Dover is not well known for its beaches.
One of the reasons is probably that the area does not have sandy areas – unlike its neighbors on either side.
Folkestone has Sunny Sands, Dymchurch and miles of massive dunes at Greatstone.
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There are even more of them in Thanet, so much in fact that it is nicknamed the Kent Riviera.
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But for all those glorious sand slithers, the majority of Kent’s developed coastline is pebble beaches.
And for many reasons Dover Beach could be one of the best.
First of all, you not only get breathtaking views, but also some interesting views.
From the comfort of a towel, you look up to see the natural majesty of the White Cliffs.
Above them is one of Britain’s oldest, largest and most visually impressive castles.
Offshore, the intrigue of ferries, cruise ships and small boats entering and leaving the port.
All of this makes for what has to be one of the most interesting backdrops for a beach anywhere in the world.
I would say another plus is the actual pebbles, which are thinner than some places around.
Where I lived in Folkestone they had bigger stones and sometimes just walking to pick up a towel felt like some kind of charity challenge.
There is also plenty to do on Dover Beach, thanks to the water sports center.
And a nicely paved promenade at the back.
In fact, the only thing missing – and this has long been the main drawback to Dover’s waterfront – is the number of places to eat and drink.
There was an ice cream van, a small seafood shack, the Dover Patrol restaurant, the Dover Marina Hotel, and a chic fish and chips.
This is not much considering the occupancy and size of the place.
And that’s not much compared to just about every other waterfront around.
Head to Folkestone, Hythe or Sandgate, or the other way Ramsgate, Broadstairs or Margate, and their waterfronts are lined with bars and restaurants and where that is not possible street vendors.
Rumor has it that the Port of Dover, which manages the area, will finally issue street trading licenses in the brand new Marina Curve.
But the Dover waterfront itself might have a few as well.
A final final point is the quality of the water at Dover Beach.
It would be easy to imagine it poor, given the proximity to the world’s busiest seaway and Europe’s largest passenger port.
And it seemed remiss to me to do a beach exam without checking myself.
Finding a quiet spot right by the pier, the water certainly looked and was immaculately clean and luckily was not as cold as you might expect.
Best of all, lay down, walk on the water, and take a moment to look around.
The castle, the boats, the cliffs … the sparkling water, the golden beach.
It really is a special place.
For me this is the most underrated beach in Kent.