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Published: June 10th 2015
.Weather looking better than yesterday but still an icy irritatingly strong wind. This made the decision as to whether to take a walk along the White Cliffs of Dover or visit Dover Castle quite easy. Castle won. Not as windy. Not sure there would have been any hair left on our heads if we had chosen the cliffs today.
Only a short drive to the Castle from Canterbury, along a familiar route as we normally drive down to Calais twice a year. Headed for the ferry port then turned right just before the road drops down to the sea.
Easy parking as we were directed to the motorhome area in the carpark after checking we could get under the 3metre bridge on the way.
We parked, got out of Tandy and rediscovered the wind in all its glory.
We walked up the hill to the ticket office and then up to the castle proper. Visited a couple of medieval buildings, Roman Pharos (lighthouse) and St Mary-in-Castro Church. Then on to the main building Henry ll’s Great Tower.
There have been fortifications protecting the coastline on this site for 2000 years. The tower
dates from 1180.
It was not terribly easy to understand nor follow our way around as there were no directions and few guides.
Maybe we have been spoiled by the superbly presented buildings we’ve seen in the last few days but this one lacked a little je ne sais quo and we didn’t really find out what it was trying to display.
Not helped by at least a dozen school parties all, unfortunately visiting at the same time which made it all rather crowded and noisy. We heard someone mention lunch so we beat a hasty retreat to fit in a visit to the Medieval tunnels in peace.
Again a little lacking in sign-posting – this might be a site to wander at will but the signposts are few and far between and the site is pretty big. We did find the tunnels and went down them. Quite dark and no indication that the three tunnels at the end were all dead ends – only discovered after trying them all. Not 100% impressed by the lack of information.
We stopped for a coffee and cake then queued to visit the
“secret” wartime tunnels. Visits take an hour and are timed to set off every 20 minutes so we waited our turn patiently for half an hour, in the sunshine and out of the dratted wind, in the lee of the castle hill, which was really rather pleasant.
This tunnel tour was brilliantly done, in contrast to the other parts of the castle we had visited.
We discovered the reason for the strict limit on numbers per tour as we were taken along the tunnels through a series of small rooms where we were given presentations, in different forms, of the activities in the tunnels during WWll, in particular the Dunkirk June 1940 evacuation control. One particular presentation was brilliantly done taking the form of a series of videos displayed on the wall.
Once outside the tunnels we returned to Tandy and drove on to our campsite at the base of the Warren in Folkestone, another Camping and Caravanning Club site. Bob had again prebooked, fortunately, as the site is full tonight.
Weather much improved here away from the wind at the top of the hill at the Castle. Still an
evil wind but out of it the sun is quite warm and for the very first time I put my shorts on, one reason being to stop the wind throwing my skirt in the air !
We sat outside Tandy for a while, reading and enjoyed some sunshine on our skin then strolled to the beach to see the sea but rather too windy there to stay for long though the sea air is great for blowing a few cobwebs away.
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