England: Southeast Coast

Running the White Cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle

Creative Commons: Immanuel Giel

Running atop the White Cliffs of Dover makes for a memorable experience! A series of fairly gentle footpaths traverse the bluff atop the landmark chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel. It’s a popular spot for walking, hiking, or running. The best bet is to part at the National Trust Visitor Center. From there, paths along the cliff extend for 6.5 miles east to Kingsdown Beach. This is fairly easy trail running — the surface is dirt/grass, and the path is quite wide. There are great views of the water, with grasslands and meadows all around. Note the area is open and exposed, and it can be very windy.

Google Street View

A good 10k out and back is to run from the Visitor Center east for 2.8 miles, and then down Bay Hill to St. Margaret’s Beach, where there’s an 0.3 mile path along the water with great views of the white cliffs above. Come back up the hill and retrace your steps, or continue to Kingsdown.  There are some additional paths atop the cliff aside from the one closest to the water.

A Running Adventure: You can run one-way to Kingsdown, and even continue on a wonderful seafront path for 2.5 miles to Deal (or continue for another mile to Sandown) and then take public transport back. There are regular buses. There’s a train with stops 1.5 miles outside of Dover, in Walmer, and in Deal.

Castle Add-On: Another fun option is the run the 80 acres of grounds of Dover Castle, and then use Dame Vera Lynn Way to the White Cliffs. It’s a memorable climb on dedicated paths to the castle. The Castle was Henry II’s medieval palace and is one of England’s greatest fortresses. Note: Castle has set hours and admission fees.

 

Essentials
  • Up to 6.5 miles one-way on paths from Dover to Kingsdown. A good 10k is to St. Margaret's Beach
  • Rolling hills
  • National Trust Visitor Center
  • Car park at the Visitor Center. Buses run between the towns. The Dover train station is 1.5 miles from the Cliffs. Train runs between Dover and Deal

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Essentials
  • Up to 6.5 miles one-way on paths from Dover to Kingsdown. A good 10k is to St. Margaret's Beach
  • Rolling hills
  • National Trust Visitor Center
  • Car park at the Visitor Center. Buses run between the towns. The Dover train station is 1.5 miles from the Cliffs. Train runs between Dover and Deal