This morning we departed for the beautiful coastal town of Dover, England, famous for its castle, white cliffs, and dense history.
We first visited the actual White Cliffs of Dover, which my grandmother briefed me on before I left. The cliffs face toward continental Europe and were the brunt of attacks during wars. Because of that history, the cliffs are recently most famous due to the World War II song “(There’ll be Bluebirds) Over the White Cliffs of Dover.” We trekked up the cliffs and soaked in the simply gorgeous views. Thankfully it was a clear day and we were able to see France!
After that phenomenal experience, we headed over to explore Dover Castle, which was an experience for me and fully exposed the history geek within me. The castle is the largest in England and dates back to the 12th century. The castle covers a large area, and due to our time constraints we weren’t able to view everything. I could’ve spent an entire day there, but what I saw sufficed my history craving for the day.
Our first stop was the Napoleonic war tunnels. The troops needed more barracks and store rooms, so the Royal Engineers constructed tunnels underneath the earth. Keep in mind that this type of engineering was executed during the early 1800s. That simple fact blew my mind. During World War II the tunnels emerged as there was a dire need for a bunker because of nuclear bomb scares. We were able to walk the same footsteps as Winston Churchill and Admiral Ramsay.
On our tour, the tunnels were decked out as though they were still used as a bunker. There was a mess hall, barracks, surgery room, and meeting rooms. It was literally an underground city that allowed for comfortable living.
Afterward we roamed the castle grounds, looked at some additional exhibits, and enjoyed the fantastic views. Then our entire group went down by the piers of Dover and ate a fantastic meal by the sea, and it was by far the best way to wrap up our day trip to Dover.