Historical Sights of Dover, Dover (Self Guided)

Dover is a small city that is full of beautiful places to visit, like forts, churches and castles. This tour around the city offers a great possibility to visit numerous historical landmarks that relate to the history of the city. Most of them are very old and are preserved very carefully by local authorities. Take this tour and visit one of the most interesting and famous historical landmarks in Dover.
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Historical Sights of Dover Map

Guide Name: Historical Sights of Dover
Guide Location: England » Dover (See other walking tours in Dover)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Author: jenny
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Dover Castle

1) Dover Castle (must see)

Dover Castle is a medieval castle in the town of the same name in the English county of Kent. It was founded in the 12th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.

Dover Castle is a Scheduled Monument, which means it is a "nationally important" historic building and archaeological site that has been given protection against unauthorised change. It is also a Grade I listed building, and recognised as an internationally important structure. The castle, secret tunnels, and surrounding land are now owned by English Heritage and the site is a major tourist attraction. The Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports is officially head of the castle, in his conjoint position of Constable of Dover Castle, and the Deputy Constable has his residence in Constable's Gate. Between 2007 and 2009, English Heritage spent £2.45 million on recreating the castle's interior. According to figures released by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, nearly 350,000 people visited Dover Castle in 2010.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
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St James's Church

2) St James's Church

Old St James's Church is a Saxon church mentioned in the Domesday Book. The structure of the church that is preserved until the present dates back to the 12th century. It was also used for official meetings by Barons of the Cinque Ports. In the 19th century, a decision was made to enlarge the church and to give it a new look. A new church with the same name was built in the region of Maison Dieu Road. During World War II, it was seriously damaged and the old church was maintained as a historical place that would commemorate people who suffered so much during the war. The new church was restored and continued to function.
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The Church of St Martin-le-Grand

3) The Church of St Martin-le-Grand

The Church of St. Martin-le-Grand dates back to the seventh century and was destroyed in the ninth century. A new church by the name of St. Mary-in-Castro was built with the remains of this church. At the remains of the old church in the 15th century, there are mentions about the three churches that merged under the same roof with different altars and services; the churches were St Martin, St Nicolas and St John-the-Baptist. During the Second World War, the church was destroyed and some remains of the church can now be seen in the market square that bears the original elements of the first church of this name.
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Cowgate Cemetery

4) Cowgate Cemetery

Cowgate Cemetery was formed on the land that Mr. William Mowll donated for a burial ground. It is an appropriate place for a cemetery due to the close proximity of the St. Mary church. There were no plans for this cemetery. It has a rectangular form and is divided in pathways. It is enclosed on three sides by walls and trees in order to make it a true place of rest.
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Drop Redoubt

5) Drop Redoubt (must see)

Drop Redoubt is part of one of the most important fortifications in England, The Western Heights. During the period of Napoleonic wars, the city was invaded due to the fact that it was located in the south and had a port, and it needed forts to protect it. Drop Redoubt was strengthened several times, the last time being in the nineteenth century. It is linked to another fort, the Citadel, that forms The Western Heights. Now it is under the protection of the Western Heights Preservation Society that protects it from vandalism and keeps it intact in order to preserve its historical status for a long period of time.
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The Grand Shaft

6) The Grand Shaft (must see)

The Grand Shaft represents a 140 feet, triple-spiral staircase. It was made for protection from any invasion or danger. It was designed by Captain Hyde Page and was built in the period between 1805-1807. It was the place from which men and equipment were transferred to Western Heights. It has windows inside the wall that allow the light to get inside it, making it easier to use. It was built in the period of the Napoleonic Wars, representing a part of the major fortification of Western Heights. It has a diameter of 6 meters and a height of 42 meters, with 200 steps in each staircase.
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Knights Templar Church

7) Knights Templar Church (must see)

Knights Templar Church is a small church that represents great historical events. In 1213, King John of England came into this church to officially submit to the Pope, and this meant that he became a papal vassal. The person that managed to convince the king in his decision was Pandulf, who soon became Bishop of Norwich and one of the King's main supporters. It dates back from the 12th century and was built by Knights Templar. The usual shape of Templar churches is circular. The remains of this church were discovered by military engineers that were fortifying Western Heights in the 19th century.
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Dover Citadel

8) Dover Citadel

Dover Citadel is the heart of the Western Heights fort. It was built between 1804 and 1815 with the purpose of protection in the case of war or invasion. In the 1860s, it was renovated and enlarged in order to become stronger. It is protected from each part of the fort by other buildings and by modern offices that are being built increasingly. It was designed by Vauban; each ditch is flanked by gunrooms. In the period betwen 1952 and 1957, it was a Borstal, Youth Offenders Institute and then in 2002, it was transformed into an Immigration Center for Immigration Services that helped people.
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Archcliffe Fort

9) Archcliffe Fort

Archcliffe Fort dates back to 1539. At the time of Henry VIII, some changes were made at the fort, due to the fact that a bulwark was constructed. In the period of the Spanish Armada, the fort was strengthened because it was an important location for defense. In the 17th and 18th centuries, important repairs were made to the fort. In the 1920s, a part of the south half of the fort was destroyed in order to build a railway line. Now the fort is used by a Community that help homeless people by providing them with accommodation, food and work, in order to help them integrate into the present society.

Walking Tours in Dover, England

Create Your Own Walk in Dover

Create Your Own Walk in Dover

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dover is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Dover Pubs Tour

Dover Pubs Tour

England has a great beer tradition that has been developed and maintained over the years. Pubs are a place for meeting and spending time with friends. Dover is known for having an interesting pub history. There are pubs with live music and dance floors where special parties are organized. Some of these pubs where known for a long period of time and their tradition lives on. This tour gives a...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 km
Religious Buildings Tour in Dover

Religious Buildings Tour in Dover

Dover is a beautiful city with interesting attractions and nice people. There are many places of worship that you can visit and admire. These places offer a great chance to see and understand the different periods and the cultural and architectural influences of those times. This tour offers a great possibility to visit the city’s most famous churches.

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.5 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Dover is a beautiful city known for its lovely port that is the major port in southeast England. Due to its position, the city was invaded and needed a strong and powerful defense that was possible due to strong and tall forts and castles. Dover is also known for its beautiful, green areas, well known buildings and landmarks that must be visited and admired.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Dover for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Dover has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Dover, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.