This former Napoleonic-era fortress overlooking the beach was converted into an opulent Victorian residence just in time for one Charles Dickens to rent it for 22 summers (1837–59). From the lounge bar to the Copperfield suite with its Viking Bay views and five-star bathroom, the whole caboodle oozes unique period character. Building tours run from 11am to 5pm.
It was here that Dickens penned David Copperfield and the outline of Bleak House, declaring the building his favourite place to stay – when you see the views it’s not hard to see why. But the highlight must be Dickens’ very own bedroom and semicircular sea-view study where he would write looking out across the Channel. It’s worth every penny of the £250 a night rate and what a place to update your travel journal! There’s a labyrinthine smuggling museum in the basement, a fancy restaurant and a tearoom.