Starting at the entrance to the White Cliffs visitor centre, the clearly marked route along the edge of the North Downs is available in our Walks in East Kent pack. The route, which forms part of the Saxon Shore Way, leads around Langdon Hole and Fan Point towards South Foreland Lighthouse . This section of the cliff tops was an important part of England’s defences in the Second World War, and remnants of gun emplacements and other wartime structures are still visible. Langdon Hole was part of an underground system which also included a radio command centre. The workings and tunnels are now sealed.
The distinctive white lighthouse was built in 1843, to mark the dangerous offshore banks of the Goodwin Sands. It was used by Guglielmo Marconi for his work with radiowaves and received the first ship-to-shore message from the East Goodwin lightship. It also received the first international radio transmission from Wimereux, in France, in 1899.
The lighthouse, which is conserved by the National Trust, is open to the public between April and October. The White Cliffs Countryside Project was launched to preserve and enhance the special coast and countryside of Dover and Shepway districts and to make them accessible to all.