Take a stroll along the new pier at Dover in Kent and you will experience stunning and breath-taking views of the iconic and famous white cliffs – as well as a fab view of Dover Castle perched high on a hill above the town.
Dover Marina Pier opened in May 2019, so if you haven’t visited or passed through the town in recent times, you won’t have seen it. It is part of the on-going Dover Western Docks Revival redevelopment and looks out over a brand new marina.
Most townspeople have welcomed the new pier and the redevelopment. However, there is some conflict of opinion locally, as it did mean the loss of public access to a former pier and the loss of a section of beach. Also, the development is not yet complete.
Where to park
If you’re on a quick visit, you can park at the St James’ shopping centre beside the A20, which is free for one hour. If you want to stay longer, pay for a ticket. Then take the underpass, to the right of M&S to get to the seafront safely.
When there, look out for this trio and then go right.
You might not instantly recognise these characters, who are all associated with the town in some way. Luckily, on my visit, I had a local with me to tell me who they were!
On the left is one of Dover’s Olympic torchbearers, in the middle it’s Dame Vera Lynn who sang about the White Cliffs of Dover and on the right, Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond series, who lived in the nearby village of St Margaret’s Bay.
Grab a tea or coffee before you reach the pier entrance. At the moment, there are no refreshments on the pier itself. Sit on one of the many seafront benches, or use the telescope to get a magnified view out to sea.
You’ll enjoy panoramic views as you walk along the pier and out to sea. Most days, you’ll see cruise liners and ferries using the port.
Out at sea you might spot cross Channel swimmers doing their training and paddle boarders having fun, as I did on my stroll.
Look back towards the beach and you’ll see weather hardy locals taking a dip, whatever the weather and time of year.
Take a seat on the pier, to take in the amazing views.
Dover Marina Pier
The pier is more than 500 metres long. It has a small shelter at the end. During the summer it is open from 7am – 9pm and in the winter from 7am – 7pm. It is closed in adverse weather conditions.
The Marina Pier is private property, owned by Dover Harbour Board. There is no fishing on this particular pier.
The new marina is just 20 miles from France and the Continent. It is expected to be popular for cross Channel sailing as it is within easy sailing distance of the French marinas of Boulogne, Calais, Gravelines and Dunkerque and the Belgian and Dutch coasts.
Dover Western Docks Revival project
The redevelopment plans include shops, bars, cafes and restaurants, as well as the new pier and marina. The Dover Western Docks Revival project is the relocation and further development of Dover’s cargo business, with a new cargo terminal and distribution centre.
It will create greater space within the Eastern Docks for ferry traffic and is expected to create jobs for local people.
If you’re in Dover for the day, or longer, pay a visit to Dover Castle.
Try to visit on a sunny and warm day if you can. The winds along the seafront, out to sea and on the hills above the town can be quite brisk and blustery! You’ll also need to wrap up warm if you visit the castle’s war time tunnels.