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Dover Castle

Must Visit White Cliffs Country

Sophie Hewitt
31st May 2022

Resting at the very heart of Kent’s Heritage Coast which travel afficionados Lonely Planet declared the fourth best region in the world to visit, White Cliffs Country is an absolutely must visit. The combination of landscapes, food and drink and history, not to mention the many things to see and do in its towns of Dover, Deal and Sandwich make it a perfect base to pitch up and discover what Lonely Planet loves about our beautiful county.

We mentioned those landscapes, so let’s cut right to the chase and lead off with the White Cliffs of Dover! They’re here and they offer some of the most spectacular viewpoints and walks around. Follow part of the England Coast Path along those iconic cliffs and discover the Chalk up 21 art trail from Capel to Deal Pier, taking in nine attractions and sculptures along the way.

Credit: @Andrewand7

Credit: @Pj_s2018

For pedal-powered fun, we recommend the new Cantii Trail that weaves through Dover and Deal celebrating Kent’s culture, landscapes and history. For shorter adventures the Deal Pier routes are the perfect way to explore the area and take in countryside and coast, including Betteshanger Park and Mining Museum, which offers miles of traffic-free trails and tells the tale of the Kent Coalfield from discovery to closure. No bike? No problem, rent an electric bike from Deal e-Bikes and make short work of those cliff-top climbs!

We’ve told you all about the views from the top of the cliffs, but if you want to see them properly, head to the new Dover Marina Pier for Instagrammable views of those famous cliffs and Dover Castle perched right at the very top, not to mention sightings of the brand new Dover Marina Curve with its alfresco dining hotspots. While the 30-hectare Samphire Hoe nature reserve offers the chance to stroll along the foot of the cliffs and discover the rare chalk grassland habitat constructed from the chalk excavated during the construction of the Channel Tunnel. Be sure to look out for kestrels and hawks while out on your wanders.

Credit: @Trips.andtrails

We couldn’t talk about Dover, Deal and Sandwich and not mention golf, because this area is renowned for its championship courses! Golfers, you’ll no doubt have heard of Royal St George’s in Sandwich, 15-times hosts of The Open Championship, including the 149th Open in 2021. Just along the Coast, Prince’s and Royal Cinque Ports are two more iconic clubs, each having hosted their own Open Championships and offering world-class links courses. While Walmer and Kingsdown is another must-play, perched on top of the White Cliffs of Dover and offering sea views from every hole.

We know, we’ve talked a lot about exploring White Cliffs Country and working up a sweat, but if you fancy a more relaxed approach head to Sandwich Quay and hop aboard a River Runner Boat Cruise. Learn about the historic River Stour, see the resident seal colony on the edge of Pegwell Bay and enjoy the views.

Once you’ve sailed and cycled to your heart’s content it’s time to feast. Deal Pier Kitchen is a must for breakfast, brunch and local produce with a side of sea views. The Taphouse Beer Café is a great spot for drinks with 14 taps, so be sure to keep an eye out for locally brewed Time and Tide Brewing while you’re there. And if you fancy a side of live music to accompany your beer, The Lighthouse is a fantastic independent music and arts venue that’s just a short walk along the sea front.

For street food style dining, head to the medieval town of Sandwich for the weekly markets and pick up fresh fruit and veg, freshly baked bread and more in the historic Guildhall. While for a true tour of the area’s foodie finds, the brand-new food and drink self-guided trails will guide you to the best of the best in White Cliffs Country. Take the Vines and Hops tour for tempting tipples, including craft beer, cider, and wine from local Barnsole Vineyard. Pick up the freshest meats and cheeses on the Delicious Delis tour, or discover cookery courses, foraging and cocktail making with the Great Food Experiences – perfect for the foodie.

So there you have it, market towns, superb coastal views, history and landscapes to shout from those famous cliffs about, it’s time to take a visit to White Cliffs Country.

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