Things to do in Dover

About Dover

The must-see attractions in Dover include the iconic Dover Castle known for its historical significance and panoramic views, the White Cliffs of Dover with their stunning natural beauty, and the Dover Museum which houses the ancient Bronze Age boat. Don’t miss the Dover Transport Museum for a glimpse into the region's travel heritage, and Samphire Hoe Country Park for picturesque landscapes and wildlife.
Dover offers many kid-friendly attractions such as the exploration of Dover Castle, visiting the Dover Museum with interactive exhibits, and enjoying the beachfront play areas. Families can enjoy activities at Pencester Gardens, which include a playground and open spaces for picnicking and games.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy walking tours along the White Cliffs of Dover, outdoor explorations of the Dover Western Heights, and visiting Samphire Hoe Country Park. Cycling, hiking, and wildlife spotting are also popular outdoor activities in the area.
For indoor entertainment, visit the Dover Museum to discover local history or the Roman Painted House for a journey into ancient times. Enjoy a theatrical show at the Astor Theatre, or take a dive into Britain's maritime past at the Dover Transport Museum.
The best Dover tours include the self-guided audio tour of Dover Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover walking tour, and the historic Dover Town Center tour. Other noteworthy experiences are the Dover Western Heights exploration and the South Foreland Lighthouse visit.
The most popular museums in Dover are the Dover Museum, known for showcasing the Bronze Age boat and local heritage, the Roman Painted House with its ancient frescoes, and the Dover Transport Museum featuring historic vehicles.
For rainy days, consider the Dover Castle interior tour, featuring extensive exhibits shielded from the weather. Visiting the Dover Transport Museum, or participating in a self-guided audio tour of the Roman Painted House provide insightful indoor activities.
Short tours in Dover appropriate for under an hour's exploration include a focused tour of Dover Museum's main exhibits, a brief guided experience at the Roman Painted House, or a concise, informative tour of Dover's historic town center.

Best Things to Do In Dover

Discover the myriad of attractions Dover offers, from historic castles to stunning coastlines, all waiting to be explored at your own pace.

Dover: Pines Garden

What is it?
An organic garden and tea room offering a sustainable touring experience.
Why you should go?
Pines Garden provides a tranquil escape with its six acres of organic beauty, complete with a picturesque lake and cascading waterfall. Visitors are invited to unwind in the serenity of lush greenery, explore the innovative sustainability features, and delight in the organic tea room. Eco-conscious travelers will find inspiration in the garden's dedication to biodiversity and environmental education, securing its place among the best things to do in Dover for nature enthusiasts.

Dover: Dover Western Heights

What is it?
A sprawling set of fortifications on the western side of Dover’s cliffs.
Why you should go?
For a unique outdoor adventure, Dover Western Heights offers a blend of history and exploration. As one of Europe’s largest fortifications, this network of ditches, tunnels, and strong points provides a thrilling setting for those interested in military history and panoramic views. The area invites an active Dover activity, with plenty of walking and photographic opportunities that capture the essence of Dover's strategic importance throughout history.

Dover: Deal Castle

What is it?
A 16th-century coastal fortress with a distinctive flower shape.
Why you should go?
Just a short journey from Dover, Deal Castle stands as a fine example of a Tudor artillery fortress. Visitors can meander through the stone halls and delve into the interactive exhibits to understand the castle’s defensive significance. Its distinctive flower-shaped bastions and proximity to the beach make it a worthwhile excursion, offering both historical depth and a delightful stroll along the Deal seafront, highlighting some of the best things to do near Dover.

Dover: Crabble Corn Mill

What is it?
A fully restored Georgian watermill now operating as a museum.
Why you should go?
Crabble Corn Mill is an exceptional step back into Georgian industrial innovation, complete with working machinery and educational displays. This mill allows visitors to uncover the intricacies of milling and grain production, offering more than just a visual treat – it’s a tactile encounter with the past. Ideal for anyone looking for what to do in Dover that combines technology with tradition, and certainly a highlight for school groups or families.

