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Image showing Constable's Tower at Dover Castle on a clear sunny day with a blue sky
Constable's Tower, Dover Castle, Kent | © National Trust/Richard Meadows

White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre to Dover Castle trail

This walk will take you from the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre to Dover Castle. As you follow this recommended route, you'll get some excellent views of Dover, Dover Castle and the Dover Strait. Please check the Castle's opening and closing times before setting out and be aware that last admission to the Castle is one hour before closing time.

Hazardous road

Please use this route to walk to Dover Castle from the White Cliffs Visitor Centre. Although the road outside of the White Cliffs site appears to be the shortest route, the road is busy and narrow with no footway, fast traffic and limited visibility. There is no access to the Castle from the White Cliffs side and the road route is longer than this trail. Dover Castle is operated by English Heritage and normal admission prices apply unless you hold a valid English Heritage membership card or pass for everyone in your party.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

This trail starts at the National Trust Gateway to the White Cliffs Visitor Centre, Dover CT16 1HJ. Ordnance Survey Grid Reference TR 336 422. Latitude/Longitude: 51.131567N, 1.337233E.

Step 1

Start at the west end of the Visitor Centre - the end furthest from the shop. Exit the Visitor Centre and turn right once outside the door. Proceed across the seating area, keeping parallel to the road, to the gravel footpath. Stay to the left on this footpath to join the road and keep the Port on your left hand side. Continue past the National Trust's entrance gate hut to the road junction and stay on the footpath on the left side of the road. The path will rise gently to be slightly above the road.

Step 2

Stay on the slightly elevated footway alongside the sharp bend in the road and proceed straight down the footpath marked 'Dame Vera Lynn Way'. Note the brown sign 'Castle avoiding busy road' on the left pointing down the path. The path is steep in places and there are a number of flights of stairs along the route of the path. Stay on the footpath until you reach the road.

Image showing a footpath alongside a road with arrows indicating the route down the footpath
Joining Dame Vera Lynn Way from the National Trust White Cliffs of Dover site | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 3

At the end of the footpath, go past the vehicle barrier and continue onto Athol Terrace. Walk to the junction with East Cliff at the end of Athol Terrace. Bear left alongside the low wall, then immediately cross the road to the footpath, following the blue sign for 'Town Centre'. Follow the footpath down as it bears right in front of the houses and joins Marine Parade. Take care as the path is shared with cyclists. Don't cross the dual carriageway.

Image showing a road junction with arrows indicating the route onto the footpath
Athol Terrace to Marine Parade | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 4

Marine Parade runs alongside the busy dual carriageway to the port. Continue to walk in the same general direction as you were on the footpath, with the dual carriageway and the sea on your left. Cross the minor road (East Cliff), but stay on the same side of the dual carriageway and continue to the next major road junction marked by the Travelodge Hotel on the opposite side of the road.

Step 5

At the junction, do not cross the road but follow the footway around the corner to the right into Woolcomber Street. The sea is now behind you. Walk to the next road junction, St James Street.

Image of a road junction with a hotel on the corner and arrows showing a route
Townwall Street to Woolcomber Street | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 6

Turn right into St James Street, cross the entrance to the car park and continue towards the White Horse public house. Don't walk past the pub.

Image showing a road junction with a public house in the background and route arrows
Woolcomber Street to St James Street | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 7

Immediately before the White Horse pub you will see a narrow passageway with a sign 'Hubert Passage Leading to the Castle'. Turn right into Hubert Passage. Walk through the passage and up the steps, to where the passage joins Castle Hill Road and turn right. If you wish to avoid the steps, you can walk past the White Horse public house to the road junction and turn right into Castle Hill Road.

Image showing a footpath alongside a public house with arrows directing to the footpath
Entrance to Hubert Passage | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 8

Continue to walk uphill on Castle Hill Road and you will see the road bends to the left ahead of you. Ensure you keep to the footway side of the barrier on the bend. Do not walk on the road as this will cause you to miss the next step of the route. The footway now becomes a footpath and deviates from the road. Follow the footpath. As you walk along the footpath, you will walk past the English Heritage sign for Dover Castle, near the railings.

Image showing a road with a footway on the right and a footpath ahead with route arrows directing to the footpath
Castle Hill Road to the castle footpath | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 9

Stay on the footpath, which bears sharply right then rises steeply uphill. Make your way up the steps to the road. You will see the entrance gate ticket hut, downhill to your left. Cross the road on the pedestrian crossing, then make your way downhill to the ticket hut on your right.

Image showing a road crossing with route arrows to a ticket hut
Entrance gate ticket hut at Dover Castle | © National Trust/Colin Aldridge

Step 10

Please purchase your ticket(s) or show your English Heritage membership card(s) or valid pass(es) at the entrance gate ticket hut. English Heritage staff will then direct you to the Castle.

End point

Entrance gate ticket hut, Dover Castle, Castle Hill, Dover CT16 1HU. Ordnance Survey Grid Reference: TR 324 416, Latitude/Longitude: 51.126961N, 1.320701E.

Trail map

Map of walking trail from NT White Cliffs Visitor Centre to EH Dover Castle
Walking route from National Trust Visitor Centre to Dover Castle | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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