5 days/ 4 nights
South East of England
Maximum group size 18 passengers.
+44 (0)2921 660 747
Small group tour: Garden of England tour
Churchill's Chartwell and Hever Castle
Departing London, we make our way from the city to the nearby county of Kent, renowned as the "Garden of England". Embarking on a trail of statesmen and royalty our first stop is Chartwell house, once the private home of Sir Winston Churchill. A charming rust-red stone manor, Chartwell is effectively a time capsule of 1930s family life providing an insight in to Churchills' library, sitting room and study. Outside, we'll roam some of the 800 acres of woodland, gardens and picturesque lakes. Then it's on to Hever Castle, a centuries old Royal manor set amidst formal English rose gardens and once childhood home of Anne Boleyn – we'll step back to Tudor times as we wander the beautifully preserved rooms adorned with intricate tapestries and a collection of Tudor portraits that rivals the country's best galleries. Tonight's hotel, near Canterbury, is where we'll stay for the next two nights.
Accommodation: Howfield Manor Hotel (or similar), near Canterbury – dinner included.
Highlights: The 'Garden of England', Chartwell House and Hever Castle.
Canterbury Cathedral, Whistable and English Beer
Canterbury Castle, Canterbury, England
Our first visit this morning is to stunning Canterbury Cathedral, a dominating gothic structure, which was the destination of the pilgrims of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and today holds UNESCO World Heritage status. Here we discover medieval ruins, the oak-roofed monks' Chapter House, staggering gothic nave, 11th century crypt and the grisly site where Thomas Becket became a martyr. We then continue to Whitstable, a charming port bustling with picturesque lanes and seafood eateries, an ideal lunch stop. Having worked up a thirst after all that salty sea air, we make our way to Shepherd Neame in Faversham where we tour England's oldest brewery and sample the award-winning beers. Our evening is at leisure in Canterbury.
Accommodation: Howfield Manor Hotel (or similar), Canterbury.
Highlights: Canterbury Cathedral, Whistable and England's oldest brewery.
Steam Railway Journey and Bodiam Castle
Today we revisit the golden age of British travel as we board the Tenterden Steam Railway; our journey carries us in a classic carriage as we chug our way through the idyllic rural scenery of England's South East to Bodiam. Almost stepping in to a storybook, here we encounter the archetypal English fortress at the awe-inspiring 14th century Bodiam Castle; soaring towers, iron-studded wooden portcullis and a surrounding moat are just some of the features. Climb spiral staircases and walk the great hall dais before channelling your inner knight as you step out on the battlements. Our third and final destination of the day is Rye, a charm-filled market town situated in the heart of 1066 country.
Accommodation: Mermaid Inn (or similar), Rye.
Highlights: Steam railway journey, Bodiam Castle and the market town of Rye.
Rye, Dover's White Cliffs and Dover Castle
White Cliffs of Dover, England
This morning we dedicate time to exploring Rye; we'll hear tales of smugglers and Norman conquests as we traverse the cobbled lanes lined and timberwork houses to see destinations that inspired writers and artists alike, from Henry James to Paul Nash. Departing Rye, we'll follow the coastal roads to Dover. At Dover Castle we'll see medieval tunnels, evocative interiors and gain far-reaching views across the English Channel from the Great Tower. Then down to the legendary White Cliffs of Dover where 20th century history comes to life as we descend the secret World War II passageways that snake deep below the rocks. Later we return to Rye, for an afternoon at leisure to see more of the town before enjoying a final dinner together.
Accommodation: Mermaid Inn (or similar), Rye – dinner included.
Highlights: Dover Castle, views of the English Channel and the White Cliffs of Dover.
Hastings, 1066 Country and Sissinghurst Garden
Today we continue to explore '1066 country' as we make our way to Hastings, site of the eponymous battle which marked the invasion of Britain by the Normans. We'll explore the charming Old Town and spot the first castle in England to be built by William the Conqueror before continuing to the market town of Battle, where we can stand on the very spot where King Harold fell during the fateful conflict; a moment which changed the course of English history. By afternoon we visit Sissinghurst Castle, whose extensive grounds were transformed in the 1930s by renowned Vita Sackville-West and her husband to become one of the most spectacular and celebrated gardens in England. Now managed by England's National Trust the gardens remain just as spectacular today, offering manicured lawns, walled gardens and the beautiful rose gardens, Vita's favourite. Our tour reaches its conclusion this evening upon our return to London.
Highlights: The Old Town of Hastings and Sissinghurst Castle.
Small group tours: Garden of England tour
- Walk the halls and gardens of medieval castles at Hever, Dover and Bodiam.
- Enjoy a steam-train ride through the English countryside.
- See the iconic White Cliffs of Dover.
- Sample celebrated beers at Shepherd Neame, Britain's oldest brewer.
- Maximum group-size of 18 passengers for that intimate touring experience.
- 4 nights in charming hotel accommodation
- Transportation by luxury mini-coach
- The services of your professional driver-guide tour leader
- Full English breakfast daily
- 2 x evening meals
- Beer tasting in Faversham
- Tenterden Steam Railway ride
- A comprehensive touring programme including the following admissions:
- Chartwell House
- Hever Castle and Gardens
- Canterbury Cathedral
- Bodiam Castle
- Dover Castle
- Sissinghurst Castle Garden
- Expert local advice during the planning of your trip.
- Postage of your vacation documents pack.
- Pre or post tour hotel accommodation in London.
- Rail transport to/from London before/after your tour.
- Airport transfers.
Small group tours: Garden of England tour
DEPARTURE DATES 2017
|ADDITIONAL FEATURES||PRICE PER PERSON
(sharing twin/ double)
|Mon 22 May, 2017||Fri 26 May, 2017||Fully booked||£ 1,109|
|Mon 05 Jun, 2017||Fri 09 Jun, 2017||Fully booked||£ 1,109|
|Mon 19 Jun, 2017||Fri 23 Jun, 2017||Fully booked||£ 1,109|
|Mon 17 Jul, 2017||Fri 21 Jul, 2017||Fully booked||£ 1,109|
|Mon 28 Aug, 2017||Fri 01 Sep, 2017||Fully booked||£ 1,109|
|Mon 04 Sep, 2017||Fri 08 Sep, 2017||Limited availability||£ 1,109|
|Mon 11 Sep, 2017||Fri 15 Sep, 2017||£ 1,109|
|Mon 18 Sep, 2017||Fri 22 Sep, 2017||Guaranteed departure||£ 1,109|
Single Supplement: £230.
All tours commence in central London (close to Victoria Station) at 8.30am on the Start Day and finish in London at around 5.30pm (approx) on the End Day.
- Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room.
- Prices are for land only tours and all tours are subject to availability.
- Prices are correct at the time of publishing to website but are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
- Prices are in British Pounds Sterling (GBP£) currency for approximate amounts in other currencies please contact us.
- All trip details are correct at time of publishing to website however due to the nature of small group tours the itinerary is flexible and is subject to change based on a variety of factors.