The White Cliffs

I haven’t posted anything since March.  There has been a lot going on and time has been short.  Well, I promised that I would be back and here I am.  Time is still short, as it tends to be at this time of year, so I’m afraid that my posts may not be that frequent for a while.

I’ve got a lot of catching up to do with my photos from recent trips, but here are a few from a visit to friends in Kent last month.  On one day, we took a stroll along the White Cliffs of Dover to the South Foreland Lighthouse.

Starting from the National Trust visitors centre, we immediately had great views of the Ferry Terminal at Dover.  Initially, we were surprised that there didn’t seem as much ferry traffic as expected, but it did ‘hot up’ as the day progressed.

Dover Ferry Port

This was our first view of the day of the ‘White Cliffs’, which are certainly more spectacular when viewed from the sea.

White Cliffs of Dover

I was intrigued by the activities of the photographers on the cliff edge.  Initially I thought that they were ‘birders’, but their cameras were pointing seaward and they seemed to be waiting for some event.  I’m afraid that I was too lazy to walk down and ask them.

Dover Ferry Port

More maritime traffic was now becoming visible, with the coast of France in the background.

View from the White Cliffs of Dover

At the end of this stroll, we came to the South Foreland Lighthouse.  This is also a National Trust property.

South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

I can highly recommend the guided tour of the lighthouse, although I suspect that different perspectives may be shown depending on the guide.  The enthusiastic guide that took us around provided an extremely interesting and enjoyable tour which taught us a huge amount about the lighthouse’s history, as well as that of the surrounding area.

For any youngsters who might prefer to play outside, the National Trust provides kites so that the ‘bracing’ air can be enjoyed to the full.

South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

In the basement of the Lighthouse, you can learn all about the history of how the light has been powered over the years.  It was the first to use an electrically powered light.  This photo is of a relatively recently installed backup generator.

South Foreland Lighthouse Emergency Generator

The Victorian engineering in this lighthouse is most impressive.  This photo of a hinge does not do it justice because it lacks scale, but I had to take it because in real life this brass hinge is beautiful.  It is one of those supporting a heavy cast iron door which, in turn allows access to a void where the clockwork mechanism weight which rotates the light is housed.


This is the clockwork mechanism which rotates the light.  It is still in working order and was demonstrated by our guide.  The cable drum which supports the driving weight can be seen.  It needs to be wound periodically, just like a clock.

Light Rotation Mechanism, South Foreland Lighthouse

This view is looking north east from the top of the lighthouse tower and shows the community of St Margaret’s Bay.

View from South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

The next photo shows a long disused light, which originally was thought to be used in conjunction with the main light to mark the southern end of the Goodwin Sands.  It is believed that it was abandoned because the Sands continually shifted, and the system became unreliable.

Old South Foreland Lighthouse

A view back towards Dover.

View from South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

This shadow shot was spotted and snatched a little too late, but that’s the way my photography goes.


The Oil Seed Rape and foreground field prompted this shot.  I found the colours mellow and quite attractive.

View from South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

Time to walk back to the car.  We tried a more inland route which provided this alternative view of the Lighthouse complex.

South Foreland Lighthouse, Dover

The return walk provided good views of the WW2 Radar Masts at RAF Swingate.

WW2 Radar Towers at RAF Swingate, Dover

And finally, as we approached Dover, so did this cross channel ferry.

Ferry approaching Dover Ferry Port

A fitting photo with which to end this post.


19 thoughts on “The White Cliffs

  1. Good to see you back, Dave! I love the photo of the hinge – absolutely beautiful, and helped a lot by the colour of the paint; and also the one with the shadow and the couple walking away towards top left – good stuff! Adrian


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