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“Best place to refuel”

South Foreland Lighthouse
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and up
Private Shore Excursion: White Cliffs of Dover Half-Day Tour from Dover
Ranked #1 of 2 Food & Drink in Dover
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: A remote, isolated, pristine-white, solid beacon; a place of innovation and scientific firsts, now also a romantic hideaway and big-hearted family haven, the South Foreland lighthouse stands proud atop the White Cliffs of Dover. It surprises and delights with its warmth of welcome and unexpectedly wistful atmosphere, quaint and charming and yet robust and protecting. Like the Knott family of the past, its current keepers, who mostly offer their time for free, are witness to events and show commitment and spirit in manning the light. Inside the Victorian tower, surprising stories unfold of a unique history that has shaped our world and influenced our travel, our trade, and our industrial and maritime heritage. Outside seemingly endless skies roll away across the English Channel and 21 miles away, the coast of France splits the sky from the sea. Serenity is broken when waves steepen, dark clouds tumble in, the wind lashes and the mouth-watering views are swallowed up. The lighthouse stands its ground and is once again protector, until the calm returns as quickly as it left and butterflies come out of hiding. Arrival is on foot across the beautiful and yet challenging cliffs, thus the lighthouse attracts the more adventurous. None the less, children’s laughter is all around, and the nostalgia of Mrs Knott’s tearoom attracts all generations, those who come to reflect and those who want to find out more about the traditions of the past. From its post on top of the gateway to Britain, South Foreland Lighthouse watches over their past, their present and their future.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
33 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Best place to refuel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

If you are planning to hike up to the lighthouse make sure you fuel up (I'm talking about tea and cake) and when you get to the lighthouse, refuel again. You will need it.
The lighthouse itself is nice, history buffs can take a tour of it. A nice range of games were set up outside for children to play, plenty of picnic tables to sit and enjoy the sea views. The cosy, little Mrs. Knott's Tea Room has refreshments and facilities to freshen up before you start the long walk back to the car park. We did the whole thing including breaks and photo stops in 2.5 hrs.

Visited August 2014
Thank Dhiviya X
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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305 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Czech first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Greensburg, PA
Level Contributor
103 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“A much needed stop.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2014

Visited July 20, 2013

The half way point if you have decided to do the entire "White Cliff" loop, the South Foreland Lighthouse provides a much needed stop.

Doesn't open until 11am (so if you hike early, plan accordingly). This lighthouse is absolutely beautiful inside and provides a place to warm up (if you didn't dress correctly), have some tea or coffee, a light snack, bathroom, and refresh for the hike back. The lighthouse itself doesn't have a gift shop but there is a small gift shop at the trailhead for a different road just outside the lighthouse.

Apparently the parking is for employees only and there is no way to get to this lighthouse except to hike the White Cliffs trail. So lace up your boots and go visit it.

Visited July 2014
2 Thank mrclincolnhigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Sussex, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
53 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2014

Great guides. Fascinating history. Top-notch tea room. Officially approachable on foot only (approach roads privately owned), so no public parking.

Visited August 2014
Thank winelovinggourmet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
141 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Radio was born here, and the lighthouse keepers loved this site.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 August 2014

Visited in high season and open every day, but check before walking there. Cars are not meant to use the private access tracks but a few do. Guided tours of the tower start when about 4-6 are gathered, and are informative. 76 steps are manageable for most. There is enough to appeal to the mechanical, or just a good view if you are lucky. Also on site a Marconi hut which recalls Marconi used the site for his first wireless message. The extensive tea rooms are named after a family who ran the lighthouse for generations, as families were allowed at on shore sites. Some archaeologist laying yellow tape were looking for older lighthouses, and claimed to be able to detect tunnels. You can buy souvenirs on site, but look at a map f=before setting out. as the land around is not signposted to the site. The White cliffs are a short walk away.

Visited August 2014
Thank Martin T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fareham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
92 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Superb venue and tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2014

we are members of the national trust so free for us to go in !! the tour guide was exceptional and very informative... well worth a visit here ..excellent views over the dover straits....

Visited July 2014
Thank Candis T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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