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How to Book a Hotel in Dover
In order to book an accommodation in Dover enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Dover hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Dover map to estimate the distance from the main Dover attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Dover hotels and see their ratings.
When a hotel search in Dover is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Dover is waiting for you!
Hotels of Dover
A hotel in Dover is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Dover hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Dover are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Dover hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Dover hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Dover have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:
Upscale luxury hotels in Dover
An upscale full service hotel facility in Dover that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Dover hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.
Full service hotels in Dover
Full service Dover hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.
Historic inns and boutique hotels in Dover
Boutique hotels of Dover are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Dover boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Dover may be classified as luxury hotels.
Focused or select service hotels in Dover
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Dover travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Dover focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.
Economy and limited service hotels in Dover
Small to medium-sized Dover hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Dover traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Dover hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.
Guest houses and B&Bs in Dover
A bed and breakfast in Dover is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Dover bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Dover B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.
Hostels in Dover
Dover hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Dover hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.
Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Dover
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Dover hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Dover lack an on-site restaurant.
Timeshare and destination clubs in Dover
Dover timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Dover often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Dover on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.
Motels in Dover
A Dover motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Dover for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Dover motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.
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This article is about the English town. For the larger local government district, see Dover (district). For other uses, see Dover (disambiguation).
Aerial view of Dover Harbour
Dover shown within Kent
31,022 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference
77.8 miles (125.2 km)
South East Coast
South East England
/ 51.1295; 1.3089 / 51.1295; 1.3089
Dover (/ˈdoʊvər/; French: Douvres) is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the strait of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's county town Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings. The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District and home of the Dover Calais ferry through the Port of Dover. The surrounding chalk cliffs are known as the White Cliffs of Dover.
Its strategic position has been evident throughout its history: archaeological finds have revealed that the area has always been a focus for peoples entering and leaving Britain. The name of the town derives from the name of the river that flows through it, the River Dour. The town has been inhabited since the Stone Age according to archaeological finds, and Dover is one of only a few places in Britain – London, Edinburgh, and Cornwall being other examples – to have a corresponding name in the French language, Douvres.
There was a military barracks in Dover, which was closed in 2007. Although many of the former ferry services have declined, services related to the Port of Dover provide a great deal of the town’s employment, as does tourism. The prospect of privatising the sale of the Port of Dover to create increased cash flow for the government was given a recent ironic twist due to the rejection of a possible bid from the town of Calais in France after opposition in Dover against any sale forced the government to withdraw the Port from the market. Local residents had clubbed together to propose buying it for the community, more than 12,000 people have bought a £10 share in the People's Port Trust.
First recorded in its Latinised form of Portus Dubris, the name derives from the Brythonic word for waters (dwfr in Middle Welsh). The same element is present in the towns French (Douvres) and Modern Welsh (Dofr) forms, as well as the name of the river Dour and is evident in other English towns such as Wendover.
A 2013 study suggested the name may come from an ancient word for 'double bank' referring to the shingle spit(s) that formed across the harbour entrance, for which a word dover is still used in the Isle of Wight. Subsequent name forms included Doverre;
The current name was in use at least by the time of Shakespeare's King Lear (between 1603 and 1606), in which the town and its cliffs play a prominent role. The sight of the white cliffs when approaching Dover may have given the island of Britain its ancient name of Albion.
Main article: History of Dover
Dover Castle seen from Castle Street.
A very early photograph showing a Dover street scene, c. 1860
Dover’s history, because of its proximity to France, has always been of great strategic importance to Britain. Archaeological finds have shown that there were Stone Age people in the area; and that by the Bronze Age the maritime influence was already strong. Some Iron Age finds exist also, but the coming of the Romans made Dover part of their communications network. Like Lemanis (Lympne) and Rutupiae (Richborough) Dover was connected by road to Canterbury and Watling Street; and it became Portus Dubris, a fortified port. Forts were built above the port; lighthouses were constructed to guide passing ships; and one of the best-preserved Roman villas in Britain is here.
Dover figured largely in the Domesday Book as an important borough. It also served as a bastion against various attackers: notably the French during the Napoleonic Wars; and against Germany during the Second World War. It was one of the Cinque Ports during medieval times.