Dover: Dover Transport Museum

What is it?
A museum dedicated to the history of transport and vehicles in Dover and beyond.
Why you should go?
With its vast collection of vintage vehicles, including cars, locomotives, and even bicycles, the Dover Transport Museum is a testament to the evolution of travel and trade. Through its interactive displays and well-preserved exhibits, the museum captures the imagination of its visitors. It serves as both an educational and nostalgic trip for petrolheads and families, contributing a distinct flavor to the wide array of Dover activities on offer.

Dover: Dover Castle

What is it?
An iconic medieval fortress commanding the town's skyline.
Why you should go?
Perched atop the White Cliffs, Dover Castle has stood as a bastion of English strength for centuries. With its extensive underground tunnels, grandiose Great Tower, and interactive exhibits, Dover Castle not only offers a journey back to the times of knights and royal feasts but also provides insight into more modern military history. Dover activities aren’t complete without immersing in the castle's rich past and enjoying the sweeping views of the English Channel.

Dover: South Foreland Lighthouse

What is it?
A historic Victorian lighthouse on the South Foreland cliffs.
Why you should go?
As one of the notable things to see in Dover, the South Foreland Lighthouse presents a beacon of coastal history. Visitors can learn about the lighthouse's role in early maritime navigation and the pioneering work on electric light. After climbing the winding staircase, guests are rewarded with panoramic views across the Channel. The surrounding grassy knolls offer perfect spots for a serene picnic, certainly ranking among the fun things to do in Dover.

Dover: The Roman Painted House

What is it?
A museum showcasing one of Britain's finest examples of Roman domestic decor.
Why you should go?
The Roman Painted House offers a unique glimpse into ancient Roman life with its well-preserved murals and archaeological finds. It's an essential stop for history enthusiasts delving into what to do in Dover. Guided by informative audio, visitors will uncover the house’s past as a hotel for travelers crossing the Channel 2,000 years ago. The frescoes here are a rare and magnificent sight, making it one of the best things to do in Dover for cultural buffs.

Dover: Dover Museum

What is it?
A cultural institution with exhibits spanning from prehistoric to modern times.
Why you should go?
Dover Museum beckons those keen on exploring the town's extensive history through engaging and informative displays. Among its most prized exhibits is the Bronze Age boat, which is the world's oldest known seagoing vessel. The museum provides an educational Dover excursion, offering a detailed understanding of the town's evolution over millennia, the rich tapestry of local heritage, and its connections to broader world history.

Dover: Samphire Hoe Country Park

What is it?
A striking nature reserve created from the material dug to build the Channel Tunnel.
Why you should go?
For those seeking a rendezvous with nature amidst their list of things to do in Dover, Samphire Hoe Country Park is a captivating choice. The park boasts an array of wildlife and exquisite flora set against the backdrop of the White Cliffs. It's a perfect setting for leisurely walks, bird watching, and simply unwinding in the tranquility of the English countryside. The park's eco-friendly ethos and breathtaking landscape ensure it stands out among Dover tours for nature lovers and families alike.

TOP-5 tours in Dover for first-time visitors

  • Embark on a journey through time with the Dover Castle audio tour, delving into medieval history and breath-taking panoramas; a must-see highlight among places to visit in Dover.
  • Savour maritime heritage along the Dover Harbor tour, featuring detailed narratives on the town's legendary port and its role in maritime history.
  • The White Cliffs audio tour captivates with tales of clandestine war efforts and provides scenic views quintessential to what to see in Dover.
  • Experience the poignant Battle of Britain Memorial tour, offering insights into heroic wartime narratives and the striking Dover coastline.
  • Uncover hidden gems with the Historic Dover Town Center tour, a cultural dive into the best Dover excursions, brimming with architectural treasures and local lore.

Fun things to do in Dover with kids

Dover is a fantastic destination for family adventures, brimming with attractions that will delight children and adults alike. First on the list is the interactive Dover Castle, where kids can don medieval costumes and explore the secret wartime tunnels. It sparks the imagination with tales of knights and battlements, making history come alive. Next, the Pencester Gardens offer a spacious playground and ample green space perfect for picnicking and outdoor games, ensuring a casual, fun atmosphere for family leisure. For a truly educational experience, the Dover Museum presents fascinating exhibits, including a life-sized Bronze Age boat that will captivate curious minds. With hands-on activities and child-friendly displays, it's an ideal place to foster learning while having fun. These are just a few of the delightful Dover activities that ensure your family trip will be filled with joy and wonder, creating lasting memories in this coastal town.

