Book 2, Walk 30, Dover to Deal

Deal, Kent on a Saturday afternoon

11-Mar-06 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Walmer Beach

02-Jun-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Looking back to St Margarets

02-Jun-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Near Dover

02-Jun-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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DTD 119

02-Feb-14 • newnumenor on Flickr

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Bench on clifftop

St Margaret's Bay, Dover to Deal walk

13-May-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Walmer Beach flowers

04-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Dover to Deal walk

Easy cliff walk following the Saxon Shore Way along the 'White Cliffs of Dover' to historic Deal


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sun, 06-May-18 8

Sunday Walk: Deal to Dover

Book 2 walk 30 (backwards)
17.2 km 10.7 miles Difficulty: 3/10
The walk starts off along Deal beach with its unusual collection of wild and exotic plants. The nearer you get to Dover, the cliffier the walk gets. On the way you encounter Tudor castles, a lighthouse, and Exmoor ponies.
The 9:37 Hi Speed from St Pancras International (destination showing as St Pancras on Journey Planner) (Stratford Int 09:44, Ashford Int 10:15) arrives at Deal at 10:59.
Journey Planner routes you via St Pancras no matter what station you type in but you can get a slower, cheaper connection from Victoria. The "cough" "ahem" 8:42 (Bromley South 8:59, Orpington, 9:07) to Dover Priory arrives Dover at 10:35 (platform 2) where you change onto the above train (platform 1, 10:41) to reach Deal. If you miss the connection, you're doing the walk the other way round! (You can also change at Ashford Int. arr. 10:04 dep. 10:15) Ask for a super off peak return to Deal and maybe throw in the words "avoiding St Pancras".
Hi Speed Trains return from Dover Priory at xx:49 and xx:59. Slower ones to Victoria are at xx:05 and xx:59 (except 16:59). Get a return to Deal.
Lunch: First up, the Zetland Arms a pub on the beach 3 miles down from Deal. Later, in St Margaret's Bay, you have the Coastguard pub. St Margaret's Museum has a café and there's a tea kiosk on the beach.
The Bluebirds Tea Room has closed.
Tea: Mrs Knott's Tea-room at South Foreland lighthouse is open "the same times as the lighthouse" (closes 5-ish). The White Cliffs Visitor Centre, is open till 5. There are plenty of places in Dover itself, including a Wetherspoons, the Eight Bells.
Directions for this walk can be found here. You only need pages 1-3 and 8-10. (The reverse directions start at paragraph 74).
Be aware that this walk is so close to France that your phone can switch to a French network and even adopt French time. If the wind's in the wrong direction, you might start talking in French.
Is it too late to join this walk for tomorrow?
No you don't need to book. We don't have a booking system.
Check out our info for new "member"s on the FAQ page
Walk info, map and GPS link isn't working
its is now :)
8 on a hot sunny day.
The bank holiday weekend is probably not the best time to schedule this walk. Packed trains both ways (though I think we all got seats) and heaving pubs. But none of that seemed to matter, it being such a glorious day. Vegetation between Deal and Walmer was mainly dull green stuff, not in full swing yet. There were bluebells though. (Spanish).
The Zetland Arms was 3 deep at the bar so we continued on to the Coastguard at St Margaret’s Bay. There was another long queue for the bar there and a 90 minute wait for food. But there are worse places to wait than in its garden, watching the sea. And the food, judging by the purrs of satisfaction, was good when it came.
At walk’s end, most found a pub “by the water”. I, who was lagging, found the Wetherspoons and a satisfactory half pint of cider (Hunt’s Wobbler). Most (we lost two along the way) reunited on the platform for the 17:49.

Sun, 28-Jan-18 7

Sunday Walk A [minimal mud] Sunday Saunter from Dover to Deal and possibly onto Sandwich

Book 2 Walk 30: An easy cliff walk from the dramatic White Cliffs of Dover to the charms of historic Deal or Sandwich t=2.30

Train: Take the 9:37 AM Faversham train from London St. Pancras to Dover (9:44 at Stratford International), arriving at 10:41 AM. Return trains from Sandwich are at 25 minutes past the hour and from Deal at 31 minutes past the hour until 21:25 and 21:31, respectively. Buy a day return to Deal or Sandwich if planning on the longer route.

