There is something so old-fashioned and romantic about lighthouses, and when you enjoy a cream tea in one using rose-painted porcelain cups, mellow music in the background, it’s truly a lovely experience. Even more so, when you have first three miles or on in one of the most iconic and well-known trails in England: along the White Cliffs of Dover all the way to South Foreland Lighthouse!
The starting point for the walk, the White Cliffs visitor centre has spectacular views down into the busy ferry port of Dover as well as to the Dover Castle, which I recall being the largest castle in England (and no, we haven’t been there yet as it requires a full day and we’ve never had enough time, but hopefully later on this summer!).
There are a couple of paths one can use for the hike – one on the edge of the cliffs really is not for the faint-hearted. The other part goes further away and gives sweeping views over the field and little valleys on the way. It is also possible to go down to the pebbly beach, but be warned as in the end you need to use a steel ladder for the past 15 meters or so, it is a bit scary if you are afraid of heights!
We took all our three kids for this hike and therefore only walked a part of the way by the cliffs for safety reason. Our children loved running the paths up and down and it was easy going even for the four-year-olds. We were lucky with the weather as it turned into a sunny day, but you are really high up and in the open on top, so it’s very windy and rather cold always.
There is beautiful nature to admire also in terms of flowers and of course the kids favourite of collecting little pieces of chalky rocks and drawing with them on the way.
The rewards at the end of walk are memorable – a tour of the lighthouse, peek into the sand dunes where there are hundreds of shipwrecks, flying kites – and fly they did with the gusty winds! (Dover Cliffs and South Foreland Lighthouse are National Trust properties so one can borrow games and at least tick the 50 things task of flying kites).
After the tour comes the relaxing part of the day – delicious cream tea either outside or in the romantic tea room, flying kites, playing other games and just chillin’ in the sunshine. A great family day full of the ingredients of good life!