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Address: | The Front, St Margaret's Bay, Dover CT15 6HP, England
Website
Wednesday
Closed
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Hours:
Fri - Mon 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

A remote, isolated, pristine-white, solid beacon; a place of innovation and...

A remote, isolated, pristine-white, solid beacon; a place of innovation and scientific firsts, now also a romantic hideaway and big-hearted family haven, the South Foreland lighthouse stands proud atop the White Cliffs of Dover. It surprises and delights with its warmth of welcome and unexpectedly wistful atmosphere, quaint and charming and yet robust and protecting. Like the Knott family of the past, its current keepers, who mostly offer their time for free, are witness to events and show commitment and spirit in manning the light.

Inside the Victorian tower, surprising stories unfold of a unique history that has shaped our world and influenced our travel, our trade, and our industrial and maritime heritage. Outside seemingly endless skies roll away across the English Channel and 21 miles away, the coast of France splits the sky from the sea. Serenity is broken when waves steepen, dark clouds tumble in, the wind lashes and the mouth-watering views are swallowed up. The lighthouse stands its ground and is once again protector, until the calm returns as quickly as it left and butterflies come out of hiding.

Arrival is on foot across the beautiful and yet challenging cliffs, thus the lighthouse attracts the more adventurous. None the less, children’s laughter is all around, and the nostalgia of Mrs Knott’s tearoom attracts all generations, those who come to reflect and those who want to find out more about the traditions of the past. From its post on top of the gateway to Britain, South Foreland Lighthouse watches over their past, their present and their future.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 252 reviews
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  • 154
    Excellent
  • 51
    Very good
  • 18
    Average
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    Terrible
Beautiful family experience

Lovely walks down tracks or across the cliffs. Enthusiastic volunteers so tours around the lighthouse every 30 mins. Very quaint period tea room with delicious food and nice tea... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed 3 days ago
Andrew S
via mobile

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252 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 228: English reviews
Rochester
Level Contributor
99 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

Having walked from the White Cliffs car park, (as we wanted to see Fan Bay deep shelter, which was marvellous, great tour guide who knew what they we talking about). Conversely the tour guide that we had to endure for the lighthouse tour spoke very loudly in a strange manner (like she were reading the notes, or maybe she remembered... More 

Helpful?
Thank SteveMRochester
Level Contributor
16 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

Lovely walks down tracks or across the cliffs. Enthusiastic volunteers so tours around the lighthouse every 30 mins. Very quaint period tea room with delicious food and nice tea and coffee. Disabled toilet. We borrowed a kyte from the shop and flew it, perfect place as it can be windy. Staff very friendly and helpful and knowledgeable. Great views to... More 

Helpful?
Thank Andrew S
Beckenham
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW via mobile

Best to park at the white cliffs and walk to the light house because there is no parking on site. Full of history and the tour guides are simply fantastic. Wonderful tea room and really friendly staff.

Helpful?
Thank Stephen G
Ancaster, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited late afternoon time after spending a day at the castle, the lighthouse is national trust owned and parking is provided just outside Dover. from there you walk along the top of the famous white cliffs to get to the lighthouse, tours of the lighthouse are provided as it is quite small, and so it eases congestion on the... More 

Helpful?
Thank robertwarriner1998
Canterbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

Very nice place on the Dover Cliffs. Very pleasant atmosphere with nice decoration from the 20s-30s, with nice music from gramophone. They do nice teas, but the selection for cakes and other food is very poor.

Helpful?
Thank Ferko123
Deal, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
63 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

After a brisk or gentle wander in the fresh area, from the car parking area you see the lighthouse, the first to have an electric bulb (in the world) and the accompanying grounds filled with kite flyers, picnickers or afternoon tea drinkers. Mrs knots tea room is pleasant and serves hearty sized cakes a variety of teas, coffee and light... More 

Helpful?
Thank Kate B
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
58 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We were undecided about the extra time it would take to hike to the lighthouse, but as we walked along the gorgeous White Cliffs, with the sun shining, we just kept walking. The views from the Lighthouse were spectacular (it would not have been the same had it been a gray cloudy day). As we walked along, we all agreed... More 

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Thank Paula L
Bromley, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Parked at the National Trust centre, The White Cliffs and followed the paths - very up and down - for 2 miles along the coast line until you get to the lighthouse. The tea room is highly recommended, leaf tea served in china teapots with china cups and a fine range of cakes. Then a tour of the lighthouse with... More 

Helpful?
Thank dymchurchdaytripper
France
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

The music and bone china tea service, with the decor in the rooms, made this a trip down memory lane. The jam sponge cake was just as my mum made. Loved every minute. We had to stay longer as the rain came down outside. What a pity!

Helpful?
Thank whadders54
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
51 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

We went to one of the open days, had tea, cakes and a guided tour. Our guide knew his stuff and kept us all engrossed in his descriptions. I have visited many times on walks etc but never on a tour. During the year I know you can book guided tours and I recommend this for everyone. Very interesting information... More 

Helpful?
Thank 222Happy222

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