A Lithuanian couple who moved to Dover in Kent has set up a Facebook page dedicated to extolling the virtues of the English town. They did so because even though it was named Britain’s least favourite town in a survey of the UK’s worst places to live, they felt differently and wanted to share the great beauty they found there.
Arnoldo Zarembiene is from Siaulia and her husband David is from Vilnius and they met in Aalborg, Denmark. They moved to London three years ago with their German Shepherd Cat and French Shepherd Chaos, and enjoyed travelling around the country. Arnoldo loved taking photographs of the sights they encountered along the way.
“The excellent public transport system in Britain allows you to take dogs everywhere, so we travelled far and wide ,” Arnoldo tells Lonely Planet. “We planned our first holiday week in Wales, we visited the moors of Devon, we’ve seen the midlands and we walked the abandoned places of Surrey. But out of all places we visited, Dover was the one that I could never forget.”
Arnoldo made a spontaneous decision to buy train tickets to Dover one evening in August 2016, and the only thing she knew about it was that it’s located by the sea. “The next morning we packed the dogs and boarded the train to discover what changed our lives forever,” she says. “But I’ll never forger the calmness that struck us all when I left the station, the fresh air and smiling people, and there are no words to describe my face when I saw the castle for the first time.
“We walked the high street, circled the castle grounds and walked the White Cliffs, and then came all the way back and further to discover the Western Highs. We were sitting overlooking the whole town, with sheep in the distance on one side and the castle on the other, when I said, ‘We will move here one day.'”
When they returned to London, Arnoldo spent weeks reading about Dover, watching documentaries and dreaming of the day she could call Dover home. They moved there on 1 July 2017 and she says she and David are “ecstatic” to be living there now.
“I would love to compare it to any town I’ve lived in, but that’s just impossible,” she says. “There is no other place to have so much history in it, to make you wonder, to have your wildest fantasies come true. What do you like – fields of freedom? Here. Castles? Yes, here. War remains? Obviously. Fan of medieval times? Plenty of places to discover. Shipwrecks, nature, the best preserved European lighthouse from 50AD, churches, animals, cliffs, and the walks under them during low tide.”
Arnoldo and David created the Facebook page Shepherds of Dover to document their discoveries and show the beauty of Dover to those who live there and those who don’t. “I could take hours to talk about things I love here, but the truth is, even after months of wandering around, I am still discovering new places that take my breath away,” says Arnoldo.
“The other day I discovered Admiralty Pier, and couldn’t understand how something so brilliant was here all along and it took me so long to find it. The town itself is filled with history for those that are not afraid to look for it, and the centre of Dover is filled with beautiful architecture and historical sights.”
Check out the Shepherds of Dover’s Facebook page here.