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Reviewed on 10 Nov 2020
Reviewed on 20 Feb 2021
Reviewed on 24 Oct 2020
The southern English harbour town of Dover is best known for its spectacular chalky white cliffs, a magnificent first sight for visitors crossing the English Channel from the continent and an enduring symbol of WWII resistance. Most who arrive, either via the Channel Tunnel or on the ferry, make a dash for the capital, leaving Dover's rather spectacular historic sites – like the early 13th-century Maison Dieu, several Roman ruins and a mighty medieval hilltop castle – to the few that make the effort to stay. Though the important naval town took a pounding during the war, there are pockets of beauty that survived, like the Esplanade's sweeping white terraces, whose ornate balconies face out over the glistening sea, or the network of mellow London-brick Georgian houses that line the streets close to the castle. Its important coastal position has meant it's seen plenty of action over the years and if a town could tell a story, Dover's would undoubtedly be one of the most fascinating.
As with every British seaside town, there's a long history of bed and breakfasts in Dover. The guesthouses and inns have been welcoming both adventurers from the continent and domestic travellers for centuries. Though you'll find hotels in town, there is just something right about a B&B, a veritable home away from home where friendly owners are more like old friends. It doesn't matter whether you're looking for a walking weekend along the Kent coast or a historic break by the sea, Dover bed and breakfasts have got you covered. Some are traditional family-run terraced properties, whose handful of guestrooms have been open to travellers for decades. Others have modernised in recent years, offering boutique-style luxury with hip decor and trendy furnishings. You could score one of the B&Bs along the Esplanade, whose guestrooms look straight out over the sea, or one of the cosy old cottages just outside town, that provide easy access to the rolling coastal countryside. Whatever your choice, you can always find the perfect B&B match when you search through the extensive listings on Expedia. Just plug in your dates, tastes and budget, and book in just a few clicks.
Checking in to one of the guestrooms in Dover is always a simple process and when you're settling in to the room, you'll likely find all the things you might expect from a hotel, like flat-screen TVs on the walls, ensuite bathrooms with toiletries and fluffy towels, and comfortable double beds. There'll typically be storage for your clothing, a desk for catching up on your emails and complimentary WiFi available. Some might have views over the historic landmarks, while others might look out over the English Channel. Every morning, you'll wake to the smell of a cooked breakfast downstairs. Have you thought about spending a few days in the capital, London, after your seaside break?
It would simply be unthinkable for newbies staying in a Dover bed and breakfast to not explore the White Cliffs. A good starting point is the National Trust visitor centre, which tells the story of the cliffs and offers some superb views across miles of coastline. Dover Castle makes for the logical next step. Here, you can dive into almost 1,000 years of history. The South Foreland Lighthouse stands as the first electric beacon to help afford safe passage for seafaring vessels, while the Roman Painted House is the remains of a large villa built around 200 AD. For more history try Dover Museum, which houses, among other things, the world's oldest boat, dating to the Bronze Age, some 3,000 years ago.