One of the very important properties, in the lines of Stonehenge, of English Heritage was Dover Castle. Ever since I bought that annual membership, the tendency obviously sets in to explore the places covered under it. So I set out to Dover one fine day. The post on the castle is coming up next, here's the post on another fabulous attraction in Dover - the White Cliffs!!!
From the back entrance of Dover Castle a short walk takes to the Upper Road on the right. Now comes the bit of risky part - the long road till the National Trust Visitors Centre from the beginning of Upper Road is almost like a ghat road with a few hair pin bends, but without a footpath!!! So, the cars would be moving in all their speed and esp along the hairpin bends a pedestrian who is not on a footpath is in risk.... A slow, calculated walk is necessary and wherever possible getting into the grassy / dirt patches off the road is safer!
At one point a diversion off the main road (there is a direction board by National Trust), directs to the car park and beyond this is the White Cliffs, Light House and the Fan Bay Deep Shelter which has a connection to the World Wars. Unfortunately I didn't have much time to visit those 2.
A board with route maps that directs to the view point to see the white cliffs, to the light house is here. I chose to visit only the view point. It was a dirt track and not an even one. The walk is easy but not accessible for everyone, because of the unevenness.
The view at the view point - what should I say? Just breathtaking, mesmerizing, makes you speechless, mind blowing, just awesome!!! Esp., the several tints, tones & shades of blue and green all over the sea against the stark white was.....................
The white stone is all chalk which is 140 million years old which also includes the remains of sea creatures over time. If you're lucky you might find a fossil! Infact the castle also stands on the edge of one such cliff! At the highest point its 350ft (110m) tall. Yes, I'm sitting on the cliff!!!!
The whole port is clearly visible from atop. To see the movement of the huge container ships is pretty interesting. This Dover strait is the busiest seaway in the world. France (Calais) is just 22 miles from here. I strained much both with my eyes and camera lens to check if I could see France, but I couldn't. May be because it was cloudy day!
The cliffs is also the home for some unusual insects & plants like chalkhill blue butterfly, pyramidal orchid etc. However all I got to see were these ponies!!!
Here's are a couple of tips. One, the route from the visitors centre / carpark to this view point is inland and takes a right turn at a point, towards the cliff. From the car park you can slip to the cliff edge and walk in the tiny dirt track along the cliff to reach this location where you get the perfect view. But beware, it isn't for all! If you're even slightly drunk, or have kids or elders with you, the regular track makes sense.
Two, since we're way too close to France, the cell phone captures French signal! Careful, your call to a local friend might end up becoming an international call! But the worst part is not that - the time changes to French time which an hour ahead. My return bus was at 5:30 and I planned to begin the walk back at 3:30. I saw my mobile which said 4:30 much to my plight!!!! My good old wrist watch however said 3:30. Make sure you carry a good old mechanical wrist / pocket watch (not a smart watch) which can be your backup to tell the correct time!
P.S: Here's my outfit for the trip.
TO GET THERE:
From Dover Town Centre (Bus Stand): 2.5km to visitors centre
From Priory Railway Station: 2.5km to visitors centre
Entry Ticket to White Cliffs - Free
Entry Ticket to Fan Bay Deep Shelter - £10.00
Car Park - £3.50
Dedicated to Venkat