Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings. The town is the administrative centre of the Dover District and home of the Dover Calais ferry through the Port of Dover. The surrounding chalk cliffs have become known as the White cliffs of Dover, and the narrow sea passage nearby – the Strait of Dover. Its strategic position has always been evident throughout its history: archaeological finds have revealed that the area has always been a focus for peoples entering and leaving Britain. The River Dour originated the name of the town, which has been inhabited since the Stone Age according to archeological finds, and Dover is one of only a few places in Britain – London, Cornwall and Canterbury being other examples – to have a corresponding name in the French language, Douvres.
Services related to the Port of Dover provide a great deal of the town’s employment, as does tourism, although many of the former ferry services have declined. There was a military barracks in Dover, which was closed in 2007.