Dover: Geography and climate
1945 Ordnance Survey map of Dover, showing the harbour
Dover is near the extreme south-east corner of Britain between Deal and Folkestone. At South Foreland, the nearest point to the continent, Cap Gris Nez near Calais is 34 kilometres (21 mi) away, across the Strait of Dover - because of this, the town is strongly associated with France
The site of its original settlement lies in the valley of the River Dour, making it an ideal place for a port, sheltered from the prevailing south-westerly winds. This led to the silting up of the river mouth by the action of longshore drift; the town was then forced into making artificial breakwaters to keep the port in being. These breakwaters have been extended and adapted so that the port lies almost entirely on reclaimed land.
The higher land on either side of the valley – the Western Heights and the eastern high point on which Dover Castle stands – has been adapted to perform the function of protection against invaders. The town has gradually extended up the river valley, encompassing several villages in doing so. Little growth is possible along the coast, since the cliffs are on the sea’s edge. The railway, being tunnelled and embanked, skirts the foot of the cliffs.
Dover has an oceanic climate (Koppen classification Cfb) similar to the rest of the United Kingdom with mild temperatures year-round and a light amount of rainfall each month. The warmest recorded temperature was 31 °C (88 °F) and the coldest was −8 °C (18 °F), but the temperature is usually between 3 °C (37 °F) and 21.1 °C (70.0 °F). There is evidence that the sea is coldest in February; the warmest recorded temperature for February was only 13 °C (55 °F), compared with 16 °C (61 °F) in January.
Climate data for Dover Harbour (Beach), elevation: 0m (1981-2010)
Record high °C (°F)
Average high °C (°F)
Daily mean °C (°F)
Average low °C (°F)
Record low °C (°F)
Average precipitation mm (inches)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
Average relative humidity (%)
Mean monthly sunshine hours
Source #1: Met Office
Source #2: weather2
In 1800, the year before Britain's first national census, Edward Hasted (1732–1812) reported that the town had a population of almost 10,000 people.
At the 2001 census, the town of Dover had 28,156 inhabitants, while the population of the whole urban area of Dover, as calculated by the Office for National Statistics, was 39,078 inhabitants.
With the expansion of Dover, many of the outlying ancient villages have been incorporated into the town. Originally the parishes of Dover St. Mary's and Dover St. James, since 1836 Buckland and Charlton have become part Dover, and Maxton (a hamlet to the west), River, Kearsney, Temple Ewell, and Whitfield, all to the north of the town centre, are within its conurbation.
The Port of Dover and the white cliffs of Dover
The Dover Harbour Board is the responsible authority for the running of the Port of Dover. The English Channel, here at its narrowest point in the Straits of Dover, is the busiest shipping lane in the world. Ferries crossing between here and the Continent have to negotiate their way through the constant stream of shipping crossing their path. The Dover Strait Traffic Separation Scheme allots ships separate lanes when passing through the Strait. The Scheme is controlled by the Channel Navigation Information Service based at Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre Dover. MRCC Dover is also charged with co-ordination of civil maritime search and rescue within these waters.
The Port of Dover is also used by cruise ships. The old Dover Marine railway station building houses one passenger terminal, together with a car park. A second, purpose built, terminal is located further out along the pier.
The ferry lines using the port are (number of daily sailings in parentheses):
to Calais: P&O Ferries (25), DFDS Seaways (10).
to Dunkirk: DFDS Seaways (11).
These services have been cut in recent years:
P&O Ferries sailings to Boulogne (5 daily) were withdrawn in 1993 and Zeebrugge (4 daily) in 2002.
SNCF withdrew their three train ferry sailings on the opening of the Channel Tunnel.
Regie voor Maritiem Transport moved their Ostend service of three sailings daily to Ramsgate in 1994; this route was operated by TransEuropa Ferries until April 2013.
Stena Line merged their 20 Calais sailings into the current P&O operation in 1998.
Hoverspeed ceased operations in 2005 and withdrew their 8 daily sailings.
SpeedFerries ceased operations in 2008 and withdrew their 5 daily sailings.
LD Lines ceased the Dover-Dieppe service on 29 June 2009 and Dover-Boulogne 5 September 2010.
SeaFrance ceased operations in 2012 of their Dover-Calais service which was their only service.
Dover Harbour, from the cliffs above.
