The other weekend we needed a little escape from the city and a friend invited us to tag along to Dover to see the White Cliffs. It had been something on our list for awhile so we were excited to join in. We hopped on a morning train from London to Dover Priory to take the two-hour ride down to the southern coast of England. Once we arrived we enjoyed some lunch and then headed out to walk along the edge of the country. The cliffs were as beautiful as I imagined with the crisp white edges contrasting the dark rocks below. Grass grows on top right until the very edge making for a unique landscape. It was an extremely windy day so it made the experience that much more interesting and definitely gave us some good laughs along the way.
We walked from the town to where we started by the visitors center. There you will find a map that directs you to choose between two paths—one that takes about 50 mins each way and another that takes 20 mins each way. We opted for the longer one to make sure we got to see all that we wanted during our walk. On the way back we decided to veer off to one of the lookouts off of the shorter path to get the best of both worlds. After you get up to the visitors center it's a decently flat hike but there are some ups and downs along the way especially if you want to get out to what I think was one of the best viewpoints of the cliffs on a lower trail.
The White Cliffs of Dover aren't just known for the beauty but hold a strong importance. The soft white cliffs have become an icon of Britain as they have helped naturally defend the country against attacks and were a welcoming vision of troops returning from World War II. Facing France, they sit at one end of the shortest route to continental Europe. I even read that on a clear day, you can see the cliffs from France—imagine! It was far from clear for our hike but it was still just as beautiful of a site to take in. The view out toward the east is nothing but ocean for miles and miles. When you look back toward the town, though you'll find boats and trucks making their way to cross the channel.
It's always refreshing to see the ocean and smell the salt air. I find it so inspiring with its different hues, crashing sounds, and varied textures. This trip reminded us just how easy it is to get to the coast and how many places in England we still want to see. I loved walking along the high up cliffs and taking in the view. It made it all the more special to have friends there to enjoy it with. Though I think all of us can admit that the wind really knocked us out that day—in fact, I will fully own up to it literally knocking me over at one point. A combination of the strong gust and a bumpy part of the path had me off my feet. This was probably the second strongest wind I have ever experience. My first involved me crouching beside a building back in Boston to save myself from being blown into traffic—ha.
Another weekend, another amazing adventure, and another must-see checked off the list. This was the perfect escape from the city and a great way to get outside in nature to take in its beauty. With the mix of the cliffs, grassy paths, and the ocean right there—as well as friends by our side—the day was one for the books.