Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Dover, England

Dover, England


Northern European Itineraries

Contributed by Cheryl Pendry
For a collection of Cheryl’s articles about Dover-area sights, see http://www.passporter.com/dover.asp

 

With a history dating back hundreds of years, and the stunning vista of the town’s sweeping White Cliffs, which greet visitors arriving by sea, Dover has long been the main hub for travel between Great Britain and continental Europe. Located just 21 miles (34km) from France, this is the narrowest section of the Channel.

Dover Castle

AMBIENCE

Rough and a bit rugged around the edges, Dover has seen better days, but don’t be put off by the concrete monstrosities along the town’s main road. Head into the town center, or walk along the seafront itself, and there are some gems to be found. Dominating the landscape is Europe’s busiest ferry port, to which all roads lead. The port has the feel of a small airport, with passengers arriving and departing constantly during the day. It gives the town a truly cosmopolitan feel, so expect to hear a variety of languages as you walk around. Towering above the town is the imposing castle, which has long been a major fortification against invasions, given Dover’s easy accessibility to the rest of Europe.

HISTORY

Dover dates back to the Bronze Age, as a boat in Dover Museum attests. When the Romans arrived, Dover’s role was cast. After King William’s conquest in 1066, he appointed a Governor of Dover Castle with the title Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The title still exists, and previous incumbents have included Sir Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. During the Napoleonic Wars, Dover was heavily defended, and Napoleon’s troops could be seen from Dover on a clear day. Dover played a key role in World Wars I and II, suffering sustained bombing and significant damage. During World War II, the White Cliffs became even more famous, as a symbol of hope in wartime songs.

FACTS

Size: 122 sq. mi. (315 sq. km.) (district)
Climate: Marine West Coast Temperatures: 54°F (12°C) to 70°F (21°C)
Population 43,070 Busy Season Summer
Language: English Money: British Pound (£)
Time Zone: British Summer (UTC +1) Transportation: Walking, buses, taxi, car
Phones: Area code 044, dial 999 for emergencies
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