Distance: 11 miles to Deal and 16 miles to Sandwich (17.7 or 25.7, respectively, in new money)

Difficulty: 3 out of 10

First apologies for also posting another walk south of the river…..However, I could not resist the potential opportunity to see a waxing moon rising from the appropriately Eastward facing Sandwich Bay…..Besides, as this route mainly follows chalky cliffs, it is likely to be relatively mud-free…..

This fairly easy coastal walk follows the dramatic White Cliffs of Dover with nice views of the castle and the busy harbour. It then dips down into St. Margaret's Bay for a seaside lunch before once again climbing up onto the cliffs to continue on to Deal. The 5-mile walk to Sandwich is largely flat along a promenade with views out to Sandwich Bay. After about 4 miles on the seafront, you will need to turn left to follow the Saxon Shore Way through the Royal St. George's Golf Club (if you pass some Public Conveniences on the left, you have gone too far (though you could also turn left along the Stour Valley Walk a short distance further on from the conveniences at a car park). Both of these paths lead into the charming village of Sandwich after about a mile. If the weather conditions are clear, I would suggest, having a bevie in Deal and doing at least part of the last bit under a nicely waxing moon. More information and the directions can be found here.

Lunch will be at the Coastguard in St. Margaret's Bay (01304 853176), a beach side pub claiming to be Britain's closest pub to France about 5 miles/8 km from the start of the walk.

The recommended tea stop in Deal is Jasins Café, located on the pier. There are also numerous cosy pubs on the seafront. For those on the long-haul, there are numerous pubs in Sandwich.

Fingers crossed for clear skies!

Enjoy the walk!
It's the same fare for Sandwich or Deal
7 alighted from the train in Dover under initially partly cloudy skies clearing to sunshine by the sea with better weather than France for a change. The walk along the cliffs was dramatic with great views of the harbor and the channel though even at these heights there were patches of the gloopy stuff to navigate....Lunch at the Coastguards was a bit slow for the 4 diners but fortunately the terrace proved a pleasant spot for the picnickers so that we all continued on together. In Deal, some went for tea and others harder stuff (sadly the café on the pier is temporarily closed). Eventually 4 re assembled just before 5 and set off for Sandwich under a beautiful bright almost full moon.
Sat, 05-Aug-17 20

Dover to Deal - the White Cliffs for £10

SWC walk 30 - Dover to Deal
Length: 17l.2km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.37 train from St Pancras (Southeastern Highspeed platforms) to Dover, arriving 11.41

Buy a ticket in advance - a day return to Deal - up to 6pm the day before, online on the Southeastern website or at staffed Southeastern stations, using the Southeastern Summer Offer.

Using the above offer, the return fare is just £10. I am not sure whether there is limited availability on the offer, but book early to avoid disapppointment. Otherwise it is £21 with a Network Card so long as you use the Southeastern machines at St Pancras (eg go up onto the departure level and use the machines just by the barriers).

I hope this above offer works OK: it is an obscure promotion with odd rules, one being that it only applies to trains after 10am, even on Saturday, hence the late start. Another rule of the offer is that "you cannot break up and resume your journey": does this mean a Deal return won't work at the barriers at Dover? I honestly don't know.

If you are a South Londoner and really really really want to be perverse you could take the 10.07 from Victoria, 10.23 Bromley South, arriving Dover at 12.06 and walk fast to catch up. The £10 offer also applies on this train. But taking the Victoria line to Kings Cross to use the high speed train makes more sense and is a LOT faster on the way back: see below.

For walk directions click here.

You've seen Dunkirk: now go and see where it happened. This walk gives you a grandstand view of that important little 20.7 miles of sea, without which we would now be living in a Europe dominated by Germany (Err.....). For a walk on the airy heights it is easy underfoot - only two climbs, few undulations. Lots of views of ferries.

