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View of The White Cliffs of Dover, Kent
Langdon Cliffs from the viewing point, 400 metres from the Visitor Centre. | © National Trust Images/Jemma Finch
Kent

Dover Cruise Terminal to National Trust White Cliffs Visitor Centre Walking Trail

This walk will take you along the sea front at Dover, before heading up the path onto the iconic White Cliffs of Dover. You can enjoy refreshments at the Visitor Centre; take in the spectacular views, flora and fauna on the cliff-tops; and visit Fan Bay Deep Shelter and South Foreland Lighthouse.

Beware of cliff edges

Your walk may take you close to unfenced cliff edges, particularly if you continue your walk past the Visitor Centre. Please keep at least 5 metres from the cliff edge, particularly in strong winds or in slippery conditions.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

Dover Cruise Terminal - Ordnance Survey grid reference TR 31880 40326, www.what3words.com/livid.nightlife.used, lat/long 51.115588N, 1.312150E, postcode CT17 9TF.

Step 1

Exit the Cruise Terminal onto Lord Warden Square, then with your back to the Terminal, and walking on the right hand footway, follow the road out of the dock area, past the large welcome sign and follow the path as it turns left. Walk towards the curved building in the distance (photo), but stay on the right-hand footway to join The Viaduct. Continue to stay on the right hand footway and proceed over The Viaduct to a large roundabout ahead of you.

Image of a road with a curved building in the distance and direction arrows superimposed on a sunny day
Step 1 - Exiting the Cruise Terminal to The Viaduct | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 2

At the roundabout, cross the first exit on your right, heading towards the sign 'Dover Harbour', and stay on the path to take the second exit (A20), still heading towards Dover Town Centre.

Image of a large roundabout with direction arrows on a sunny day
Step 2 - Navigating the A20 roundabout towards Dover | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 3

Continue along the right hand side of the main road with a large garage on your left and the sea on your right hand side until you see the blue sign for Dover Marina (photo). Cross the road so that you are on the same side of the road as the Dover Marina sign and turn right into the Marina (Union Street). Continue over the blue-painted bridge, heading towards the large white lift bridge and the clock tower.

Image of a pedestrian crossing with Dover Castle in the background and a sign for Dover Marina on a sunny day.
Step 3 - Entrance to Dover Marina | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 4

After you have crossed the blue painted bridge stay on the left hand side of the road, then turn left heading towards the white lift bridge, following the blue sign for Eastern Docks, Town Centre, Whitfield and Deal. Cross the white-painted lift bridge onto the Esplanade and cross the road so that you are walking on the coastal side with the sea on your right-hand side.

Image of a road with a large white lift bridge on the left hand side and direction arrows on a sunny day
Step 4 - Dover Marina lift bridge | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 5

Follow the path on the Esplanade, for approximately 3/4 mile (1.2 km). The path re-joins the main road, just after you have passed Premier Inn. Continue to walk with the sea on your right hand side, past the toilets (photo) and you will see a set of traffic lights approximately 100 metres past the toilets. This is a pedestrian crossing with the marked path leading the crossing and a brown sign 'White Cliffs of Dover'. Use the pedestrian crossing to cross both carriageways of the main road.

Image of a footpath along a promenade with the White Cliffs of Dover in the background, on a sunny day.
Step 5 - The Esplanade and Marine Parade | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 6

Having crossed the road, observe the brown sign for National Trust White Cliffs of Dover (photo). Follow this sign and turn right just in front of the railings to walk along the small road behind the houses, called East Cliff, with the White Cliffs towering immediately to your left. At the end of this road you will emerge from behind the houses onto Athol Terrace with the sea on your right.

Image of a road junction with houses on the right hand side and a small road on the left with a brown sign to the White Cliffs of Dover on a sunny day.
Step 6 - joining East Cliff | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 7

Observe another National Trust White Cliffs of Dover brown sign in front of the houses in Athol Terrace. Follow this sign to walk along the front of the houses, keeping the sea on your right and continue to the end of the road, where there is a vehicle barrier (photo). Walk past the barrier onto the cliff path, Dame Vera Lynn Way.

Image of a road with houses on the left and a vehicle barrier at the end and with direction arrows on a sunny day
Step 7 - East Cliff to Dame Vera Lynn Way | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 8

Walk past the garages on the left. The path narrows then starts to climb progressively more steeply and you approach an underpass for the main road to the docks. Continue through the underpass and continue straight, up three flights of steps. Stay on the path. There are further flights of steps interspersed with sections of stepped path, until you reach the top.

Step 9

At the top of the path, you emerge onto a hairpin bend (Upper Road) and you will see the sign for the National Trust The White Cliffs of Dover entrance in front of you. Continue straight into the White Cliffs entrance and walk past the gate hut - there is no admission charge for pedestrians.

Image of the entrance to The White Cliffs of Dover on a sunny day
Step 9 - Entrance to The National Trust White Cliffs of Dover | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

Step 10

After the gate hut, continue to follow the road - there is a narrow footway on the right. Look out for a pedestrian footpath sign on your left hand side near a set of old wooden gates. Cross the road and take this footpath that will lead you to the White Cliffs Visitor Centre, avoiding traffic.

Image of the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre on a sunny day
Step 10 - National Trust The White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Cetnre | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

End point

TR 33594 42217, what3words.com/princes.baseless.leaflet. Postcode CT16 1HJ. Lat/long 51.131606, 1.337656

Trail map

Ordnance Survey map of Dover showing trail route
Map of route from Dover Cruise Terminal to National Trust The White Cliffs of Dover | © Crown copyright and database right 2023

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