I have been travelling back and forth to Dover for over twelve years now and until this summer, I had never taken the time to pop into the unique conservation area called Samphire Hoe.
I think maybe that like me, many people arrive in Dover on the ferry, and on the whole they are going on to somewhere else other than Dover itself. But here is a wonderful tip if you happen to find yourself in Dover with time on your hands. Visit the Samphire Hoe! Its really lovely!
On the occasion when I visited the site, the weather was extraordinarily wonderful and so I have to admit to having seen it in its best light, but I think that in any weather, a visit to this site would be very rewarding.
So what is so special about it? Well, firstly, at least for me, it was the sheer surprise of coming through the entrance tunnel into a whole different world. One minute you are on the A 20 heading west and then you take the funny little turn off on your left (just outside of Dover) and wait at the traffic lights and then pass through a quite unexpected tunnel and your eventual emergence into a quite a different landscape on the other side. There are sand dunes and lots of nice paths for walking and there is an enormous concrete storm break with heaps of space for walking and enjoying the view across the wide bay or for angling.
I don't need to repeat the information which you can find on the excellent Internet site for this attraction, (http://www.samphirehoe.com/uk/samphire-hoe) but I can tell you that it is a great place to go and get some fresh air and to escape the busy comings and goings of the town of Dover.
There is a kiosk there for drinks and snacks and lots of places to go to be in the nature and to simply enjoy this amazing site. The view back in-land with the towering green carpeted cliffs is simply lovely. I never imagined this kind of landscape could exist so close by to a major arterial route. When I was there in the summer, it was a very hot day but this didn't stop many hopeful souls from trying their hand at fishing. I got the impression that a lot of the people I met were either visitors or immigrants who seemed to be fishing for food rather than pleasure, but whatever reason they had for being there, it kind of gave the place a "lived in" feeling.
That the place only exists by dint of the creation of the now infamous Channel Tunnel, is an additional attraction. It seems so natural and yet in truth, it is (in its present condition) a relatively new phenomena to the area.
I think it would be ideal for families, for singles, for couples in fact, for anybody. OK, if you are looking for traditional seaside stuff, then its not for you, but otherwise give it go! I for one can't wait to visit it in the winter when the weather is a little wilder and the nature is bound to be different.
Bring your own food (picnic) and make a family day out of it. I am only amazed that it has taken so long for me to discover this wonderful attraction. I really can recommend it!
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