Lunch is at the Coastguard pub on the beach in St Margaret's Bay, which does food till 14.45, but if you can't hold out that long, the White Cliffs Visitor Centre earlier in the walk does sandwiches and the like. There is also usually a refreshment kiosk open on the beach at St Margaret's Bay.

Note that in the whole middle section of this walk your phone may switch to being on a French network: this maybe does not matter as much as it did now the EU has banned extortionate roaming charges, but you still may find yourself using minutes or bytes not included in your package.

For tea, the Blue Birds Tea Room was closed for refurbishment or conversion into something else when I passed in June, but it is too soon after lunch anyway. The Zetland Arms in Kingswood, at the start of the long flat Deal beach, is an alternative mid afternoon stop: open on fine afternoons and with tables right by the sea. Otherwise, Deal has lots of options: I love the place at the end of the pier even if the service is a bit dozy: the views are tremendous. But other walkers have other favourites. Most SWC-ites skip the short walking tour of the old town in the walk directions in their mad rush to get to the station, but they shouldn't and neither should you.

Sea swimming: Low tide is at 5.50pm and so there should be sufficient depth for swimming at St Margaret's Bay at lunchtime: it is not a bad place for a dip at that, a scenic and tranquil bay, but there are currents further out, so be careful. At any point on Deal beach you will find a strong current parallel to the shore: it doesn't mean you can't swim but don't go too far out and don't expect to come back to the shore at the same place you left your clothes. Towards low tide the water can be rather mucky, but I have swum in it before and am not dead yet.

Trains back are at 31 past train direct to St Pancras, taking 1 hour 23 minutes. Unless you did not get a £10 ticket and have not paid the high speed supplement, you would have to be really peverse to want to go back to Victoria, since this takes an hour longer (2hr 21) even if the connections work OK, but for the record the 00 past train northbound from Deal to Faversham offers you a rather tight 5 minute change at Faversham to a Victoria service. T=2.30
For those living in the East End, the deal seems to work from Stratford International too. The departure time there is 10:44
Bit of a late start is this to allow a warm up swim?
It is always nice when people read the walk post!!!! The 10.37 start is because the £10 offer only applies to trains after 10am
If anyone wants to pay the full £20 fare and get the 9.37 and have a swim on Dover Beach while the others catch up, I would be up for that....
20 on this walk. A lovely sunny morning on the white cliffs. France visible from Calais to Bologne and the ferries going back and forth. I never tire of this view. Some old SWC hands were apparently seeing it for the first time, having never done the walk before.

Lacking my usual support team, I thought I might be the only swimmer at St Margaret's Bay, but I arrived to find four already in the water and quickly joined them. Lovely clean water, sparkling sun, but the water was colder than it should have been, possibly due to an offshore wind (it blows warmer coastal water out to sea and lets colder water well up to replace it). But still, a lovely dip.

Lunchers spilt between the pub and the beach kiosk (whose burgers and toasted thingies were surprisingly tasty). The two kiosk staff were a bit overstretched but their business was about to take a dive. All through the swim there had been frightful clouds to the north: as we finished lunch it began to rain.

There were a couple of rumbles of thunder at this point but nothing more, and the shower did not last too long. There were two more in the next couple of hours under autumnal grey skies but then the sun started to appear again. The light patterns over the sea in the meantime were wonderful: see the SWC Facebook page for photos.

By this time I had lost the group, so when the sun broke through as I was walking along Walmer Beach I quickly diverted for an idyllic swim, warmer than the last had been, with gorgeous hues out to sea as the clouds fled east. (So overall official weather report for this walk is sun then showers then sun.)I had a third swim at Deal Pier as the sun declined. I missed those who went to tea in the cafe at the end of the pier but found three of them soon after, replete from chips at a new place on the seafront called the Seaview.

