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ISSUE 15 ARCHIVE - PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DOVER

Juliet Savigear

Generally I remember Dover from my childhood, passing through the port to head down through France for our family summer holidays. However, there is some good diving to be done here from the charter boats with numerous fantastic wrecks not far off those white cliffs.

FOOD AND BOOZE

Cullen's Yard – a seafood restaurant
(meat and vegetarian options available too), overlooking the marina and built in an old ship repair yard. Continental beers and 
a wide selection of whiskies available too! Tel: 01304 211666

Hythe Bay Seafood Restaurant at Dover – offers another seafood restaurant right by the marina and live music on a Saturday night. Tel: 01304 366820

If you’ve been doing a little shore dive off St Margaret’s Bay, then The Coastguard Pub and Restaurant is the place to end up. Apparently there are the remains of an old wreck if you head off diving by the sign ‘Telegraph Cable’. Follow for about 50m and go S/W by 5 metres, you should find some iron keel and ribs according to the Ocean Odyssey Divers website. Tel: 01304 851019

Close to the marina is Blakes of Dover which has real ale with at least three ales from micro breweries always on tap. Accommodation is also available here and meals for guests. Tel: 01304 202 194

A GOOD NIGHT’S KIP

Premier Inn (Dover Eastern) – 300 meters from the slipway and 500 meters from the harbour. Marine Court, Marine Parade, Dover, Kent, CT16 1LW. Tel: 0871 527 8306

Premier Inn (A20) – 10 minutes drive from the main harbour. Folkestone Road, Dover, Kent, CT15 7AB. Tel: 0871 527 8310

County Hotel – Another hotel just close to the Marina Parade. With a heated pool to relax in if the weather blows you out. Tel: 01304 509955

Castle Hill Road, close by, has a number of guest houses, many with off street parking:

Number One Guest House –
Tel: 01304 202007

Churchill Guest House – Tel: 01304 204622

Castle Guest House – Tel: 01304 201656

Ardmore Guest House – Tel: 01304 205895

St Martins Guest House – Tel: 01304 205938

OUT AND ABOUT

If the weather is pants and you can’t even get on a ferry to do a spot of shopping on the other side of the Channel, then maybe you might want to kick around Dover Museum and Bronze Age Boat Gallery until the pub opens. Here you can take a look at the world’s oldest known sea-going boat. Discovered in September 1992 by the archaeologists from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust, alongside contractors on a new road link between Dover and Folkestone, the remains of this large wooden prehistoric boat are thought to be some 3,000 years old, dating back to the Bronze Age. It was a find of both national and international significance which will shed new light on early seafaring and woodworking skills in Northern Europe.

Alternatively, you could go and do a spot of wine-tasting. Free mini tours and tastings take place at Barnsole Vineyard – so who’s going to be the driver then?

And don’t forget the castle or even the finest Roman house on show in Britain. The Roman Painted House was built about AD. 200 forming part of a large mansion or official hotel, for travellers crossing the Channel. It’s close to the marina, so won’t be far away from your mates in the pub.

LOCAL DIVE CONTACTS

Mutiny Diving – Wreck diving specialists of the Dover and Folkestone areas. They offer PADI and IANTD courses, RYA Power boat training, charter boat diving of the numerous wrecks in the area together with repairs, servicing and airfills. Tel: 07889 821266. Mobile: 07889 821266

Neptune Charter – Run by skipper, Dave Batchelor. Catermaran powered by twin Caterpillar diesel engines giving over 700 hp, MCA 60 Mile Licence. All Year 24 Hours. 12 passengers plus crew. Tel: 01233 502219, mobile/boat phone: 07710 269929

Sea Explorer – Run by skipper, John Perrin. 10.5m rib licensed for 12 divers. Min 6 for a booking but will accept individuals to fill the boat. Tea/coffee. Dive season May to Oct. Sea Explorer can also be chartered for family boat trips, wind farm trips, corporate and special events – nearby there are hundreds of seals around Goodwin Sands. Tel: 01227 700015

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