About White Cliffs Of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover are one of the wonders of the natural world. They are bright white cliffs, rising high above the English Channel. People have looked at them for at least 1,000 years. Before airplanes, when people traveled by boat, they were the last thing travelers saw when they left England and the first thing they saw when they came back. The White Cliffs of Dover are very special to the English people. People have put them into stories, songs, and poems.
Where Are They?
The White Cliffs of Dover are near Dover, England. They are on the edge of the English Channel, at its most narrow part. They are just across the Channel from France. The Port of Dover has been an important place for England for a long time. Many ships come and go there. You can ride a ferry from the Port of Dover to France and see the White Cliffs.
Why Are They So White?
The White Cliffs of Dover are made of white chalk. The chalk is just like the kind used on chalkboards. Long ago, the whole place was at the bottom of a sea. Many tiny sea creatures died. They left their bones and shells there. The bones and shells were pressed together. They turned into chalk.
The chalk stays white because the waves from the English Channel hit the cliff. They wash away dirt and clean the chalk. Some parts of the cliffs are too high for the waves to reach. These places are covered with dirt and plants. The white part is lower down. Waves hit the cliffs and knock small bits of the chalk into the sea.
Facts About the White Cliffs of Dover
- The White Cliffs of Dover can be seen from 20 miles away in France.
- Some parts of the cliffs are over 350 feet high.
- They stretch for more than ten miles.
- The rock that makes up the cliffs is very soft. It sometimes breaks off in pieces and falls into the water.
- There are also white cliffs on some other islands. These belong to the Netherlands and to Germany.
- Birds make nests and live on the cliff faces.
History of the White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover are at the narrowest place on the English Channel. The Romans knew this was a good place to cross the Channel. They built a lighthouse there thousands of years ago to guard the ships as they came and went.
In 1066, William the Conqueror built a wooden fort there. A hundred years later, King Henry II built one of the first stone castles there. The castle is still there today.
Later, people built tunnels under the castle. They protected many people during World War II. One famous person who stayed in the tunnels was Winston Churchill.
The White Cliffs of Dover Today
Today, visitors from all over the world come to see the White Cliffs of Dover. They tour the castle and the tunnels. Some famous songs, movies, and plays mention them. Many people feel the White Cliffs of Dover are a symbol of England.