Traveling to see the White Cliffs of Dover from London is an easy day trip. There are direct trains to Deal, which take about 2 hours from London Charing Cross. Alternatively, there is a shorter option with 1 change in Ashford departing from London St. Pancras. There are typically two trains from St. Pancras per hour and one from Charing Cross. Select your departure time and location and purchase an open-return with the destination being Deal.
The walk begins in Dover and ends in Deal. Fortunately both town are on the same train line, but you need to make sure to purchase the ticket to the further of the two stations, Deal. It is nicer to walk from Dover to Deal, so simply get off the train a few stops early and then, on your return, take the train back to London from Deal.
Visiting the White Cliffs of Dover is best done on foot once arrived in the town. If you are looking for a hike, see information below on walking along the White Cliffs from Dover to Deal.
Walking along the coast is the best way to see the White Cliffs of Dover. From the train station in Dover, head towards the water. There should be signs pointing to the cliffs walking route. The beginning of the walk will include a steep climb up as you will be getting on top of the cliffs. The rest of the hike is not difficult or strenuous so power through the initial climb. Once at the top, you will be able to see the ferry port and water around. On a very clear day, you an even see France. This area and the beginning of the walk may be very busy on nice days.
If you are not interested in hiking or a long walk, consider just coming to this point with friends and snacks to enjoy an afternoon by the seaside with good views. If you are up for continuing on a walk, follow the path along the coast. Gradually, the crowds will lessen as those not interested in the walk will stay closer to the town of Dover. The walk from Dover to Deal is about 10 miles and takes 3 – 4 hours. As you continue walking, you will come across a lighthouse. There may be a lot of picnic-goers here. As you pass the lighthouse, stay on the path and head towards St. Margaret’s Bay. Be careful on your way down as there will be some very steep steps. When you make it to the bay, enjoy looking up at the cliffs around for a changed view.
The portion of the walk following St. Margaret’s Bay to Deal is quite green, with big fields around you until you reach Kingston. At this point, you will begin to see a lot of people again. The path becomes paved and you walk along the beach at sea level. You will continue through Kingston until you reach Deal, your end destination. Here you may choose to grab a bite to eat or drink before heading back to London. If you have a certain lunch spot in mind and you visit on a nice summer day, make sure to get a table booking in advance. From experience, without a booking, it can be difficult to find somewhere to have a meal.
If you do not fancy a lot of walking, pack a picnic and enjoy an afternoon on top of the cliffs of Dover with gorgeous views of the white cliffs and water around. There will be a steep climb up as the town center sits at the bottom of the cliffs, but once up, take a break and enjoy the scenery. It may be busy on a nice day, but there is plenty of space to lay out a picnic blanket and enjoy a picnic.
Take a step into British history and visit the Dover Castle
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see