Visit Dover Castle

Dover Castle Under Siege

In 1216, rebel barons offered the English throne to Prince Louis of France in a bid to overthrow King John. In May, Louis and his army swept through southern England. But Dover Castle refused to surrender. Over the next year, it withstood two epic sieges, and became a thorn in Louis’s side as his invasion faltered. 

Now, for the first time, the story of siege has been brought to life with immersive interactive displays, reopened medieval tunnels and an imaginative new play area. A new viewing area offers panoramic castle views from the northern Spur, and there’s also the chance to learn about the life of a soldier at the castle during the Napoleonic Wars. 

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Exclusive members-only weekend

If you’re an English Heritage member, enjoy exclusive access to Dover Castle Under Siege on 20 and 21 July, before we officially open to the public on 22 July.

Booking is not required but recommended to guarantee entry. 

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Make the most of your visit - don't miss:

The story of siege

Step inside the casemates to discover stunning visual displays, cinematic film and imaginative activities that tell the story of the siege.

You’ll be introduced to key players in the story. See our newly discovered 18th century door, which will be on display.

Siege! Play Area

In our new play area, themed around the Great Siege, kids can blow off some steam and learn through play.

Squeeze through tunnels, scale walls and fire the trebuchet – do you think you can defend the castle? 

The Spur tunnels

Go underground and explore the labyrinth of tunnels, originally built during the medieval sieges and expanded to prepare for potential invasion during the Napoleonic era. New audio-visual installations enhance the dramatic atmosphere.

A new view

Emerge from the Spur Tunnels to enjoy one of the best views of the castle. Stand where the attackers during the siege would have been camped. They would have been met with this view of the castle - would you have felt intimidated by its majesty?

NEW FOR 2024

Watch this trailer to see what you can expect when you visit Dover Castle Under Siege.

See our opening times

Plan your visit

  • Plan your visit

    For everything you need to know before your visit including directions, food and drink and access information.

  • Things to see and do

    There's so much to discover on a day out at Dover Castle.

  • Dover Castle Events

    Discover our exciting events programme - there's something for all the family.

Discover Dover Castle's history

  • The Great Siege of Dover Castle

    Find out how, in 1216, Dover Castle and its stalwart defenders played a crucial part in preventing Prince Louis of France from becoming King Louis I of England.

  • The Angevin Empire

    King Henry II, who built Dover Castle’s great tower, also created the largest European empire of his age, stretching at its height from Scotland to the Pyrenees. 

  • Eleanor de Montfort and the Siege of 1265

    Caught up at the centre of a civil war, Eleanor de Montfort held Dover Castle against the king in 1265 after her husband and eldest son were killed in battle.

  • History of Dover Castle

    Learn about the long history of the castle, from its likely origins as an Iron Age hillfort, through its development as a great fortress, to its secret role in the Cold War.

Become a member

The South East boasts a huge variety of English Heritage sites from quaint castles to unique Roman sites. Make the most of what this region and the rest of the country has to offer with an English Heritage Membership.

Join today