View of the White cliffs of Dover from France
Dover’s main communications artery, the A2 road replicates two former routes, connecting the town with Canterbury. The Roman road was followed for centuries until, in the late 18th century, it became a toll road. Stagecoaches were operating: one description stated that the journey took all day to reach London, from 4am to being "in time for supper".
The other main roads, travelling west and east, are the A20 to Folkestone and thence to London and the A258 through Deal to Sandwich.
The railway reached Dover from two directions: the South Eastern Railway's main line connected with Folkestone in 1844, and the London, Chatham and Dover Railway opened its line from Canterbury in 1861. Trains run from Dover Priory to London Charing Cross, London Victoria or London St Pancras International stations in London, and Ramsgate or Sandwich in Kent. Trains from Dover Priory are run by Southeastern (train operating company).
A tram system operated in the town from 1897 to 1936.
Dover has two long distance footpaths: the Saxon Shore Way and the North Downs Way. Two National Cycle Network routes begin their journey at the town. The Dover to Dunkirk ferry route was originally operated by ferry operator Norfolkline. This company was later acquired by the pan European operator DFDS Seaways in July 2010. The crossing time is approximately two hours. Due to this route not being as well known as Dover to Calais, prices are often cheaper. The location of Dunkirk is also more convenient for those travelling on to countries in Northern Europe including Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and further afield.
Stagecoach in East Kent provide local bus services. Dover is on the Stagecoach Diamond network providing links to Canterbury and Deal. The Western Docks at the port of Dover are served from the Town Centre as well as Canterbury and Deal. Dover is the start of The Wave network to New Romney via Folkestone, Hythe and Dymchurch. There are services to Lydd via Lydd Airport, with one continuing from Lydd on to Hastings via Camber and Rye. There is a link to Sandwich and Ramsgate. Buses run from Dover to Canterbury via Aylesham.
National Express runs coaches from Dover to other towns in Kent including Canterbury, Folkestone, Ashford, Kent, Maidstone, Gillingham at Hempsted Valley shopping centre and Greenhithe at Bluewater Shopping Centre for Dartford to London including Bexleyheath, Eltham, Walworth, Canary Wharf, Elephant & Castle, The City (The City of London) and to Victoria Coach Station
All buses serve Pencester Road except route 68 to Maxton operated by Regent Coaches.
The town's main shopping streets are the High Street and Biggin Street. The Castleton Retail Park is to the north-west of the town centre.
There are plans to open a 6 screen Cineworld Cinema and leisure element ( Restaurants) at St James but not until 2017. It has been recently announced that Marks and Spencer will relocate to St James Development and that the current M&S general store will close. The new 16,000 sq feet store at St James will be an M&S Simply Food with café only and will not sell clothing or homeware unlike the current store which will shut in 2016. Simmonds Jeweller's will close their Dover branch after 40 years in January 2014. The M&S general store and Simmonds branch in nearby Deal will remain open.
Independent stores continue to grow in Dover, but the main town centre of Dover remains in decline compared to other towns like Deal (Telegraph High Street of the Year 2013), Canterbury, Westwood Cross and Ashford who continue to take trade away from Dover.
The Dover lifeboat is a Severn class lifeboat based in the Western Docks. Dover Lifeboat station is based at crosswall quay in Dover Harbour. There is a Severn-class lifeboat, which is the biggest in the fleet. It belongs to the RNLI which covers all of Great Britain. The lifeboat number is 17-09 and has a lot of emergencies in the Channel. The Severn class is designed to lay afloat. Built from fibre reinforced composite (FRC) the boat is lightweight yet very strong and is designed to right itself in the event of a capsize.
Further information: List of schools in Kent
There are nine secondary level schools, 16 primary schools and two schools for special education.
Non-selective secondary schools include Astor College, St Edmund's Catholic School and Dover Christ Church Academy. Dover Grammar School for Boys and Dover Grammar School for Girls are the main grammar schools for the town.
Astor College for the Arts federated with St Radigunds Primary School (then renamed White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts) to form the Dover Federation for the Arts (DFA). Subsequently, Barton Junior School and Shatterlocks Nursery and Infant School joined the DFA. Two schools have been rated by OFSTED as Outstanding and two Good with outstanding features. In 2014 the Dover Federation for the Arts was warned by the Department for Education about "unacceptably low standards of performance of pupils ".
