We arrived early morning in England and had several hours before we could check-in at our hotel. I thought it would be neat to drive down to Dover and see the white cliffs while we waited. It wasn't a far drive - around an hour. We could see glimpses of the white cliffs from the highway as we got closer but couldn't see an unobstructed view. Les stopped and asked a local where the best place was to view the cliffs. She pointed to the castle and told us it was the best viewing spot not far in the distance up on the hilltop. Off we went to the castle.
Dover Castle in the distance
We ended up buying an English Heritage membership when we got up to the castle which not only gave us access to the tour of the secret underground tunnels used primarily during WWII (but were also in use as early as the 1700's) and medieval castle but also gets us in free at many other museums across England. It also gets you in 1/2 price to Warwick Castle which we plan to go to for Zach's Birthday next week.
While Les was purchasing our membership, the kids and myself were enjoying the castle grounds.
Then we went to the lookout on the castle grounds to see the White Cliffs of Dover. There's a reason why castles are built where they're built. Not only do you have absolutely magnificent views but you also can see any incoming invaders.
Dover Castle was built by King Henry II in the 1100's primarily to welcome guests on their pilgrimage to Canterbury. The area also proved to be an important defensive point from invaders. The cliffs were tunneled out and used for the military during war times. The tunnels were in their prime during WWII. We were not allowed to take any photos or videos while in the tunnels but I'd highly recommend going on the tour if you ever visit Dover Castle.
After the tour of the secret tunnels, we went up to the castle and explored it.