Deal pier and seafront from the air at sunrise © Garry Begg Drone Photography

The coast is calling...

Restore, inspire, relax, invigorate... just some of the positive energy you'll take away from a stay in White Cliffs Country.

The beginning of January, with the fresh blank page of a new year ahead, is the time when many of us dream and make plans for travel, exploration and adventure. Whatever your ideal break is – whether you're looking for peace and tranquility, somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, or adventure and new experiences – White Cliffs Country on Kent's Heritage Coast is a fabulous place to visit. 

At just over an hour from London by highspeed train, 30 minutes by ferry from Calais, and well connected by the M2 and M20, this beautiful area is easily accessible for a weekend break or longer stay. You'll be here in no time but it will feel as though you're a world away. 

Walking to South Foreland Lighthouse © National Trust

Coastal paths with breath-taking views

This 20-mile stretch of coastline with the iconic White Cliffs has some of the best walking trails in the UK and you don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy them. We have wonderful coastal paths for all ages and all abilities – check out our suggestions for walking itineraries. Walk atop the White Cliffs and, on a clear day, see across the English Channel to the French coast. 

The coast here also provides great opportunities for cycling with fabulous routes to explore, and cycle hire, including e-bikes. Available from Tides Leisure Centre in Deal and Click-2-Cycle points in Dover, e-bikes are perfect if you need a boost getting up the hills. For ideas of where to cycle in White Cliffs Country, try our cycling itinerary for inspiration.

Coastal adventures and thrills

Wander the streets of the historic seaside towns of Dover and Deal – follow marked trails, book a walking tour with a local guide or go with the flow. There are plenty of lovely (and dog-friendly) cafes, pubs and restaurants and places of interest to explore in these intriguing and photogenic towns. 

Try something more active at Whitemills Wake & Aqua Park near Sandwich. This state-of-the-art venue is a great place for water-based fun with its wakeboarding lake, open-water swimming area and floating obstacle course, and popular restaurant and bar on site.

Take an exhilarating RIB ride with Dover Sea Safari from Dover Harbour to get up close to the cliffs from the sea or visit notorious Goodwin Sands. Alternatively, hop aboard the River Runner out of Sandwich to visit seals basking along the shore.

© Whitemills Wake & Aqua Park

Coastal castles and forts

The magnificent English Heritage sites of Dover Castle, Walmer Castle and Deal Castle are jewels of England's historic defences and all offer fabulous views over the sea, as well as a treat for visitors with their rich history, fascinating exhibitions and immersive experiences. 

One of Britain’s most important and impressive fortifications, the Western Heights, is linked by miles of ditches above Dover. These were begun in the late 1700s and strengthened during the Napoleonic Wars. Drop Redoubt is a large and impressive fortress and the Grand Shaft is a unique 19th-century triple staircase that provided a short cut for troops from the fort down to the town. 

Dover Castle and Dover seafront © English Heritage

Coastal calm

Immerse yourself in nature at our coastal nature reserves - Samphire Hoe and Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory. Bring binoculars and spend time birdwatching from the hides, stroll along pathways and spot the wildlife that inhabits these special places. 

Explore the beaches at Sandwich Bay, Deal, Walmer, Kingsdown and St Margaret's Bay (where Ian Fleming and Noel Coward once lived) and Shakespeare Beach in Dover (Shakespeare Cliff is featured in Shakespeare's King Lear). All are dog-friendly at certain times of the year.

Browse our website for more information about what to do and where to stay in wonderful White Cliffs Country and contact our award-winning Visitor Information Team for help, advice and information - they're hugely knowledgeable about the area and here to help. They're available from Monday to Saturday 9.30am-5pm. Email the team for information and advice on, call on +44 (0)1304 201066, or use the live chat feature on the website. 

Restharrow Scrape at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory © K Motion

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