Visiting in autumn

There will soon be misty mornings and a nip in the air. Woodlands, parks and gardens are donning their colourful leaves and berries, the harvest is in and fields ploughed. A fresh breeze greets you on the clifftop as you take in the sight of migrant birds gathering to fly south. Welcome to autumn in White Cliffs Country.

Here on the south-eastern tip of England, autumn is a lovely time to explore our beautiful countryside, parks and gardens, spectacular seascapes and special historic places. Many of our leading visitor attractions continue to open their doors throughout the year. Wingham Wildlife Park is open every day (except Christmas Day), as is the Battle of Britain Memorial at Capel-le-Ferne. Dover Castle and Walmer Castle & Gardens are open daily until the end of October and at weekends in November and December.

It is a fabulous time of year for walking and cycling and there are plenty of interesting routes to choose from suitable for all ages and abilities. Pop in to the White Cliffs Country Visitor Information Centre at Dover Museum to pick up a copy of our Walking and Cycling routes map or download a copy. Please speak to a member of staff who will be happy to give advice and further information. While you're there, explore the museum's fascinating exhibits including the world's oldest-known seagoing vessel, the Bronze Age Boat, and the brilliant Channel Crossings exhibition.

A path, covered in fallen leaves bordered by trees, to Walmer Castle with a blue sky overhead.
Walmer Castle & Gardens is open daily until the end of October, then at weekends until Christmas.

In October things turn a little spooky over the school half-term holiday! Are you brave enough to take on Kent's most haunted castle, Dover Castle? Join the Halloween Quest and find out... Look out for other eerie activities and spine-tingling events at Walmer Castle, Betteshanger Park and Kearsney Park. For those interested in the natural world, head to the October Harvest Mouse Nest Fest at Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory. Details of all events can be found on our What's On pages. 

Book a fantastic experience such as a boat trip, golf session or creative workshop. Dover Sea Safari runs its exhilarating trips to view the White Cliffs from the sea at weekends until the end of the year (sea conditions permitting). Tee off at one of the three renowned championship links golf courses here - Prince's offers special golf and accommodation packages. Try your hand at jewellery making in Deal or join an art class and unleash your artistic side.

An aerial shot of three white buildings set within a golf course and the sea beyond.
Stay at The Lodge on Prince's golf course where you can play beside the sweep of Sandwich Bay.

Stroll through crunchy leaves and surround yourself in the beautiful autumnal colours in our parks and gardens. The six-acre organic Pines Garden in St Margaret's Bay and cafe serving homemade lunches are open on Wednesdays to Sundays; Kearsney Parks (Kearsney Abbey, Russell Gardens and Bushy Ruff) and cafe are open all year round; Goodnestone Park Gardens are open daily and the Old Dairy Cafe is open Wednesdays to Sundays; Walmer Castle Gardens are open daily until the end of October and at weekends in November and December. Betteshanger Park, open daily, between Deal and Sandwich offers space, walking and cycle routes, lots of fun activities and stunning countryside views.

Autumn is a time of plenty and you'll find plenty of fabulous places to eat and drink serving delicious food and beverages made from local seasonal produce: restaurants, cafes, tea rooms, and traditional pubs and micropubs all offering great hospitality... As the nights draw in and the days get chillier, there's nothing quite like a pint and a meal beside a log fire!

a couple sitting at a wooden table in a pub with a roaring fire to the left of the picture
Cosy up by the fire in our fabulous bars and pubs.

There's no need to leave your faithful hounds at home as there are plenty of places to enjoy visiting with your dog - see our Dog-friendly listings (below) and look out for the Dogs Welcome sticker!

With a wide range of places to stay in Dover, Deal, Sandwich and the surrounding scenic villages, with options to suit all tastes and budgets, you'll be sure to find a brilliant bolthole for a break in this lovely area. Don't forget to visit our top attraction before you leave - the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, which look incredible all year round!