With the long, anticipated wait for the latest Bond film, ‘No Time To Die’, now is the time to sharpen your wits, pick up the clues and follow 007 across White Cliffs Country, for an exhilarating adventure with the districts many Bond connections waiting to be explored!
Bond Author, Ian Fleming had a holiday home here and found inspiration locally when he wrote ‘The spy story to end all spy stories’. He wrote Goldfinger and Moonraker from his house on the beach at St Margaret’s and there are two car journeys to celebrate these books – both converging on St. Margaret’s Bay, so why not track down and explore locations behind these famous Bond novels and films!
The Moonraker and Goldfinger routes were originally developed to cover Kent, but we concentrate on White Cliffs Country and include some of the places of interest.
Goldfinger or Moonraker?
The Moonraker and Goldfinger routes were originally developed to cover Kent, but we concentrate on White Cliffs Country and include some of the places of interest!
From St. Margaret’s go via Deal and the A258 to Sandwich. Follow the A256 to Ramsgate harbour, then the A253 and A299 to Reculver. Then take the A2 to Faversham, Chatham and Rochester. James Bond drove from London to Sandwich in the reverse order of course.
From London turn off the M20 at junction 8 for the A20. Follow the A252 up Charing Hill to Chilham and A28 to Canterbury. Then the A2 to Dover.
St. Margaret’s Bay and village
Head through the charming village of St Margaret’s and take the wonderful windy road (think Monaco!) down to a secluded bay, which will whisk you back to idyllic childhood holidays.
Moonraker, written in 1955, is largely based in St Margaret's a little fishing village that became a seaside resort and Kingsdown. The former Granville Hotel was the setting for Bonds’ and Gala Brands recovery following an encounter with a villain in Moonraker where they enjoyed fried soles and Welsh Rarebits. It is said that both Fleming and Coward frequented The Granville.
At the north end of the beach you will spot a white house (privately owned) with green shutters. Formerly known as 'White Cliffs', this was Flemings former weekend and holiday home during the decade where he wrote wrote about 007. The place where friend Coward a “sympathetic conspirator” to their romance, allowed Ian Fleming and Anne to stay.
Why not watch the shipping in the Channel as Fleming would have done and imagine the evil Drax fleeing in his submarine after the Moonraker rocket launch.
Take some time to explore the bay, there are a couple of places to eat, including The Coastguard pub or get an ice cream and just watch the world go by.
On your way back up to the village, why not have a look at the Pines Garden and St Margaret’s museum which are delightful. The museum tells the story of St Margaret’s during WW2 and opposite is the beautiful Pines Garden which is organically managed with a lake, poetry path and Pines Calyx.
Known as the Gateway to England, Dover welcomes millions of visitors each year. Dover is undergoing some exciting regeneration and there are lots to do and see. The iconic White Cliffs of Dover are great for views and walks. Head down to the award-winning seafront which has been redesigned and transformed by artworks that take the form of three waves washing up against the sheltered beach.
Royal Café Bench Street Dover
Walk along bench street to capture the mood Bond must of felt when he stopped for scrambled eggs and bacon at the former Royal Café referred to as Café Royal (Atina House is now on the Site) as you head toward the seafront where you can capture that insta moment with a sculpture of Bond.
The Port of Dover
Follow the signs to the White Cliffs of Dover either on foot or cycle from the seafront (alternatively you can drive) where not only will you get to take in the breath-taking cliffs you will also get a fantastic view of the Port where filming took place in the film Diamonds Are Forever.
Head to Dover Castle to continue the Moonraker journey where Bond drove past a ‘wonderful cardboard castle’ to see for yourself if you agree with this interesting description. Although Bond didn’t venue inside why not explore and climb the Great Tower for fantastic view of Dover and the surrounding countryside.
The Swingate, near Dover
Carry on past the ‘petrified Roman Candles’ of Swingate Radar Station towards Deal where you will come to The Swingate. The place that is said to be the location of a ‘World Without Want’ and it is the scene of a murder in ‘Moonraker’. This was Flemings’ and Noel Cowards’ meeting point having raced here from London before heading down to ‘White Cliffs’ in St Margaret’s.
The route heads into Deal, winner of the Telegraph’s High Street of the Year 2013 and more recently voted the UK’s Best Seaside, the town was once a major port and is steeped in history.
The seafront is a special place and fantastic for a stroll. If you walk to the end of the 1000ft long pier, you’ll see the range of different architectural periods, in the houses that stretch in two directions. The café at the end of the pier won an award for its architecture and is a great place to stop to refuel.
If you get time, the old part of the town around the Middle Street area is unmissable with cute cottages, used by smugglers during the 18th century. You can find out more about its fascinating and notorious past by following the historic town trail. Deal is awash with lovely places to eat and drink, so happy exploring!
Just along the coast from Deal is the pretty village of Kingsdown where Fleming describes Drax’s Moonraker research establishment as being ‘located on the edge of the cliffs between Dover and Deal’. Perhaps Drax’s house was one of those in the middle of Walmer and Kingsdown Golf Course as you can find a steep cliff path like the one described at Oldstairs Bay at Kingsdown leading down from the golf course.
Wander along to the seafront where you will find a fantastic little pub called the Zetland for coffee (and something to eat!) in an unrivalled spot where you can watch ferries making the short crossing to France.
Once a bustling and prosperous port, Sandwich, one of the original Cinque Ports, is now said to be “one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Britain”.
The Goldfinger novel is where Bond drives an Aston Martin DB III to escape London this time. Set course for Sandwich and his encounter on the links with jeweller, goldsmith and golf cheat Auric Goldfinger.
Royal St George’s Golf Course
Royal St George’s features in ‘Goldfinger as Royal St Mark’s where Bond plays that classic match with Goldfinger. Fleming himself played golf here for around thirty years having started going in the 1930s and was elected captain for the club 1964/5. See the venue where the Bond-Goldfinger clash happened, either by walking along the public footpath or immersing yourself in the experience with a round of Golf.
Visit our website for further information, including places to stay, eat, drink and things to do during your visit.
Deal Historic Village Trail
Dover Historic Village Trail
Sandwich Historic Village Trail
Days Out guide