Dover Castle and a mystery destination

Kizzy the cat has finally mastered the cat flap, our endlessly patient and helpful neighbours agreed to feed them, the big plastic box was wrestled from the attic – it’s Bongo time at last!

This was a trip of two halves. First, the next stop on our ongoing mission to thrash as much value as possible out of our English Heritage membership – to Dover!

I’m keen to write a lengthy and educational post about Dover Castle but, to be honest, I’m not really sure what I learned. We had a very nice day – balancing along walls, going up and down spiral staircases, looking at big guns and going “oooh” and admiring the views from the top of the tower. SC discovered she likes fudge (quelle surprise…) and talked about that for most of the day.

View of the oldest surviving Roman lighthouse in the country dated 43AD

The central Great Tower is medieval, that much I know. I’m not sure if it’s to get you to buy a guidebook but there is no information in any of the rooms and there’s nothing for kids in the way of a guide or even a castle colouring sheet. I’d pay good money for these things, they’re really missing a trick.

The Tower is really lovely though, amazing reproduction furniture and wall hangings in the bedrooms, it’s very easy to imagine the household as it would have been in the 13th century. The kitchen in the Tower is fun as well, there are a number of pleasingly disgusting plastic medieval foodstuffs and you can stir a big cauldron….

The English Heritage staff were, as always, terrific and very knowledgable. One gentlemen in the guest bedroom told how it took nine years just to complete the research prior to the refurbishment of the Tower in 2009.

We were lucky that the actor/musicians in residence were performing that day, both traditional songs and stories and (ambitiously) a complete history of England from the Norman Conquest onwards. SC was very taken with them and insisted on attending all their performances. They were extremely funny and accomplished but probably sick of the sight of us by the end of the day.

I think I probably need a repeat visit to Dover Castle. There are secret tunnels and an underground WW2 hospital not to mention a land train which was not running on the day we visited. Luckily we’re members (have I mentioned that?) so we can come back on a whim and not have to pay the £52 entry fee *cackles manically at all the money we’ve saved*.

Anyway, onwards to our first overnighter of 2018! I’ll tell you more in my next post but here’s a clue…..

No, it’s not the Dartford crossing…


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