Though many of English Heritage’s Free to Enter sites remain open to visitors, unfortunately it has been necessary – as a result of advice relating to coronavirus - to close Western Heights, Dover for operational reasons, in order to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our visitors, volunteers and staff. We look forward to welcoming you again soon.
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.
Managed by the Western Heights Preservation Society and they open parts of the site to the public for tours and events throughout the year. Please visit the Western Heights Preservation Society's website for details of these tours.
Read more about the history of Western Heights.
Before You Go
Prices and Opening Times: The exterior and moat can be viewed daily during any reasonable daylight hours.
The Western Heights Preservation Society run tours of the The Drop Redoubt on selected dates at 11am and 2pm on the third Sunday of the month from April to September - visit the Western Heights Preservation Society's website for details. They also open other parts of the site, including the Grand Shaft which is in Dover City Council's care rather than English Heritage's, on selected dates, including Heritage Open Days. They run two open weekends a year when both the Drop Redoubt and the Grand Shaft are open, and a small charge applies for these, with a reduced rate for Members. Visit the Western Heights Preservation Society's website for details of all these additional opening times.
Access: The Drop Redoubt fort is in a steep, cliff-side location and is surrounded by an uneven grass surface. Due to access difficulties, the fort is not suitable for wheelchair access or visitors with limited mobility. There are steps into the fort and steps throughout it.
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.
Dogs: Dogs on leads are welcome.
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.