Dover guards the Straits of Dover, the narrowest part of the English Channel. Miles of cliffs rise above the beaches; the most famous are the White Cliffs of Dover. (Or, for a more rural and idyllic white-cliff experience, visit Beachy Head near Brighton.) Sitting above those cliffs is the impressive Dover Castle, England's primary defensive stronghold from Roman through modern times. In the nearby countryside, you can explore a castle and charming cottage garden at Sissinghurst; stroll the cobbles of the huggable hill town of Rye; and visit the Battle of Hastings site — in the appropriately named town of Battle — where England's future course was charted in 1066.