Kent Castles, Gardens & Coastline
3 day tour

Enjoy the charm and beauty of the “Garden of England”, a magnificent exploration of the architecture, flavours and history of this most storied of counties.

Tour map

Highlights

Castles
Cathedrals

Places you'll explore


North Downs - Part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this series of chalk ridge hills offer excellent views and splendid trails.

Leeds Castle - Sitting on a specially carved island in the centre of a lake, this impressive castle has played host to many important moments in history.

Canterbury Cathedral - Follow in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims as you journey to the heart of this historically significant and beautiful structure.

White Cliffs of Dover - Ascend the bright white chalky cliffs and gaze upon the picturesque English Channel.

Whitstable Oysters - Enjoy one of the Roman Empire’s most decadent delicacies in this charming fishing town.

Vineyard Visit - Observe the Biddenden vineyard in bloom and the fascinating facts behind Kent’s famously fertile fields.


Your journey


Unwind in the beautiful south eastern corner of England, famed for its rural charm and natural beauty.

Survey the grounds surrounding ancient castles, climb to the rafters of a spectacular cathedral and look out from the brilliant White Cliffs of Dover across a turquoise sea.

Savour Kent’s spectacular range of flavours, from its hoppy beers and crisp wines to the juicy strawberries and legendary Whitstable oysters.

Relax into the Garden County’s warm welcome and discover why it remains such a popular location for new visitors.


Tour Details

Departs
09.00 - Stance 3, Greenline Coach Terminal, Bulleid Way, Victoria
(Tours on and after 1st April depart at 09.15)
Returns
19.00 approx
Discounts

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag, and one carry-on bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • Transport on a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Marvel at the formidable and stunning Leeds Castle, known as “the loveliest castle in the world”.
  • Walk along the path of pilgrims past, as you explore the intricate beauty of the holy site of Canterbury Cathedral

Departing London, you head south east along the route of the ancient Roman Watling Street, the connecting route that ran to Dover and ultimately to the centre of Rome itself. Turning towards the town of Seven Oaks, you pass through an area of outstanding natural beauty.

You continue on to the Toys Hill, a serene woodland with spectacular views over North Kent, the area you will be exploring over the next three days. Descending onwards, you head to the astonishing Leeds Castle, known as “the loveliest castle in the world”. Set in majestic parkland and partially built upon an island on the River Len, this is one of the most elegant castles and antiquated palaces in the world.

After taking in the beauty of this ancient structure, you move deeper into rural Kent, halting at the traditional Kent village of Smarden, its narrow lanes full with fascinating architecture and fine wooden houses. Sample some of Kent’s finest local ales in a phenomenally preserved 14th century coaching inn before journeying onwards to your base for the night: the cathedral town of Canterbury.

Day 2

  • Stroll the superb chalk majesty of the White Cliffs of Dover and look out over the English Channel
  • Survey the powerful castles of the towns of Walmer and Deal
  • Wander the unique town of Sandwich, a settlement left high and dry by the strength of nature
  • Sample a British delicacy in the small fishing town of Whitstable: the Whitstable Oyster

Leaving the attractive setting of Canterbury behind, you head towards the storied Kent coast. You drive the small distance to the port town of Dover, then take a stroll along the world famous White Cliffs of Dover, where you look over the English Channel separating mainland Europe from Kentish shores. Continuing along to Dover Castle, you stop for some scenic views before heading to the historical site where Louis Bleriot landed the first cross-Channel flight in 1909.

Travelling north along the coast, you make stops in Walmer and Deal, two coastal towns that sit close to one another and near where Julius Caesar first landed in Britain in 55BC. You have the option to visit Deal Castle or Walmer Castle, ramble along the pier at Deal or simply relax at one of the fine beach front restaurants and bars.

After a restorative lunch, you continue towards Sandwich, a distinctive town that lay on the shores of the English Channel until the Great Stour river silted up the marshlands around it and stranded Sandwich inland. You then head onwards to Whitstable, a fishing town on the North Kent coast and home to one of England’s finest delicacies: Whitstable Oysters. Try the local varieties for their unbeatable flavour and understand why the Romans used to import them back to the heart of their empire. Whitstable’s distinct charm and individual character is certain to win you over, if the oysters haven’t already! In the late afternoon, you make the short drive inland back to Canterbury.

Day 3

  • Take in the medieval town of Rye, a fascinating maze of narrow lanes and passages
  • A vintage experience awaits at the Biddenden Vineyards, a fertile plot that offers up knowledge of the land and the odd delicious sample of their excellent wines and ciders
  • Stalk the gardens of Sissinghurst Castle, famed as a hunting tower in the 16th century

Leaving Canterbury and heading South across the county line into East Sussex, you make for Rye. Prepare to be charmed by this medieval town, once part of the military and trade confederation of the Norman Cinque Ports. Now landlocked two miles from the English Channel, Rye was once home to a veritable rogue’s gallery of smugglers, raconteurs, royalty and writers. Getting lost in its winding lanes and narrow passages was the appeal for them, a charming sentiment that you will soon share.

Turning North, you make the short journey to Biddenden Vineyards, established in 1969 and a fine producer of typically English wines and ciders. Stroll the blooming vineyards and learn the particular secrets of the Kent soil before sampling the fruits of its fertility. Continuing on, you head to the beautiful 16th century hunting tower of Sissinghurst Castle, known for its impressive grounds and architecture. A former prison during the Seven Years’ War, you can feel the stories of years past within its powerful walls. Wander the vibrant gardens, designed by poet Vita Sackville-West and considered the finest in England, with views across the Weald of Kent to the North Downs. After this stunning finale, you journey back to London.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Canterbury.


How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.


I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation hosts directly. Most accommodation hosts don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

Due to availability, we may not be able to reserve your first choice of accommodation. When this happens we’ll book your second choice, and If there are any further issues we’ll contact you.


What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum amendment charge of £5.00 will apply, increasing to a maximum of £25.00 depending on the length of your tour.


I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. And if you’re unsure, please check with us first.


Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.


What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.


What are the accommodation types and what do they cost?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. But during busy periods there can be a walk of up to 30 minutes.


We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.


B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other rooms in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is between £30.00 - £35.00 per person per night. A single standard is between £35.00 - £60.00 per night.



B&B En/suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost for a room, based on two people sharing, will be between £40.00 – £50.00 per person per night.

The expected cost for a single room will be between *£55.00 - £65.00 per night. If you travel during a busy period, you can expect to pay up to *£75 - £80 per night. Rooms with a view are limited and may be more expensive.

In Ireland B&B's will be around €45 - €55 per person per night.


Hotels

Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel 3* is between £65.00 - £85.00 per person per night. Hotel 4* is approximately £75.00 - £120.00 per person per night. Please be advised that 4* hotels aren’t available in some smaller rural areas of the Scottish Highlands and islands.

In Ireland, Hotels are around €55 - €65 per person per night.


Hostels

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. Towels aren’t provided, but you can hire towels there. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost is between £15.00- £25.00 per person per night.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together). If you have a preference, please let us know at the time of booking.


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, feel free to call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Our small group travel style lets you head off the beaten track

Guaranteed experience
or your money back

Guaranteed departures

Award winning customer service

Meet our guides

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Ally Palmer

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