The skies cleared, exactly when we needed them to — for a glorious four mile walk atop the White Cliffs Of Dover. As recommended by our Airbnb host, we took a cab from Deal to the Cliffs National Trust visitors center, perched on the cliffs overlooking the bustling port of Dover, a poignant reminder these days of the looming disaster known as Brexit. If Britain does leave the E.U., Dover — the busiest British Port with the E.U. — will likely be a mess, with long queues of trucks, in particular, no longer able to drive through without a passport control stop.
We had some coffee and shopped for upmarket souvenirs, then set off on the dirt and often muddy or soupy path across the grassy fields atop the dramatic white cliffs. We could see Dover Castle (worth a visit I’m told) to the southwest and, vaguely, the French coast, 21 miles across the sea to the east. Some flowers were in bloom, a sight for sore eyes, after unseasonably warm weather here last week.
Our walk ended in the bay of the tiny village of St. Margaret’s at Cliff, where we had an excellent lunch (scampi and chips, Kentish sausage and mash, lemon curd creme brulee) at a cozy Pub called The Coastguard on-the-bay. After lunch, we walked on the beach of blue, white and tan stones bordered by a towering white cliff with a few homes perched on the top. And then we walked up a steep winding road to the cliff -top village green where we boarded a bus full of uniformed school kids for the ride back to Deal.
By late afternoon, the sky was a dramatic darkening shelf, highlighted by a setting sun above the long row of terraced houses lining the coast for miles. You could see why Turner painted in nearby Margate, now home to a museum named after him. We shared a well-earned pot of tea at the trendy restaurant at the end of the pier.