Located in Kent, ‘The Garden of England’, lies Leeds Castle, a beautiful medieval castle frequently referred to as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’, or the ‘Ladies’ Castle’ because so many future Queens of England have lived here.
With impeccably maintained gardens to enjoy and gardens to enjoy and 500 acres of landscaped parkland to a explore, it’s clear to see why this beautiful castle was favoured by Henry VIII, who gifted it to his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.
In its 900-year history, the castle has been home to no fewer than six queens and served a variety of functions, including acting as a prison, garrison and the stately private home of its most recent owners. Learn all about this and more as our expert tour guide brings the fascinating story of this stunning castle to life.
Situated alongside the meandering River Stour sits the historic Cathedral City of Canterbury. With a history that dates back centuries, Canterbury’s Roman wall, medieval cobbled streets and timber-framed houses make it one of the most beautiful of all English cities.
Many of the city’s most iconic sites form part of a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site, including the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey; St Martin’s Church, the oldest Church in England; and Canterbury Cathedral, a stunning mix of Gothic and Romanesque architecture and serene place of holiness founded by St Augustine in 600 AD.
Walking the charming streets with your guide as they recall some of the major events in Canterbury’s history and point out local historical sites, or explore the city at your own pace. The medieval city centre bustles with big-name branded stores and exclusive boutiques, while the picturesque side streets are home to smaller specialist shops, pubs and restaurants.
Hidden away in the Kent countryside next to the River Stour lies Fordwich - the smallest town in Britain with a population of just 381 people. Despite its diminutive size, the town boasts a history to be proud of and is full of quintessential English village charm. Built in 1544 during the Tudor period, the village town hall is the oldest in the country and features original herringbone brickwork and timbers.
At the Church of St Mary the Virgin, you’ll find an excellent example of Norman-era architecture which, today, is a protected landmark. Despite being miles inland, the town once served as the main port for the historic city of Canterbury; boats travelling upriver delivered the Caen stone that built the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Canterbury Cathedral. Fordwich is also home to one of the Top 100 restaurants in the UK, the Michelin-starred Fordwich Arms pub.
With a Norman keep, beautiful manor house, sweeping views of Kent countryside and plenty of original historic buildings dating back to the Tudor period, Chilham is another Kentish village famed for its period charm. The well-preserved roads and protected period buildings at its centre have made Chilham a popular location for television and film, including the BBC adaption of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ and the iconic 1944 film, ‘A Canterbury Tale’.
Departure time: 9.00am. We are unfortunately unable to wait for late comers and there is no opportunity to join the tour at a later point.
Finishing time and end point: The tour will end at approximately 7.00pm at the Victoria Train Station (traffic dependant).
Your tour: Your tour includes entry into Leeds Castle.
The walking tour of Canterbury requires a moderate amount of walking over some cobblestones/rough ground and is not recommended for guests with special mobility needs.