Today we’re heading outside of London to the county of Kent, located in the southeast corner of England.
I’m not a huge fan of big bus tours, but sometimes they are necessary to see certain places. We really wanted to see Leeds Castle, but since it’s so far outside of London we didn’t want to try to find our way there by ourselves. So we made reservations with Evan Evans for their Leeds Castle, Canterbury, and Dover tour. Of course I’m going to give you all of the details, but I want to say right now that we had a great experience and would recommend the tour. Although, I do want to note that finding the right bus at Victoria Coach Station was kind of confusing…
Anyway, our first stop was Leeds Castle. Set on 500 acres and surrounded by a moat, it’s easy to see why it’s nicknamed “the loveliest castle in the world”.
I think we were some of the first people to arrive, so we were able to walk through the castle undisturbed by other visitors.
After we finished inside the castle, we headed down to the ruins of the original building and around the moat to see the side-view of the castle (the best view by far).
On the other side of the castle, the water is full of white swans, black swans, ducks and geese. For those of you who don’t know, I’m terrified of birds. I don’t mind ducks, but geese are pretty menacing looking so I was a little uncomfortable when they all started coming ashore.
We still had a little time left before we had to board the bus, so I headed down through the garden, eventually crossing a field for another great view of the castle.
Our next stop was Canterbury for lunch and a tour of the cathedral. We joined the group lunch for fish and chips, which was nice because they had our order ready when we arrived. After lunch we met up with our tour guide in front of Canterbury Cathedral.
According to our guide, Evan Evans is the only company allowed to lead tours inside of the cathedral. They have these nifty audio boxes that they hand out and you can listen to the guide through headphones. It works out nicely because the guide can be respectful and talk quietly inside the cathedral, but everyone can still hear what she’s saying.
We had a little bit of time left after the cathedral tour to do some shopping. A couple weeks ago I talked about how I usually suck at buying souvenirs, but I actually bought a nice necklace in the Canterbury Cathedral gift shop so I actually have a nice souvenir from our day.
One of the things I loved about this tour was the flexibility. When we arrived in Canterbury we had the option to join the group for lunch and a tour of Canterbury Cathedral or do our own thing. We chose to join the group for lunch, but ate fast so we could explore a little before the cathedral tour. Then we joined the cathedral tour, but skipped the crypts so we could do some shopping.
Our last stop was the shores of Dover to see the White Cliffs.
We were only there for a few minutes, but it was plenty of time to walk down to the beach and take a few pictures. They say that on a clear day you can see the coast of France from this spot, but it was cloudy so we couldn’t see it.
Here you can see Dover Castle on top of the hill, overlooking the water. If I ever go back to England, I want to visit that castle!
After our stop on the coast, we headed back to London. The bus driver was nice enough to stop at couple different locations throughout the city instead of just dropping us off in one spot. So while I usually try to avoid big bus tours, I can honestly say that we had a great time and would take a tour with them again.
Next Week: Notting Hill and the London Eye!