughout history. From the American War of Independence to the modern-day conflicts of Afghanistan and Iraq, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment has been involved in numerous pivotal moments in military history.

The museum features an extensive collection of artifacts, including uniforms, weapons, medals, and personal items that belonged to soldiers who served in the regiment. These exhibits offer a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the men and women who dedicated themselves to serving their country.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions that provide a deeper dive into specific aspects of the regiment’s history. These exhibitions often feature interactive displays, multimedia presentations, and personal accounts that bring the stories of the soldiers to life.

Visitors can also take part in guided tours and educational programs, which offer a more in-depth understanding of the regiment’s history and its significance within the context of British military history. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who are passionate about the subject matter and provide valuable insights into the exhibits.

Whether you have a personal connection to the regiment or simply have an interest in military history, a visit to the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Museum is a rewarding experience. It is a chance to honor the sacrifices made by the soldiers and to gain a greater appreciation for their contributions to the nation’s history.

Make sure to plan a visit to the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment Museum during your time in Dover, as it offers a unique perspective on the military history of the region and the country as a whole.

Take a Stroll along Dover Harbour

One of the top attractions in Dover is the picturesque Dover Harbour. This bustling harbor is not only a working port, but also a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

A stroll along Dover Harbour offers breathtaking views of the English Channel and the iconic white cliffs. You can relax on the promenade and watch the boats come and go, or explore the various shops, cafes, and restaurants that line the waterfront.

If you’re interested in maritime history, make sure to visit the Dover Harbour Board Museum. Here, you can learn about the port’s rich history and its role in the development of the Dover Strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

For nature lovers, Dover Harbour is also a great spot to do some birdwatching. The area is home to a diverse range of bird species, including gulls, cormorants, and even peregrine falcons. Bring your binoculars and enjoy the tranquility of the harbor while observing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply enjoying the beauty of the seaside, a stroll along Dover Harbour is a must-do activity in Dover. So put on your walking shoes and explore all that this charming harbor has to offer.

Key Highlights Visiting Hours
Scenic views of the English Channel and white cliffs Open 24/7
Dover Harbour Board Museum Tuesday-Sunday: 10am-4pm
Birdwatching opportunities Anytime

Play Golf at one of Dover’s Golf Clubs

If you’re a golf enthusiast visiting Dover, you’re in luck! The city is home to several top-notch golf clubs where you can enjoy a round of golf surrounded by stunning scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there’s a golf course in Dover to suit every skill level.

One of the most popular golf clubs in Dover is the Dover Golf Club. With its well-maintained fairways and challenging holes, this club attracts golfers from all over the region. The club offers a variety of membership options and also welcomes non-members to play on their course. After your game, you can relax and unwind at the club’s bar and restaurant, which offers delicious food and drinks.

If you prefer a more tranquil setting, the Royal St George’s Golf Club is a hidden gem just a short drive from Dover. This prestigious club offers a championship links course that has been host to many prestigious golf tournaments. Visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the English Channel while playing a round of golf on this renowned course.

Another great option is the Walmer & Kingsdown Golf Club, which boasts a beautiful course nestled on the cliffs overlooking the English Channel. This challenging course offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and is known for its fast-paced greens and strategically placed bunkers.

Whether you’re a serious golfer or just looking for a fun activity to do in Dover, playing golf at one of the city’s golf clubs is a must. So grab your clubs and get ready to tee off at one of Dover’s premier golf courses!

FAQs

What are some of the top attractions in Dover?

Some of the top attractions in Dover are Dover Castle, Dover Museum, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

Can you visit Dover Castle?

Yes, Dover Castle is open to visitors. It is a historic castle that offers tours and has various exhibitions.

How much does it cost to visit Dover Castle?

The cost of visiting Dover Castle depends on the type of ticket you choose. The prices range from £21 for adults to £13 for children.

What can I see at Dover Museum?

At Dover Museum, you can see a variety of exhibits that showcase the history and archaeology of the region. There are also special exhibitions that change throughout the year.

Are the White Cliffs of Dover worth visiting?

Yes, the White Cliffs of Dover are definitely worth visiting. They offer stunning views of the English Channel and are a symbol of Britain’s national identity.

What are the top-rated attractions in Dover?

Some of the top-rated attractions in Dover include Dover Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, St. Martin’s Church, and the White Cliffs of Dover.

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Felicity Long

Felicity Long, a seasoned travel journalist with 15+ years of experience, specializes in exploring Europe, family travel, and skiing, as evident in her book "Great Escapes: New England" (The Countryman Press). She edits the Europe eNewsletter and contributes significantly to TravelAsker's destinations sections. Felicity has received esteemed awards, including the Cacique and Yo Leonardo Awards, in recognition of her outstanding international travel writing accomplishments.

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