HERITAGE & CULTURE
Canterbury, Chilham & Leeds Castle
First visit Leeds Castle, ‘the Loveliest Castle in the World’, rising majestically from the still waters of its moat. Surrounded by 500 acres of parkland, gardens and a golf course, it is without doubt one of the most beautiful sights in Kent. Leeds Castle has played many roles throughout its long history from being the private property of six of England’s medieval queens, a palace used by Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon to a Jacobean country house, a Georgian mansion, and an elegant early 20th century retreat for the rich and famous.
We continue our journey through some pretty Kentish villages and stop off in Chilham, an iconic medieval village, which featured in many films including BBC’s 2009 adaptation of Jane Austin’s novel Emma and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.
Arriving in the historic cathedral city of Canterbury, enjoy a walking tour along the main streets and hidden lanes of this stunning medieval city.
Duration: Approx. 6hrs
The Cinque Ports of Rye and Winchelsea
We first drive to the quaint town of Winchelsea, which in medieval times was also one of the Cinque Ports and of great importance to the Crown. From Winchelsea’s present location on top of a hill, we will have an opportunity to admire stunning views over the marshes and the original site of Old Winchelsea, one of the biggest victims of the Great Storm of 1287.
For many people, the highlight of this tour is Rye, a town which will most certainly surprise you with the concentration of original medieval buildings. In Rye, you will feel like you have stepped back in time as we stroll together through the quaint streets and cobbled lanes, which have remained unchanged for centuries. Here you will hear stories about invasions and smuggling, flooding and shipwrecks, murders and royal visits.
Duration: Approx. 5hrs
Sandwich, Deal and Walmer Castle
Sandwich is one of the most complete medieval towns in Britain and its street plan has little changed since the 14th century. It is home to the Royal St George’s Golf Club, which featured in the Ian Fleming novel, Goldfinger and was the setting for the long-awaited British Open in 2021.
Walmer Castle is the official residence of the Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The Duke of Wellington, one of the most illustrious Wardens, left behind a collection of memorabilia and actually died here. The historical gardens of the Castle are also outstanding.
Duration: Up to 5 hours
Enjoy a fully guided walking tour through the historic cathedral city of Canterbury, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is truly amazing how much there is to learn about in this medieval city when things that you normally may not even notice are pointed out and explained to you.
The Cathedral, which is the mother church of the Anglican Community has been extensively rebuilt since the times of the first missionary monk, St Augustine and was rebuilt completely by the Normans in 1070 following a major fire. It is perhaps most famous for being the site of the murder of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, in December, 1170.
Duration: 3 hours