Friday, October 1, 2010


Sorry, this one is a bit over due.

Last weekend, my dad and I took a 1 hour train ride outside of the City to the white cliffs of Dover.  It was very cool to see what England is like outside of London.  There are lots of green fields and sheep and breathtaking coast line.  This also happened to be one of our only sunny days in the past week and a half.  (oh how the weather feels like Seattle)

There they are...the white cliffs.

The view from the top of the hill.  You can't see it in the picture, but France is just on the other side of the horizon.
At the top of the hill is this incredible castle.  It is very unique because it is one large history book in itself.  I was a huge fan of this trip because I am a big history nerd.

You can find the ruins of a large Roman light house tower.  Next to the tower is a church originally built by the Saxons.  The existing building was reconstructed and restored during the 19th century.

The Roman light house is on the right and the Saxon Church on the left.

 The main castle itself was built during the middle ages by Henry II (father to Richard the Lionhearted and prince John from the story of Robin Hood).  The curators in charge of the castle decorated it in the style Henry himself would have had it.  There were also actors playing bit medieval roles!

Dad at the one of the entrances to the interior of the castle.

Entryway of the Castle

Great room inside the castle with an actor regaling us with stories about Kind Henry II.

Dining Room

The Moat
The other really interesting thing about the castle are the intricate tunnel systems carved into the cliffs.  There are a few Medieval portions.  However, most of the construction took place during the Napoleonic Wars and just prior to and during WWII.  This building was done by the British Army to house troops on the coast incase Napoleon attacked and by the British Airforce and Navy as a secret headquarters from which to conduct operations.  Dad was especially interested in this part of the outing.

We went on a guided tour through some of the tunnels.  They are very extensive and could contain several thousand people at one time.  They had an emergency hospital and large radar and communication centers.  Unfortunately I did not take any photos of this section.  I will share some of my dad's if he passes them along.

I would highly recommend Dover to anyone visiting London, who has an extra day to spend outside of the city.  We spent at least 4 hours up in the whole castle/tunnel area and could have spent even more time.

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