England's most charismatic chunks of chalk, chic eateries, boutique sleep spots, history-rich ports and prime golf courses, make this a must-see stretch of Kent coast.
Connecting the vibrant, bustling port of Dover and its iconic, ruggedly beautiful White Cliffs, with the quaint coastal dwelling of Deal and the medieval Cinque Port of Sandwich, White Cliffs Country is a unique destination. Here, striking coastline meets quintessential countryside, ancient history meets modern convenience, and peace and tranquillity meet action and adventure.
White Cliffs Country is proudly home to Kent’s Golf Coast. While “The Club On The Cliffs” offers spectacular views across the English Channel and out to France, three championship links courses are perfectly positioned amongst the sand dunes: Prince’s, Royal Cinque Ports and Royal St George’s. The latter plays host to The 149th Open in July 2021.
Just a little over an hour from London by train and offering the UK’s shortest ferry crossing from Europe, White Cliffs Country is one of Britain’s best-connected destinations. It enjoys one of the warmest and driest climates in the UK.
Explore the area and discover why kings and queens throughout the centuries have made their homes here; why well-known classical authors were inspired to write their greatest literary works here; and why White Cliffs Country continues to be a destination of choice for visitors today.
To discover how to spend a weekend in White Cliffs Country, check out our 48-hour itinerary
Awe-inspiring and world-famous, The White Cliffs of Dover have been captivating visitors for centuries. Witness their majestic splendour from the water onboard a chartered vessel from Dover Harbour; or experience this ten-mile-long natural chalk feature from the air in a glider plane above the English Channel. Explore the cliff-top trail to South Foreland Lighthouse, or begin your White Cliffs adventure at sea level from Samphire Hoe and awaken your senses as waves crash on the shore.
Step into the past at Dover Castle. This magnificent coastal fortress overlooks the Port of Dover and chronicles 2000 years of history, from its Roman Pharos to its medieval refortifications to its secret wartime tunnels of the twentieth century. Find the world’s oldest-surviving sea-going vessel at Dover Museum: a 3000 year-old Bronze Age boat, discovered yards from where it is now on permanent display.
For rest and refreshment, try the 4* Dover Marina Hotel; with waterfront dining at Mr White’s English Chophouse, traditional freshly-caught fish and chips at Wheeler’s, and accommodation with stunning sea views. Alternatively, nestled in the beautiful Alkham Valley the Marquis of Granby serves modern British cuisine and offers boutique-style accommodation in the heart of White Cliffs Country’s pretty countryside.
Quirky and charismatic, Deal boasts an award-winning high street of independent shops; a pebbly beach dotted with fishing boats and beach huts; and an unspoiled seafront graced by bespoke bistros and historical buildings. Deal is frequently highlighted as one of the best places to live in Britain.
Wander through Middle Street and spot signs of Deal’s smuggling history. Here elegant Georgian town houses rub shoulders with fishermen’s cottages on the cobbles. Stop for beachside refreshment and enjoy the sea view from the Royal Hotel, to which Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton were frequent visitors. The panorama from Deal Pier has been perfectly preserved for almost a hundred years. Stroll along the promenade past the Timeball Tower, once a vital tool for maritime navigation before visiting Deal Castle, a 16th century Tudor artillery coastal defence built on the orders of King Henry VIII.
Walk or cycle to neighbouring Walmer and experience beautiful Walmer Castle, once a residence of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Relax as you explore the delightful grounds and exquisite formal gardens. If you love the Arts, you’ll feel immediately at home in Deal, where art galleries mingle with museums, the Astor Theatre stages a variety of performances and cultural festivals take place throughout the year.
Deal has waterfront restaurants with mouth-watering menus and cosy, chic eateries tucked away in the characterful town centre. Rest your head at The Rose, full of artistic charm and hotel-style comforts. Or stay at The Clarendon Hotel, a refurbished 18th century establishment on the seafront with views over the English Channel and Deal’s famous pier.
Soak up the romantic charm of Sandwich, an unmissable part of your White Cliffs Country adventure. This former Cinque Port, once described as “the completest medieval town in England”, is full of hidden gems. Follow the historic Town Trail along ancient walls, past Norman churches and through winding streets to browse boutiques for antiques, gifts and curios. Ascend the tower of St Peter’s Church for incredible views. Uncover the fascinating origins of Sandwich at the refurbished Guildhall Museum, where the town’s own Magna Carta and Charter of the Forest are on display. Delve further into the past and visit the Roman Fort at nearby Richborough, where Roman rule began in Britain.
Explore the wildlife of Monks Wall Nature Reserve, then take a river trip out to sea to watch seals frolicking in their natural habitat. Visit Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory and enjoy a guided walk or workshop, experiencing the diverse birdlife of this beautiful environment. Restore positive health and wellbeing along the many walking and cycle routes that weave throughout Sandwich and its neighbouring coastline. Or play a round of golf here, at one of the best championship links courses in the country.
Embrace the festival spirit in Sandwich, from Le Weekend – a celebration of all things French – to Sandwich Salutes the 1940s; Sandwich Food Fayre; Sandwich Folk and Ale Festival, and Sandwich Arts Week.
Enjoy a meal at the picturesque quayside, or shop from the delis and picnic in pretty waterside parkland, watching boats on the River Stour. Choose from riverside accommodation such as the Bell Hotel, or a traditional Kentish inn such as The Five Bells.