I've been wanting to visit Dover Castle for a while but didn't get to it on previous trips. I can vaguely visiting the castle as a child and I've been curious to see if any of it is familiar. From the train station it was about 1/2 hour walk to the castle. As you can see, the castle is high up on a hill.
It was quite a steep walk in places.
After breathlessly purchasing my entry ticket I began to walk around the grounds. There are numerous towers and walls dotted around the site in various degrees of decay.
Eventually I made it to the main castle walls and the square keep inside.
Build circa 1181-88 - that's what I call a historical building.
Inside the keep you can walk up stairways to check out the various floors and make it to the roof.
There are a surprising number of stairways, passages, nooks and halls. I suppose I'd expected it to be one hollow space.
I don't remember what was inside, so I'm not sure how recent these furnishings are. But they certainly bring the space to life.
Along with a blazing fire in one of the rooms, it was surprisingly warm and cosy inside.
One small room was the King's chapel. The stained glass created an incredibly vibrant pattern on the floor.
The view from the top was spectacular. In particular, there is a saxon church also on the site within the grounds that looked perfect perched on the hillside.
And it was a long way down.
When I reached the Constable's Gate I had my first real sense of recognition. I don't know if it was from a personal memory or from reading the souvenir guide mum and dad used to have, but I definitely remembered this part of the castle.
Along the outer wall of the castle was the moat, now inhabited by grazing sheep.
Inside, there were more walls.
After wandering around the castle and stopping for some cake and coffee I headed to the edge of the site with a great view of the English Channel. Unfortunately, it was too hazy to see France.
On the edge of the site was my last stop - the tunnels. Under and around the castle there are miles of tunnels on 3 levels. They were first built at the time of the Napoleonic wars and then used extensively in WWII. Finally, they were prepared for use as a nuclear fallout shelter which was thankfully never required.
The tunnels are now used to house a multimedia exhibition on the evacuation from Dunkirk. It was tremendously well done and took us deep into the tunnels, going more than 26 metres deep at one stage.
The tour finished at 5:17 and the train back to Ashford left Dover Priory station at 5:58. I wasn't exactly how long it had taken me to walk to the castle but I didn't want to miss the train so I power walked back down the hill. Fortunately, I made it in plenty of time.
By the time I made it back to the hotel my feet and legs were killing me. So I had a quiet dinner while working on my blog and resting those legs.
And as expected, the weather had greatly improved from the grey overcast morning. In the middle of the day it had been sunny, though still fresh.