Walking Guide: Dover Castle to Deal Castle
This 10 mile linear walk offers panoramic views of the English Channel. Three of England's mightiest coastal forts stand on the route, from the medieval "Key to England" at Dover to Henry VIII's defences of Walmer and Deal. It's a wonderful day's hike for experienced walkers. Just keep the sea on your right, and you can't go wrong.
Take care on the clifftops and stick to the marked coastal footpath. Some sections of the White Cliffs include very steep drops.
- DISTANCE - 10 miles (16 km) linear walk. 3-4 hours walking time. Take a full day to allow for visits to the castles, enjoying the views and a lunch stop.
- TERRAIN - Mostly downhill, but with climbs out of Dover and St Margaret's Bay. Uneven terrain so make sure to wear appropriate footwear.
- TRANSPORT - Parking available at Dover Castle if visiting, and public parking in Dover and Deal. A railway line connects the two towns.
- FOOD & DRINK - Various pubs and cafes in St Margaret's Bay. Small seasonal cafes along the route. Toilets available at the three castles during opening hours.
- ACCESS & DOGS - Unsuitable for wheelchairs unless specialised for off-road terrain. Great for dogs but take care on cliffs and follow any signposted rules.
- MAP REFERENCE - OS Explorer 138/150
Views from this walk
Our walk begins at the mighty 'Key to England', the medieval fort of Dover Castle. There is lots to see and do at Dover, so consider visiting early in the day to allow plenty of time.
0.7 milesThe Blériot Memorial
Leaving Dover Castle by the north-west (Constable's Road) exit, follow Castle Hill Road up to the right. Turn right at the brown sign for the Blériot Memorial. Follow the path through the woods, and fork left to reach the memorial. This granite outline of an aircraft in the grass marks the landing point of Louis Blériot when he made the first flight across the English Channel in 1909.
1.5 milesOnto the White Cliffs
From the memorial, follow the path back up to the main road. Follow Castle Hill Road down and cross the bridge over the A2, from where you can see the church of St Mary in Castro in Dover Castle's grounds. Continuing down the road, at the tight left hairpin bend, enter the National Trust's White Cliffs of Dover car park area.
Take care on the main road and keep to the verge.
3 milesSouth Foreland and Langdon Hole
At the end of the car park, continue on the marked England Coast Path and you will pass Dover Coastguard Station on your left. The station sits on the site of Langdon Battery, and the building itself is placed within one of the gun emplacements for protection. Pass Langdon Hole and Fan Point, to reach South Foreland Lighthouse. Take the path beside the lighthouse, heading inland, then turn right and right again to stay on the marked Saxon Shore Path.
4.5 milesSt Margaret's Bay
Beginning steadily downhill into St Margaret's Bay, follow Beach Road into the pretty village of St Margaret's at Cliffe. Pass The Pines Garden Tea Room on your left, then continue up Bay Hill through the village. At a sharp left-hand bend in the road, take the footpath through the bushes ahead. This path leads to a viewpoint over the bay and kissing gate to proceed to the top of the hill.
5.5 milesDover Patrol Memorial
HALF WAY POINT
At the top of the headland, you will reach Dover Patrol Memorial. This large Grade II listed obelisk, designed by Sir Aston Webb, stands in memory of the Dover Patrol of 1914-19 and subsequent lives lost in the Second World War. At half way and the final major high point of your walk, this is a good stopping point for lunch.
8.5 milesKingsdown Seafront
Beyond the monument, pass through an open-sided gate back onto the coastal path. Pass a golf course on your left, before heading down a narrow path just beyond the clubhouse, onto Kingsdown seafront. Ahead you can see Deal Pier, close to the finishing point. Follow the seafront past the Zetland Arms until you reach Walmer Castle and Gardens on your left.
9.7 milesWalmer to Deal
Beyond Walmer Castle, continue on the seafront path through the town of Walmer and into adjoining Deal. Here on The Strand you will find Deal Castle, the finishing point of your walk. Be sure to pay a visit to this fine Tudor artillery fort built by the order of Henry VIII.
End of WalkDistance: 9.7 miles
Train services are available from Deal back to Dover Priory, and on to London St Pancras International.
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