I knew the Cliffs of Dover would be magical. I had been pining about their radiant limestone faces since I was a little girl. Simply looking at photos of this natural wonder still makes me swoon. With that being said, you can imagine my ecstatic demeanor when the Cliffs finally came into my real life vision. I was bewildered by their sheer existence.
First of all, you must go. Secondly, I’m gonna tell you how to do it:
Luckily, Dover is pretty accessible from London by train. This gives you some flexibility when it comes to the weather and scheduling. My flatmate, best gal and fellow AIFS blogger, Anja, found us roundtrip tickets on goeuro.com for only £33 the morning of our outing. Because of Dover’s close proximity to London, it only took us about 1.25 hours to arrive at the Dover Priory Station after departing Kings Cross Station.
From the station, we stepped out into the quaint and quiet town. We immediately noticed the Castle of Dover perched atop a grassy and emerald mountain. We set off walking towards the castle and as it was only 3.3 miles to the Cliffs, we decided to hike the remaining trip. Be careful if you decide to hike as well because the trail proved to be rather strenuous and slightly dangerous at times. It took us about 1.25 hours to reach our destination by foot instead of the 8 minutes it would have taken by car.
Despite the effort, travelling by foot allowed us to truly appreciate Kent’s countryside. One of my favorite viewpoints of the castle can be seen by looking from a small meadow adjacent to the old relic. It was an improv short cut and Anja ripped her leggings, but regardless, it was well worth it. We weren’t alone on our journey, though. There were many cute herds of sheep to keep us company.
The road to the Cliffs was scenic and beautiful and built anticipation. We could visualize ourselves getting closer with every step. When we reached the field of horses that lead to the footpath paralleling the Cliffs, I began to inwardly scream. I was elated. Their presence was overwhelming.
Basically, it was all a game from then on. We took loads of photos and frolicked our way up to the lighthouse. To our surprise, inside the lighthouse was Mrs. Knott’s (charming) Tearoom. In the tearoom, we dined on cake and tea overlooking the sea. It doesn’t get much more English than that.
I had previously overheard that visitors could scale the cliffs and walk along a pebble beach directly under the Cliffs. After asking the visitor center (conveniently located beside the lighthouse) Anja and I began our descent through a petit neighborhood with rusty fences clothed in vines.
After we climbed the rocks on the beach, it was time for us to walk the two hours back to the train station and catch a ride home.
All in all, I will remember my trip to Dover as one of my favorite days basking in the sun and reveling in the unfamiliarity of natural elegance.
Madelyn Newton is a student at the University of Georgia, studying abroad in London, England through an AIFS Customized Faculty-Led program. Madelyn, or Mads, will be graduating Fall 2018 with her Bachelors in Fashion Merchandising and Sustainability.