The four of us got the 7.30 train. Everyone else presumably got earlier trains. I hoped they stayed long enough to see the sun come out.
Photos of this walk:
Sun, 18-Jun-17 9

A Kent seaside amble with dramatic cliffs

Book 2 Walk 30 Dover to Deal

Length 17.2km (10.7m); toughness 3/10

Trains High Speed 1 by far the best option but a little dearer)

London St Pancras 09.42 (Stratford International 09.48), arriving Dover Priory 10.52

Return journey - you will need to catch a bus from Deal Station at xx:58 back to Dover Priory station; (journey time approx 30 mins) to pick up the HS1 at xx:49

Buy a day return to Deal

The weather forecast for Sunday is looking good for the area - warm and sunny - so why not try this simple and easy classic walk which has a couple of climbs.( It should be impossible to get lost if you keep the sea on your right hand side). It is one of the finest coastal walks in England, taking you right along the top of the famous White Cliffs of Dover. On a clear day, you get stunning views of the English Channel, and the ferries buzzing in and out of Dover Harbour, and the French coast from Boulogne to Dunkerque.

You can find out more about the walk here . Click on the download walk tab for the instructions.

If you walk at a sensible pace you can reach your lunch pub by 13.30. There are options to shorten the walk but you will need to catch a bus back to Dover. See the walk pdf for details.t=2.30

7 in very hot and sunny conditions, though a curious murk descended on the mid Channel in the distance for part of the afternoon; not sure whether it was low cloud, mist, heat haze or pollution.

2 reached The Coastguard at 1345 and had lunches just either side of good. The plan was to take tea at Dunkerley's Hotel but very loud music playing in front of the Old King's Head a couple of doors away frightened everyone away.

The walk description is accurate when it says that "The last quarter of the walk ... is ... less dramatic than the White Cliffs".
2 left two hours later and sauntered over the cliffs to St Margarets' Bay where we had much needed ice creams and then waited ages for the bus back to Dover. Thought it would be cooler nearer the coast, it wasn't! so could only manage half this walk. very nice views, enjoyable nonetheless.
9 therefore, very hot and sunny
actually it was 8 people and 1 dog !!
Sat, 01-Oct-16 6

Saturday First Walk Dover to Deal or Sandwich

Saturday First Walk Dover to Deal (or Sandwich) T=2.30

Walk: Deal: 3 out of 10, 10.7 miles (17.2km) L=2.30

The weather forecast suggests it might be a fine weekend, hopefully making the travelling time worthwhile. You should arrive in Deal around 16.30. which give 2 hours for the optional 5 mile extension to Sandwich, before sunset at 18.30.

Travel: Get the 0942 high speed train to Dover Priory from St Pancras International, arrives 1049. Buy a Super Off Peak return to Deal (£30.30 or £19.95 with railcard fare to Sandwich seems to be the same price as that to Deal). If you know your travel plans, there is a slightly cheaper Advance ticket.
Return trains are xx03 (via Dover) and xx25 (via Ramsgate). You can save money by travelling from Charing Cross 0840 arrive 1034, but with longer journey times.

Lunch: The Coastguard (01304 853176, on the beach at St Margaret’s Bay ( food until 2.45).

Sandwich Extension
There are a number of options for walking to Sandwich, but the most direct is turning away from the coast at The Sandwich Bay Estate. Continuing to follow the Saxon Way increases the distance to 6 miles.
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6. rain windy sunshine Luckily we were in Dover when the clouds opened up and sheltered in shop doorways, watching the Tudor Festival parade get soaking wet. A morning of frequent showers and slippery paths (not good on a cliff walk!). The Coastguard was busy and booked up, but the 4 pub lunch people squeezed onto a small bar table. The afternoon was dry and we had blue skies for an enjoyable tea on the pier. We all returned from Deal.

