The Kent Channel Coast has been Britain’s defensive frontline and cross-Channel gateway in from the Continent for centuries, stretching back to Roman times. Roman lighthouses, Medieval and Tudor castles and Napoleonic Martello Towers along the coastline are testament to this rich maritime history. Today Dover Port and Folkestone’s Channel Tunnel link are major cross-Channel routes in to the UK.
This area of Kent contains world class golf courses and numerous opportunities for coast and country walking and cycling. Iconic coastal features are here including The White Cliffs of Dover and family friendly beaches can be found in the Folkestone, Hythe and Deal areas. Hop aboard the enchanting Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway to explore the unspoilt flat landscape of Romney Marsh and the vast RSPB nature reserve at Dungeness.
White Cliffs & Coastal Walking
Spectacular coastal walking features along Kent’s Heritage Channel coast where the North Downs meets the sea. The Saxon Shore Way runs right along this Heritage Coast from Folkestone and Samphire Hoe to Dover, South Foreland and Deal on towards Sandwich, taking in the iconic White Cliffs of Dover en-route. The Chalk & Channel Way open to cyclists and walkers also runs between Dover and Folkestone.
Ports & Castles
The Kent Channel coastline has shifted over time. New Romney, now a mile and a half inland, was once one of the great coastal Cinque ports of Edward the Confessor until the harbour was silted up after the great medieval storms. Only Dover out of the original Kent Cinque Ports which also included Hythe and Sandwich, retains its status as one of the world’s premier ports. Find out more at maritime museums in Dover and Deal, and in Sandwich along the town’s heritage trail and Guildhall Museum.
Dover Castle with its mighty medieval Great Tower and underground Secret Wartime Tunnels dating back to Napoleonic times is one of Europe’s most famous fortresses. The coastline also features castles at Walmer and Deal built by the order of Henry VIII to defend and service important Channel anchorage sites. The best of the Napoleonic Martello Towers cluster around Folkestone and Dymchurch Martello Tower (English Heritage) has been fully restored and is open to the public on designated days.
Family Holidays & Beaches
Folkestone, just 35 minutes from France via the Channel Tunnel Link, is a great spot for family holidays with attractions including Sunny Sands beach and the Lower Leas Coastal Park. The nearby Romney Marsh area is also great for families, with a family friendly visitor centre and popular attractions including the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway and nearby Port Lympne Wild Animal Park.
Whether you are arriving from the Continent or visiting from elsewhere in the UK, Kent’s Channel Coast is easily reach by road, Channel Tunnel and ferry services. Link into the M20 motorway off the M25 for fast motorway access into the region right down to Folkestone and Euro Tunnel.
Situated just 21 miles from Calais, Dover Port today has one of the world’s busiest drive-on, drive-off ferry terminals offering quick, efficient and regular ferry access to and from the Continent. Southeastern High Speed rail links to St Pancras also operate from Dover Priory and Folkestone Central. Stations are also at Deal and Sandwich.
Where to Stay
A variety of accommodation is available in this area of Kent whether you are holidaying in the region or looking for a convenient travel or business stopover. An excellent choice of luxury and budget hotels and bed & breakfast accommodation is available around Dover and Folkestone.
Seaside cottages and apartments are perfect for families and you will find a selection of luxurious cottage holiday homes in this area with easy access to coastal walking and premier golf courses. Stay in a family friendly holiday park with leisure facilities around Dover’s St Margaret’s Bay or in the Hythe, Romney and Dymchurch areas. Seaside Deal also has a great choice of family holiday parks and apartments. Book online or direct with iknow.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.