Samphire Hoe

Dover Harbour, Shakespeare Beach and Samphire Hoe

Dover Harbour

  • Shingle beach
  • Promenade
  • Ideal for watersports  
  • Sea Sports Centre
  • Slipway
  • Fishing
  • Refreshment kiosk
  • Disability facilities
  • Toilets
  • Nearby restaurants and cafés with sea views/views of marina
  • Within walking distance to town shops and Visitor Information Centre
  • Plenty of parking
  • Bus Station at Pencester Road (approx 15 minutes’ walk from the beach)
  • Train station: Dover Priory (approx 20 minutes’ walk from the beach)

Enjoy the fantastic views across the world’s busiest straits! Watch the arrival and departure of cruise liners. 

The shingle beach has a promenade that stretches from one end to the other with plenty of benches and places to sit so that you can enjoy the amazing view.

It is an ideal place for watersports! Bring your own or pop into the Dover Sea Sports Centre where you can choose from a vast range of courses and activities for all ages and abilities. Dinghy sailing, powerboating, windsurfing, raft building, bell boating…and more.

Dover Sea Sports Centre beach rental – including kayaks (single or up to 4), sailing dinghy, windsurfing or have fun in a pedalo!

Popular Dover Sea Safari offers fun and speed on the water with trips along the coast, to the Goodwin Sands or for a bit of seal spotting. If you plan in advance you can charter a boat for a spot of fishing with Coker Sea Fishing Charters

There are kiosks along the promenade selling snacks and refreshments. Pebbles, situated near the Premier Inn, is ideal for essential items needed for a trip to the beach, refreshments, deckchair hire and gifts and souvenirs. They also have keep safe lockers for items that you don't want to take on the beach. Great public toilets, too! 

Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant and BEST WESTERN PLUS Dover Marina Hotel & Spa offer stunning views across the harbour. Cullins Yard looks out over Dover Marina. A kiosk on the promenade offers fantastic fresh fish and sea foods plus refreshments. Take a stroll around the award winning Dover Marina and admire the yachts and boats.

Take the underpass (where archaeologists discovered the famous Dover Bronze Age Boat) and you'll find Market Square, Dover Museum and Dover Visitor Information Centre, and the town centre.

There is plenty of seafront parking, and car parks at the Marina, Russell Street, and Camden Crescent. See the Dover District Council website for further details.

Other nearby attractions include Dover Castle and Dover's Roman Painted House.

Shakespeare Beach

  • Shingle beach
  • Bathing
  • Fishing
  • Dogs allowed
  • Coastal path behind the beach but no direct vehicle access to beach
  • Not suitable for those with disabilities

Shakespeare Beach stretches to the west of Dover Harbour from Admiralty Pier to Shakespeare Cliff. Set in the bay, it is a quiet location.

You can access the beach via a footpath. Use on-street parking at Aycliffe and cross the A20 via a footbridge to the cliff. There are steps down to beach. Or park (pay and display) at Samphire Hoe and walk along the footpath.

More on Shakespeare Cliff and Beach…

Shakespeare Cliff is Dover’s most impressive cliff and depicted in King Lear when Edgar, still disguised, leads Gloucester to the cliff:

"Come on, sir; here's the place: stand still. How fearful 
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire, dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than his head:
The fishermen that walk upon the beach
Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark
Diminish'd to her cock; her cock a buoy
Almost too small for sight: the murmering surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more;
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong."

King Lear, Act IV scene VI - The Country near Dover.

Samphire Hoe

  • Angling
  • Walking
  • Cycle route
  • Access for people with a disability
  • Dog walking (must be kept on a lead)
  • Tea kiosk
  • Open 7am until dusk every day
  • Pay and Display parking

Samphire Hoe is a great location below Shakespeare Cliff and is a haven for nature with wild flowers and birds. It’s an ideal picnic spot and popular for inspiring walks and cycling whilst taking in the stunning view.

Samphire Hoe is an amazing place and was made from the material dug to create the Channel Tunnel. Originally known as the Lower Shakespeare Cliff site, the famous quotation from King Lear (above) was the source of inspiration for the new name. Rock Samphire grows on the Hoe. For many years it was an important local plant which was collected and eaten.

To access Samphire Hoe by car: driving from Dover to Folkestone on the A20, follow the signs and access via a tunnel through the cliffs leading to the car park.

By foot or bicycle: the cliff top footpath (North Downs Way) and a cycle track (Sustrans NCN Route 2) pass the tunnel entrance providing easy access.

By bus: No 61 to Aycliffe, then on foot.

Owned by Eurotunnel who is a core member of the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership (WCCP). Eurotunnel and WCCP work together to manage and enhance Samphire Hoe as a place for people and a place for wildlife.