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Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Nebraska
Level Contributor
332 posts
66 reviews
Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Hi, all! We are hopefully going to be visiting the Dover Castle in late May of next year. I noticed that this year there will be WWII activities at the castle the last weekend of May, which I understand is a school and bank holiday weekend. Given the above, does the castle attract a huge gathering for these activities? Will it be difficult to tour that area that particular weekend? And does anyone know exactly what the planned WWII activities are? (for this year, of course, not for next year

9 replies to this topic
Nebraska
Level Contributor
332 posts
66 reviews
1. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

And I meant to add thank you for any responses. Also wondering if this is an annual activity, or just something that happens occasionally?

Luton, United...
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654 posts
3 reviews
2. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Dover castle and its underground tunnel network was the command centre for Operation Dynamo , the Dunkirk Evacuation which occurred in May 1940, I think there are regular events at that time of year to mark that fact.

How busy it gets I cannot say.

Edited: 19 March 2018, 20:26
kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
15,107 posts
141 reviews
3. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Dover Castle run regular events over the bank holidays with extra events in the summer months. Due to the popularity of these events, they open an overflow car park on one of the adjoining hills with a shuttle bus, although you can actually walk it. But you may welcome the shuttle bus back up the hill to the owerflow car park!

If coming by train, there are local taxi's at Dover Priory station. It's a very short journey, but is uphill! Sometimes there are special train travel 2 for 1 offers, which include the entry fee, which is very good value for money.

Although events are very popular, it's such big site that it doesn't really get unbearably crowded, but queues for the underground tunnel tour will be longer. Don't worry If you don't bring a picnic, there's a café/restaurant and some food stalls.

Local traffic will be slower, but we're not talking hours here! Hopefully the new marina & ring road will be completed by the end of this year, which may ease local congestion.

As for the programme for 2019...best to check dates and events in 2019.

Edited: 19 March 2018, 21:58
Nebraska
Level Contributor
332 posts
66 reviews
4. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Thank you for your kind responses. We were thinking of taking a train from London to Maidstone the night before, then renting a car for 2 days to observe the castle/tunnels/short boat trip one day, and then seeing Canterbury Cathedral and Leeds castle another day, then taking the train back to London that third night in anticipation of flying out of London the next morning. Does this seem a doable itinerary?

Dover, United...
1 post
5. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Hello. Yes these events do attract a large number of people - they are very popular. But there is adequate parking nearby with a complimentary minibus service to the castle, or you can travel by train and there will be a free bus service to the castle from the station. For details of the event itself see english-heritage.org.uk/visit/…

If you have time, do visit Dover town as well, there is more to see, including a Roman painted house and other historic buildings, plus a new shopping centre which is just opening, several restaurants and cafes. And you ought to have a quick stroll along the promenade. Ice creams and seafood available! Hope you enjoy your visit.

Tenterden, United...
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

In case you are not aware Canterbury is not a car friendly city and can be really difficult to navigate. There is a very good 'park and ride' scheme so that you do not have to drive into the city itself.

https:/…park_and_ride

The route between Leeds Castle and Wincheap Park and Ride is fairly straight forward. You can check it on this link http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp which show it to be around 40 minutes, plus allow around 20 minutes for the P&R bus transfer. You could spend between 2 and 4 hours at Leeds Castle. It is quite expensive to get in so personally I would want to get value for money. Probably about the same in Canterbury if you include lunch.

Nebraska
Level Contributor
332 posts
66 reviews
7. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

Thanks again for all the great information! We will taken all this into consideration along with the weather while we are there and adjust our schedules and stamina levels accordingly! I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in replying to my questions.

kent
Destination Expert
for Kent, Solo Travel
Level Contributor
15,107 posts
141 reviews
8. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

If you are going to be based in Maidstone (& with a car), I'd suggest a trip to the Kent Rural Life Museum. It's not far, is set beside Allington Lock. The KRLM is set in lovely parkland, & contains all sorts of village buildings that were at risk of demolition, but have been re-sited, reconstructed and furnished. There's ample car parking.

Leeds Castle is again another short journey from Maidstone ( take the A20, rather than the motorway). Personally, I think it's expensive for what it is, but this is your trip, not mine! There are public footpaths through some of the grounds, which are free. The Park Gate Inn on the A20, and has a public foot path through the Leeds golf club. Food at LC is expensive, so if you want a decent lunch, I'd suggest going to either the Windmill or the Sugarloaves in Hollingbourne. Both have car parks and the food is better. The Park Gate Inn is a food pub, and is OK, but not outstanding.

Canterbury.... As marg has rightly pointed out, it's not particularly car friendly, but you can get there easily by direct train from Maidstone East railway. The route goes through pretty countryside & the train gets into Canterbury West railway station, from which it's a 5 min walk into Canterbury itself. You'll see the top of the cathedral from the railway station, so can't get lost.

Sometimes the train company ( www.southeasternrailway.co.uk ) have special offers on day out tickets, including 2 for 1 entry ticket offers and other discounts. The website contains more info.

Please note, Maidstone and Canterbury have 2 railway stations each, operating completely different routes.

Nebraska
Level Contributor
332 posts
66 reviews
9. Re: Dover Castle WWII weekend in May

mcpindar, good to know about the 2 different train stations, which I was not aware of until now. Wow, we could have gotten into a pickle if not for knowing this information. So good of you to write. Appreciate your thoughtfulness!

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