One of us had previously done the Sandwich extension, and said it wasn't that good, but best done in June for the flowers on the beach.
Sat, 13-Jun-15 19

Saturday Second Walk - the White Cliffs of Dover

Book 2, walk 30 - Dover to Deal t=2.30
Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

9.40 train from Charing Cross to Dover, arriving 11.31


10.08 Southeastern High Speed train from St Pancras International to Ashford, arriving 10.46, to connect with the above train at 11.00 (and so also arrive at Dover at 11.31)

High speed types could also get the 10.37 from St Pancras direct to Dover, arriving 11.41, which would give you an extra half hour in bed. Note that there is a Meet-Up group of walkers travelling on this train, however. It is a led walk, so we ought to easily show them a clean pair of heels, but I thought the ten minute head start offered by the train choice above might the useful. The Meet-Ups are asked to bring a packed lunch and so hopefully will not clutter up the lunch pub.

Buy a day return to Deal: there is a big advantage to taking the high speed train when coming back from this walk: see note at the end of this post.

For walk directions click here or bring book two.

This walk along England's ramparts is a joy at any time of the year, but especially now when its wildflowers are at their best. In particular, the "boring bit" (a term others use, but not me!!) along Walmer and Deal beaches is enlivened by a spectacular display (see photo, taken this year), and the section before that (St Margaret's Bay onwards) usually has plenty of pretty sainfoin (a pink pea flower).

Lunch is usually taken at the Coastguard Inn overlooking the sea in St Margaret's Bay, but there are all sorts of tea room alternatives - one in the South Foreland Lighthouse that you can access without paying the admission fee, one in the museum opposite the park as you come into St Margaret's Bay, a tea kiosk on St Margaret's Beach and the Blue Birds Tea Room just beyond St M (though the latter is often full).

For tea I particularly like the cafe at the end of Deal Pier, which has a wonderful view of the sea and the town - much nicer than you expect when you see it from the shore. But there are other favourites discovered by walkers on previous outings, including the Pop Up Cafe at 16 High Street.

The little walking tour of Deal contained in the directions is often skipped by walkers, but only takes 15 minutes and is very scenic.

Trains back from Deal now go direct to St Pancras with no need to change, leaving at 31 past till at least 21.31 and taking just 1 hr 23 minutes. But you have to pay the high speed supplement to do this (about £3 with a Network Card and you must have a ticket from London Terminals not a zone boundary.)

If you want to return by normal train to Charing Cross you now have to change at Ashford (arriving at 15 past and leaving at 35 past) giving a total journey time of 2hrs 22 minutes.

Intend catching the 10:08, but joining at Stratford
Saturday 13 June: Book 2 walk 30 Dover to Deal: 19 on this walk, cloud clearing to sun. Interestingly, 17 of the party came on the high speed train, with only 2 coming from Charing Cross. One took the direct high speed train arriving 10 minutes later and reported it was, as advertised, crowded with the Meet Up group, but we did not have any other sighting of them during the day.

The morning was disappointingly cold, grey and windy, but by the time we got to St Margaret's Bay the sun was breaking through and it turned into a lovely afternoon, a bit breezy but also warm. The poor morning weather meant the Coastguard pub at St M's was gratifyingly empty and we had a lovely lunch by the sea: but someone tell them it is clunky to order drinks at the bar, wait for a waitress to take a table order and then have to go back to the bar to pay.

There were nice cliff top flowers in the afternoon and those on Walmer Beach were still good, though fading a bit. I don't know where the faster walkers went but eight of us had tea at the very scenic pier end cafe in Deal. I also had two swims in the sea, the second one at sunset, and found the water much warmer than eight days ago…..but no one else was tempted.
Sun, 28-Sep-14 12 Deal to Dover
Sun, 16-Mar-14 7 Dover to Deal
Sun, 01-Sep-13 4 Deal to Dover
Sat, 01-Jun-13 22 Dover to Deal
Sat, 02-Jun-12 Deal to Dover
Sat, 28-May-11 Deal to Dover
Sun, 05-Sep-10 Dover to Deal
Sun, 28-Feb-10 Deal to Dover
Sat, 30-May-09 Dover to Deal
Mon, 13-Apr-09 Dover to Deal
Sat, 13-Sep-08 Dover to Deal
Sun, 27-Jul-08 Dover to Deal
Sat, 15-Mar-08 Dover to Deal
Sun, 03-Jun-07 Dover to Deal
Sat, 19-May-07 Dover to Deal