White Cliffs of Dover

Located at the narrowest point of the English Channel, between England and the European Continent, the White Cliffs of Dover are chalk cliffs, also containing significant amounts of black flint as well as quartz, that reach a height of 350 feet (106.68 meters) and stretch for approximately 10 miles (16.09 kilometers).

White Cliffs of DoverThe cliffs were formed, along with the Straits of Dover, during ice age flooding, and, historically, have been both a symbolic defensive shield against invasion from the continent, as well as a marker for travelers, generally being the first sight of England as ships made their way across the channel. In fact, on a clear day the cliffs are visible from France.

Dover CastleThe port of Dover, in Kent county, is near the westernmost point of the cliffs, and the medieval masonry Dover Castle, founded in the 12th century, sits atop the cliffs and is the largest castle in England. There is evidence that other forms of defensive structures may have existed on the site from as far back as the Iron Age (1200 BC – 1 BC), possibly earlier.

White Cliffs of DoverThe Victorian era South Foreland Lighthouse, located at St. Margaret’s Bay, can be viewed atop the cliff. The lighthouse has been inactive since 1988 and is currently owned by the National Trust.

White Cliffs of DoverErosion of the chalk cliffs continues to occur (between 2 and 5 cm annually) though there have been times that large chunks of the cliff have fallen into the channel, with the most recent collapse occurring on March 15, 2012.

White Cliffs of DoverThe White Cliffs of Dover are, indeed, a spectacular natural wonder to view, especially when crossing the channel between Dover, England, and Calais, France (or even in your own kayak). The images seen here were captured from the deck of a P&O Ferry when departing from the port of Dover.

Over For Now.

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