The Duke of York's Royal Military School, England's only military boarding school for children of service personnel (co-ed ages 11–18), is also located in Dover, next to the former site of Connaught Barracks.
Dover College, a public school was founded in 1871 by a group of local business men.
Dover: Public services
Dover has one hospital, Buckland Hospital built in 2015 and located just along from its previous location ( A former Victorian workhouse) on Coombe Valley Road. The town once had four hospitals, Buckland, Royal Victoria, Isolation and the Eye Hospitals located at various points across the town.
Dover: Local media
Dover was the home to television studios and production offices of Southern Television Ltd, the company which operated the ITV franchise for South and South East England from 1958-1981. The studios were located on Russell Street and were home to programmes like 'Scene South East', 'Scene Midweek', 'Southern News', 'Farm Progress' and the nightly epilogue, 'Guideline'. The studios were operated by TVS in 1982 and home to 'Coast to Coast', however they closed a year later when the company moved their operations to the newly complete Television Centre in Maidstone.
Dover has two paid for newspapers, the Dover Express (published by Kent Regional News and Media) and the Dover Mercury (published by the KM Group). Free newspapers for the town include the Dover and Deal Extra, part of the KM Group; and yourdover, part of KOS Media.
Dover has one local commercial radio station, KMFM Shepway and White Cliffs Country, broadcasting to Dover on 106.8FM. The station was founded in Dover as Neptune Radio in September 1997 but moved to Folkestone in 2003 and was consequently rebranded after a takeover by the KM Group. Dover is also served by the county-wide stations Heart, Gold and BBC Radio Kent.
The Gateway Hospital Broadcasting Service, in Buckland Hospital radio, closed at the end of 2006. It was the oldest hospital radio station in East Kent being founded in 1968.
Dover Community Radio (DCR) currently offer internet programming and podcasts on local events and organisations on their website. The online station of the same name launched on 30 July 2011 offering local programmes, music and news for Dover and district.
There are three museums: the main Dover Museum, the Dover Transport Museum and the Roman Painted House.
Dover: International relations
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in the United Kingdom
Dover: Twin towns / Sister cities
Dover has three twin towns:
Huber Heights, Ohio, United States
Dover Leisure Centre on Townwall Street, is operated by Your Leisure, a not for profit charitable trust, which caters for sports and includes a swimming pool.
There are sports clubs, amongst them (Dover Athletic F.C.) who play in the conference Premier league; rugby; swimming; water polo and netball (Dover and District Netball League).
Dover Rowing Club is the oldest coastal rowing club in Britain and has a rich history, at one time becoming the best club on the south coast. More information can be found on the history page of the club's website.
One event which gets media attention is that of swimming the English Channel.
Sea fishing, from the beach, pier or out at sea, is carried out here. The so-called Dover sole (solea solea) is found all over European waters.
Dover: Places of interest
Homeward Bound off Dover, an engraving after a painting by Thomas Rose Miles (1844-1916), circa 1895.
Blériot memorial: the outline of Louis Blériot's aircraft, marked with granite setts, at the exact spot where Blériot landed after the first cross-Channel flight, 1909
White Cliffs of Dover
Dover Western Heights
Roman Painted House Museum
Dover Transport Museum
South Foreland Lighthouse
St Edmund's Chapel
Russel Gardens & Bushy Ruff
St Mary's Church
St James' Church: preserved as a "tidy ruin"
Dover: Notable people
Further information: List of people from Dover
M.R. James used the Dover landmark the Lord Warden Hotel as a location in his short ghost story Casting the Runes first published in More Ghost Stories in 1911
"Town population 2011". Retrieved 3 October 2015.
"Barracks leave Army legacy behind".
Durham A and Goormachtigh M (2013) ‘The meaning of the name Dover’ Archaeologia Cantiana 133, 317-329.
Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/647; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no647/bCP40no647dorses/IMG_0801.htm, first entry, with "Kant'" in the margin. One of the defendants, on line 4, is from "Douorre" or "Doverre"
"Eosnap.com". Eosnap.com. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
"Dover 1981–2010 averages". Met Office. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
"Dover climate". weather2. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
"Hasted description of Dover". British-history.ac.uk. 29 January 1998. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
"KS01 Usual resident population: Census 2001, Key Statistics for urban areas". National Statistics. Archived from the original on 11 March 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-08.