What is Samphire Hoe?
The chalk cliffs at Dover form a vital element of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a nationally important and protected landscape. Samphire Hoe is one of the few places where one can truly appreciate the drama of the White Cliffs. Great care has been taken to make the landscape of Samphire Hoe fit in this dramatic setting.
Samphire Hoe, an outstanding nature reserve
Samphire Hoe is a new piece of land created by Eurotunnel during the construction of the Channel Tunnel.
Find out more details on the Creation of Samphire Hoe
Samphire Hoe covers a 30-hectare site at the foot of the famous Shakespeare Cliff, between Dover and Folkestone (Kent).
In July 2016, Samphire Hoe has received for the 12th year running the Green Flag Award recognising that the Hoe has achieved the national standard for parks and green space in England and Wales.
A place for people
Samphire Hoe is an amazing place. There is something for everyone who enjoys the outdoors and wildlife: a stunning location and outstanding scenery, peace and quiet, walks, wildflowers, birds, sea angling and picnics. And the further you go from the car park, the wilder the site becomes. This tranquil setting never fails to impress, with many visitors coming back time and time again. In 2015, more than 80,000 visitors explored the nature reserve.
Most of the Hoe is accessible for wheelchair and pushchairs and there is a recommended route sign posted “Front path” and “West shore”.
Since the end of 2014, there is an education shelter at Samphire Hoe, which is for hire. The shelter is equipped with a 60m2 classroom and a 40m2 exhibition area that can comfortably accomodate large numbers of school children or tourists visiting the nature reserve at the foot of Shakespeare Cliff. The building's design incorporates eco-construction criteria.
The site office provides a tea kiosk, which is open every weekend of the year and most days from Easter to September. There are toilet facilities, a RADAR based disabled access toilet and a baby changing room.
Staff and volunteers are present to answer questions. There are also free leaflets, an information board and panels with the latest wildlife sightings.
More information on the Visit us page
With over a mile of sea wall, there is always plenty of room for sea angling. Tickets are available from the tea kiosk:
- £4 a day ticket for a child
- £6 a day ticket for an adult
- £50 for a half year season ticket
- £75 for a year season ticket.
For more details, please contact 01304 226 650.
A place for wildlife
Samphire Hoe is a great place for wildlife. It is home to more than 200 species of plants (including the rare early spider orchid with 8,500 plants recorded in 2013), 120 species of birds and 30 of butterflies have been recorded.
Half of the Hoe was sown with wildflower seeds. This consisted of five mixes totalling 31 species, designed to suit the different conditions on the site. The rest of the site was planted with annual rye grass. This has since died out allowing plants from the surrounding areas to colonise. This newly developed vegetation has attracted a wide variety of wildlife.
More about on the Wildlife pages
Samphire is owned by Eurotunnel and managed together with White Cliffs Countryside Partnership.
WCCP ensures a correct balance is struck between visitor access and wildlife conservation.