We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Want the lowest hotel prices? You're in the right place. We check 200+ sites for you.
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: | The Front, St Margaret's Bay, Dover CT15 6HP, England
11:00 - 17:00
Closed now
See all hours
Fri - Mon 11:00 - 17:00
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours

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.

read more
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Tour: White Cliffs of Dover Day Tour with Leeds Castle Guided Tour
More Info
and up
Private Tour: White Cliffs of Dover Guided Tour including South Foreland Walk
More Info
and up
Private Shore Excursion: White Cliffs of Dover Half-Day Tour from Dover

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 282 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 169
  • 59
    Very good
  • 18
  • 4
  • 1
Trip up a lighthouse

Interesting and informative visit to the lighthouse....i have lived in Dover all my life but this was my first time to climb to the top and appreciate the spectacular views... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 3 weeks ago
Dover, United Kingdom
via mobile
Add Photo Write a Review

282 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 251: English reviews
Dover, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Interesting and informative visit to the lighthouse....i have lived in Dover all my life but this was my first time to climb to the top and appreciate the spectacular views followed by tea and cake at Knotts tearoom. Recommended for all.

Thank ginette249
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2016

A 2 mile walk along the cliffs to this historic lighthouse. I'd never have thought there would be so much information about a light house. It's a really interesting place. We had a brilliant guide and had a super view from the top! The tea room was delicious and reasonably prices. All the staff were so passionate about what they... More 

Thank Sonia9889
Ramsgate, United Kingdom
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2016

walked here from walmer ,a long trek but well worth it , very friendly staff.the walk to dover is NOT PUSHCHAIR FRIENDLY. we ended up on a very narrow ledge above the port as footpath was not accessible with pushchair so followed a different path. signs do not say that it is not suitable for pushchairs. at a certain point... More 

Thank jamesburke1954
Kent, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2016

We walked from the national trust visitor centre - 2 miles- wonderful views of the Dover straits and harbour. The South Foreland lighthouse has something for every one .Kite flying -free- for the children. Guided visits of the historic lighthouse and other displays - plenty of places to sit and enjoy the super views, and best of all -Mrs Knotts... More 

Thank M S
Pune, India
Level Contributor
106 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2016

South Foreland Lighthouse is a Victorian lighthouse on the South Foreland in St. Margaret's Bay, Dover, Kent, England, used to warn ships approaching the nearby Goodwin Sands. This is a well maintained lighthouse that has a historical important. The lighthouse is still operational for demonstration purpose. I highly recommend you to take a tour of the lighthouse (which lasts for... More 

Thank Amit V
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
67 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 October 2016

I walk cross to the lighthouse, see why not tour the lighthouse and interested to learn about the lighthouse. There nice small shop and cafe.

Thank AdamBurt
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

I walked to the lighthouse from White Cliffs National Trust Park. It takes around 1 1/2 at a gentle stroll. Check first at White Cliff to make sure it is open as it occasionally closes on random days

Thank Sidi104
Ipswich, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
191 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 October 2016

This is owned by the National Trust and has a fascinating history of both the development of lighthouses and of radio transmission. Excellent volunteer guides with various visual aids to give a real feel for the place. Peregrine falcons nest on the nearby cliffs, the views are spectacular and there is a cottage that can be rented. No access by... More 

Thank GibBob
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 October 2016

We walked along the Cliffs to the Lighthouse, after it was recommended to us to do so. It was a good long walk, which we did early as later in the day it gets very busy along the track, which takes away from the whole feeling of space on the cliff. You are rewarded by the Lighthouse and a tea... More 

Thank SydneySider5
Bedford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
32 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 September 2016

Very knowledgeable guide gave a clear and interesting tour of the lighthouse, including its history and development. The views from the top are great although it was too hazy to see France on the day we visited. Please note that there are steps to climb to get to the top! The tea room is also well worth a visit.

Thank Martin B

Travellers who viewed South Foreland Lighthouse also viewed


Been to South Foreland Lighthouse? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of South Foreland Lighthouse and other visitors
1 question
Ask a question
Questions? Get answers from South Foreland Lighthouse staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?