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Place Schuman, Place Rogier, Metro Yser, Basilique / Landsroemlaan, Simonis, Merode, Madou, Arts/Loi, Belliard, Montgomery, Diamant, Meiser, Evere
Child ticket available:
Yes, for up to 16 years (€75), First add regular ticket(s) and then select child tickets on cart page.
Child tickets include Dover castle and Walmer castle entrance fees (up to 16 years of age). Note that you may need a visa for this destination as we are really entering the United Kingdom (check https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa).
Did you see the entire continent already and are ready for something new? Then cross the Channel with us and join for a nice trip to and along the spectacular, historic and enchanting coast of Kent, England. Today you can choose between 2 options. First, you can visit with us Dover Castle, The White Cliffs of Dover, Walmer Castle and Deal Castle and the historic Pier of Deal. Second, you can hike your way from Dover to Deal with breathtaking views along the way.
To start with the downside of the day, to enjoy it fully you must get up early. There is virtually no other way to travel to the other side of the Channel, visit several marvellous destinations, and come back at (still) a somewhat decent hour. We will travel with a modern 4* luxury coach with reclinable comfort seats and a lot of leg space, so you can sleep another few hours. If the group is larger than 50 persons we travel by Royal Class, otherwise we travel with the standard Princess class for international trips (which also has significant more leg space than regular tour buses).
Royal Class (sometimes unofficially referred to as 5*). Recline your seat to 60˚ with a pitch of 94-100 cm. Great for long distances and early morning / late evening trips.
The has an on-board toilet, bar and air-conditioning. Due to the length of the day we travel with two professional drivers, in accordance with EU regulations.
We take a P&O Ferry to the other side of the Channel | by 2013 Harry (own work) via Wikimedia Commons
We depart from Place Schuman, followed by Metro Yser, Metro Simonis and Basilique. Upon our return we can stop anywhere along this route. In addition we will be able to also stop at Louise, Merode, Montgomery, Diamant, Meiser and Evere, due to the arrival after midnight. After about 2,5 hours we check-in at P&O Ferries in Calais for our 1,5 hours ferry crossing to Dover. The fee for the ferry is included in the price of your ticket. FYI: the lowest return fee for foot passengers is about €55, so our package price is really a great deal.
On-board you can find several places to sit, eat and relax. There is even business lounge available with free Champagne, coffee/tea, cookies, chips, nuts and the best views (about €19 pay on-board). From here you can watch the famous white cliffs of Dover coming closer. The boat trip is just a lot of fun and a guarantee for great memories.
Dover Castle, England’s largest | by Lieven Smits (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Upon arrival in Dover our group splits in those who would like to go to the castles and those who would like to go hiking.
HIKING GROUP We will drop the hiking group at a convenient location near the trail towards Deal. Note, we expect participants to walk and find their way as a group. Although there are some ups and downs on your way to Deal, the route is pretty straightforward as you will follow the coastline (difficulty 6/7 on a 10-point scale).
Our hiking trip ends in the lovely coastal town of Deal. Just a mile before this town you can walk by Walmer Castle. The other group visits this beautiful castle from the inside, as well as the beautiful gardens, but you can certainly also catch a glimpse of it. From here it is just 15-20 minutes walking to Deal Castle, yet another great fortified castle, right on the coast.
CASTLES GROUP After we drop the hiking group in Dover we will drive a few minutes before we arrive at the iconic Dover Castle that towers high above the city and its port (the steep entrance fees of 18 GBP are not yet included in the standard trip fee).
Dover Castle was founded in the 11th century, the first fortifications may actually date back to the iron age well before Christ. Dover Castle is special for many reasons. Often referred to as The Key to England, it is not only the country’s largest castle, but arguably also its most important one due to its defensive significance because this is shortest distance to continental Europe.
by Webzooloo (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Port of Dover | by O1ive (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Roman Lighthouse, 1st century A.D. | Chris McKenna (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
At our first destination there are many things to do and see. We visit the Roman Lighthouse, one of the oldest in the world, and the Anglo-Saxon church of St Mary in Castro. We also descend into the 13th century defence tunnels under the castle, as well as the places that were important during the First and Second World Wars, namely the WWI Fire Command Post and the underground hospital from WWII.
Finally we go down the Secret Wartime Tunnels in which the incredibly important and fortunately successful Operation Dynamo was planned to quickly move out 300,000 allied forces from the Dunkirk beaches that were surrounded by the Germans. Had this operation failed, history may have looked completely different.
Needless to say that we will also ascend the Tower of Dover Castle, possibly the highlight of our visit as from here you will have a magnificent view over the entire fortress, the cliffs, harbour, the city of Dover and weather permitted even France! Since there are several places to have lunch, either something warm or just a sandwich or snack, we allow some extra time for this. You can even bring something from home or the ferry so you can have a little picknick.
Our next stop is just a stone’s throw away, namely the world famous White Cliffs of Dover (National Trust). The white chalk face of this iconic landmark has always been a symbol of home and hope. Not only offer they stunning views, but their historic meaning is enormous. We will make a stop here so you can feel the fresh Seabreeze on your face, take some nice pictures and of course wave to the french on the other side.
Walmer Castle | by Lieven Smits (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
The Walmer Castles Gatehouse | by Penny Mayes (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s Garden at Walmer Castle | by Karen Roe (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
Our next destination is Deal, a small town at just a dozen miles or so from Dover in Northern direction. Here we visit the lovely boulevard with its historic pier, but we start with visiting another place of significance and beauty, Walmer Castle. This was an artillery fort built by Henry VIII in 1539-1540 and served as a protection against invasions from France and the Holy Roman Empire. It consist of 4 central circular bastions. Throughout the centuries the function of the castle changed from a military fortification to a private residence. Even the Duke of Wellington, known as the victor of the Waterloo battles in 1815 against Napoleon, used to be the Lord Wardens, just like Winston Churchill and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The visit of Walmer Castle is optional but highly recommended (€15). You can indicate during the checkout process whether you would like to join. If you do not want to join, you can continue by foot from here to Deal (about 15 minutes) so you have some extra time to visit the town.
Deal Pier with the restaurant all the way at the end
Entrance to Deal Pier
Deal Castle | by Lieven Smits (own work), via Wikimedia Commons
After our visit to Walmer Castle you can either join us by bus to Deal or you can walk 15 minutes by foot to the town center. In Deal itself you can enjoy the beach, the small shops and restaurants on the boulevard, including a traditional ice cream parlour. You could also visit Deal Castle, another magnificent defence castle. The entrance fee is about 6 GBP, but certainly worth it (pay on the spot). As a group we will reconvene in the bar/restaurant at the end of the iconic Deal Pier for a drink and snack.
We’ll return to Dover in the early evening to be on time for our 20h15 ferry to Calais. You can either rest a bit on a nice chair, do some duty-free shopping or join us in the bar to share some good times on our way back to the mainland. After our return to France (22h45, +1 hr) we will make a non-stop trip back to Brussels, where we will arrive at around 01h15 and stop again at Basilique, Yser and Place Schuman. Due to our late return we can also stop at Merode, Montgomery, and Diamant. If necessary we coordinate shared rides.