Begun during the Napoleonic Wars and completed in the 1860s, the vast defences of Western Heights were designed to protect Dover from French invasion. The English Heritage properties - part of an extensive network of fortifications - include the North Centre Bastion and Drop Redoubt.
Parts of the site are opened to the public for tours and events throughout the year. More information can be found on the website of the Western Heights Preservation Society.
Read more about the history of Western Heights.
Before You Go
Opening Times: The exterior is open to view during daylight hours. The Western Heights Preservation Society runs open days and tours of the site.
Access: The fort is in a steep, cliff side location and is surrounded by an uneven grass surface.
Parking: There is free council-operated parking next to several entrances to the site. There is limited parking on Drop Redoubt Road next to the entrance to the Drop Redoubt, a car park on on North Military Road next to the Detached Bastion, and a car park on South Military Road, next to St Martin's Battery.
Prices and Opening Times: The exterior and moat is free to visit, open any reasonable daylight hours. The Drop Redoubt is open on selected dates and charges may apply. View details.
Saturday 29th July 1800 – 2100 Drop Redoubt will be open this evening as part of the Up on the Downs week. This will be free to visitors.
Drop Redoubt: Paranormal Evenings on 4th August and 1st September, 2000-0200
Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th September, the North Entrance will be open as part of the Heritage Open Weekend. This will be free of charge to visitors.
Plan a Great Day Out
Explore more of Dover's defences at nearby Dover Castle, an iconic fortress with a history stretching from the Romans to the Cold War. Head further along to the coast to the Cinque Ports of Walmer and Deal with their fine Tudor artillery castles built as part of Henry VIII's defences against invasion by European Catholic powers.
English Heritage cares for over 400 historic buildings, monuments and places - from world-famous prehistoric sites to grand medieval castles, from Roman forts on the edges of empire to a Cold War bunker. Through these, we bring the story of England to life for over 10 million people each year. The English Heritage Trust is a charity, no. 1140351, and a company, no. 0744722, registered in England.
- 66% Self-generated income
- 20% One off capital grant
- 14% Government funding