This is my first piece that’s up at HappyTrips.com, yes the name is suspiciously close to my last editing assignment… but everyone seems to love connecting ‘happiness’ with ‘travel’. And I’m most happy about this. (Did I push it too much?)
8 experiences you do not want to miss in Dover
Dover stands facing France at the point closest to the European Continent with just the English Channel separating them. This location has made this town strategic through European history. Today, Dover has one of the country’s most important ports. Just a two-hour drive away from London via M2, Dover makes for an enjoyable weekend trip specially in summer when the sun is bright and warm. There are many places of interest to suit varied tastes including historic sites, heritage buildings, walking trails, beaches, shopping and of course food. But always keep a jacket handy, this is England after all and the weather can change in a matter of minutes.
A medieval fortress, the Dover Castle was called the Key of England. As the largest castle in England and the most dominant landscape of the town, its structure rises 375 feet above sea level. Till date, it is well-preserved, although, this beautiful stone construction is believed to have been built in the 12th Century.Legend has it that a wooden fort built by William the Conqueror occupied the same spot in the 11th Century approximately. The Dover Castle has witnessed many reconstructions through the ages. If you have time to see just two things in Dover, then spend time at the Castle and of course, the White Cliffs.There are many activities within the castle that can easily take up at least half a day. The Grand Tower makes for an amazing walk-about. Instead of just leaving the walls bare, scenes from royal life in those times have been brought alive inside. While walking by, I was startled to hear loud voices in rather regal English from one of the rooms. I peeked in and saw actors enacting court scenes in a room that was furbished to belong to those times. On special days, the experience at this castle is notched up by actual enactments of scenes during the reign of King Henry II and they go on endlessly, unaware of the audience they invariably garner.In the courtyard, stands the Roman Lighthouse which is the oldest surviving lighthouse in England. This structure was originally around 80 feet tall and is believed to have been built in 1 AD. There was also a large Roman fort here, but none of that remains. A large beacon atop this lighthouse would have guided Roman ships across the Strait to England. The Church of St. Mary next door was probably rebuilt in the medieval era. The stained glass windows inside this church are worth a visit. There are restaurants at each of the places of interest inside this Castle, so you can take your pick.
Want to know the other points of interest? Read the entire piece at Happy.Trips.com.