Things to do in Dover with family

Families venturing to Dover will find a treasure trove of attractions suitable for all ages. Begin the adventure at the iconic Dover Castle, which stands as a sentinel over the town and invites families to journey through its historic halls and secret wartime tunnels. The castle's interactive displays and re-enactments are especially exciting for young explorers, bringing history to life. Just a stone's throw away, the idyllic Pencester Gardens offers a serene escape with ample space for children to play and families to enjoy a tranquil picnic amidst well-maintained lawns and colorful flowerbeds. It's the perfect spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing. Round off your Dover experience with a visit to the Dover Museum, where the Bronze Age boat exhibition captivates with its archaeological wonders. Tailored to engage visitors of all ages, the museum's interactive elements make learning about Dover's rich heritage both fun and fascinating. These attractions highlight the memorable experiences and things to do in Dover with family, guaranteeing an enriching and enjoyable visit.

Free things to do in Dover

Dover, renowned for its stunning cliffs and historical significance, also offers a variety of free attractions that are ideal for budget-conscious travelers. Stroll along the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, where you can take in the breathtaking coastal views and fresh sea air, a truly unforgettable experience and a must-do for any visitor. Next, wander through the history-laden streets of Dover's town center, where the architecture tells the story of centuries past, and vibrant market squares pulsate with local culture. Those interested in military history can visit the Dover War Memorial, a poignant tribute to the heroes of war, offering a reflective yet educational outing. This site combines the solemnity of remembrance with the opportunity to learn about the town's role in historic conflicts. Collectively, these free activities offer a robust sampling of what to see in Dover, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of this coastal town without spending a penny.

Cheap things to do in Dover

Visitors to Dover looking for budget-friendly options will be pleased to find attractions offering memorable experiences at minimal cost. The Dover Museum, with its modest entry fee, houses the remarkable Bronze Age boat and provides a wealth of local history exhibits, making it both an educational and economical activity for all ages. Another inexpensive must-visit is the Dover Western Heights, where you can explore the vast Napoleonic fortifications and enjoy panoramic views over the town and the English Channel. It’s a perfect spot for picnicking while soaking up history and scenery. Moreover, a walk along Dover’s pebbled beach offers a delightful and cost-free way to enjoy the town’s maritime charm, with the chance to find small rock pools and maybe even a fossil or two. These locations rank high on the list of cheap things to do in Dover and prove that enjoying the heritage and natural beauty of the town doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag.

Things to do in Dover for couples

Dover offers a romantic backdrop for couples with its captivating landscapes and historical sites. A visit to the tranquil and picturesque Samphire Hoe Country Park is a must, where partners can wander hand-in-hand along the seafront or indulge in a picnic while watching the boats sail across the Channel. It's a serene setting for deep conversations and shared moments. For a journey through history, lovers can explore the medieval Dover Castle. This grand edifice not only offers a look at England's past but also provides couples with stunning views from the castle battlements, perfect for a memorable photo together. As the day winds down, a sunset stroll along the iconic White Cliffs of Dover promises a stunning visual spectacle, as the fading sun bathes the cliffs in golden hues. This natural wonder creates an intimate atmosphere, allowing love to flourish amidst the beauty of nature. Together, these experiences make Dover a delightful destination for couples seeking both romance and adventure.

Things to do in Dover at night

As the sun sets, Dover's nightlife begins to sparkle with opportunities for evening entertainment and relaxation. Couples and friends can start their night with a visit to the Dover Marina, where the reflection of city lights dances on the water's surface — a tranquil setting for an evening stroll or dining at one of the waterfront restaurants. Here, world-class cuisine can be accompanied by the gentle sound of the tides and the soft glow of the moon. Culture enthusiasts should not miss a performance at the Dover Town Hall, home to the Astor Theatre. This venue hosts an array of events from live music to theatrical productions, making for an engaging and artful night out. For those seeking a more laid-back ambiance, local pubs and bars offer the chance to enjoy a pint of traditional Kentish ale. These establishments often feature live bands or open-mic nights, adding a vibrant touch to the things to do in Dover at night, where visitors can meld with the locals and soak up the cozy British atmosphere.