Another great day trip from London is to the heart of great English heritage, Canterbury, with its cathedral and bucolic streets and the streams where you can enjoy punting right in the heart of lovely English countryside. Canterbury, a medieval town, still has its old town walls and has not changed much in over 700 years. Just like thousands of pilgrims did before, Canterbury is a pilgrimage destination after Thomas Becket’s murder whilst he was praying. After lovely Canterbury, you will head towards the picturesque Leeds Castle, through green, untouched Kent countryside with narrow lanes, hectares of land, huge lovely houses and total privacy. That is the dream that some of the most beautiful villages in Kent offers. It housed Kings and Queens and was used for government conferences and romantic private weddings in modern times. It's great to explore everything and travel through history in such beautiful surroundings. A great day out experience is waiting for you. Just join us!
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Pass By: Canterbury, UK
Canterbury is the oldest cathedral city in England and the UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the Kent area and is situated on the Stour River. Due to the importance of St. Augustine as the apostle of the pagan Kingdom of Kent at the turn of the 7th century, the Archbishop of Canterbury is the primate of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican community. Following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket, the cathedral became a major focus of pilgrimage, but since the killing of Saint Alphege by King Canute in the year 1012 it had already been trodden by the pilgrims. Canterbury is a popular destination for tourists as one of the United Kingdom's most visited cities. The economy of the city relies heavily on tourism. Today we will discover this lovely former pilgrimage city together with its narrow streets and lovely waterways on Stour River.
Pass By: Westgate Towers, Canterbury CT2 7EB, UK
The Westgate is England's largest remaining town gate. In Victorian times it survived an attempted demolition for a road extension scheme. Westgate is a mediaeval gateway with its 60-foot (18 m) high walls. The last survivor of one of seven mediaeval gates of Canterbury was constructed from Kentish ragstone in 1379. The tower is still very well preserved and one of the most distinguished sites of the county. Between its towers, the road welcomes visitors from all around the world.
Stop At: Canterbury Cathedral, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury CT1 2EH England
Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most important religious centres in England. Canterbury was a prime destination over the centuries, and it is always possible to see traces of that title in the town. As you walk towards the Cathedral, you will notice the richness of history and architecture, especially after WWII in this pretty town. Buttermarket is an ancient market spot in the town where you can also see the trace of the pilgrimage role of Canterbury. Canterbury Cathedral is the oldest Cathedral in England. Therefore, the Archbishop of Canterbury has always had a significant status in England at all times. The Cathedral was an important Roman Catholic Church before it became the headquarters of Anglican Church. Founded in 597, the cathedral was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077. The tumultuous history of Britain during the Tudor dynasty lead to hard times in the history and Canterbury Cathedral has a very important religious background. Well, all roads lead to Henry VIII’s reign and there is an important spot in the Cathedral that you should not miss. By the time you enter the cathedral, you can get a shot of the Gothic structure of this masterpiece. Fine stonework and high & light architecture are so opulent. Fan vaulting you will admire as well as the statues of six English kings in 15th-century choir in this cathedral. This is where the cathedral divided into two main sections. One for the public, the other one for the monks. As of today, we can enter both. This is where the cathedral’s status changed on the 29th of December 1170. That was the day that the knights of Henry II murdered his friend Archbishop Thomas Beckett while he was praying right at that important spot. Since then, with the acclamation of the Pope, this holy place became a pilgrimage spot and the importance of the cathedral increased over time. The shrine to St Thomas Becket was destroyed on the orders of Henry VIII and the relics lost. Puritan iconoclasts did significant damage to the cathedral in the years 1642-1643 during the English civil war which your guide will also talk about. In the 1860s, when the South Porch was restored, most of the statues which currently adorn the west side of the cathedral were created. The cathedral is also used as one of the venues for the graduation ceremonies of the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University, and of course, it’s one of the most important tourist attractions in the Southeast of England.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Stop At: Westgate Punts, Westgate Grove, Canterbury CT2 8AA, UK
It’s time to take a lazy boat ride through the Stream of Stour River. There are two important and very different punting tours. If you enjoy nature, there are 45 minutes or 60 minutes choices that you can admire the wetland of Canterbury. This is a wonderful natural experience in this town. If you enjoy urban life then Tourope UK's guide would suggest Venice like boating experience throughout the channels of Stour River. The ride will take you to the fancy streets of Canterbury and shows the other side of the town which you can’t reach by walking. Both experiences are amazing and totally different from each other. This is why we advise you to pick based on your personal interest and choice: Nature vs city life.
Duration: 45 minutes
Pass By: Castle Street, Castle St, Canterbury CT1, UK
Canterbury Castle is a purely Norman Castle. This was one of Kent's three main castles, whilst the others are Rochester Castle and Dover Castle. They were all built on the main Roman road from Dover to London shortly after the Battle of Hastings. It was William the Conqueror's path in October 1066. Canterbury Castle originally designed to protect this important road, it was a motte-bailey type of castle and played a significant role in Britain's history. In Henry I's reign, the great stone preserve was largely established as one of three Royal castles in Kent. This massive structure, which has dimensions of about 98 by 85 feet externally at the base, was originally probably at least 80 feet high. It's made mostly of flint and rubble of sandstone. The castle became the county gaol at the 13th century. Throughout the First Baron War, it was lost to the occupying French forces. A new gate was built in 1380. Since 2018, it has been closed due to a collapse of masonry, but the provisional restoration is ongoing and reopening plans remain for 2021. We will wait and see.
Stop At: Leeds Castle Penfold Hill Leeds, Maidstone ME17 1PL England
There is also another marvel in Southeast England you may wish to visit. Leeds Castle is “The Loveliest Castle in the World”! Although the sentence seems assertive, you should focus on this marvel in our English heritage. Indeed, Leeds Castle is very pretty and charming. It carries all English characteristics and culture itself and is one of the favourite destinations for tourists. It's an obvious fact that the history of many castles mainly goes back to the time of the Normans. Leeds Castle has existed since 1119. The second era of Leeds Castle goes back to King Edward I’s reign that’s about late 1200s and as you probably guess, Leeds Castle has always been a pleasure palace of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon in the 16th century. The King never travelled at night. Therefore, Leeds Castle was a connection hub on his route to holy Canterbury. The minute you enter through the visitors' centre, it’s not a big deal to walk to the castle but there is a tram service for a small fee that makes your journey even fancier. Tourope UK’s qualified blue badge guide will briefly mention the history of Leeds Castle up to the Tudor Dynasty and some important events in the past during your visit. A notable beauty of the Castle is probably the moat around it which was created by King Edward-I we believe. In the Stuarts time especially during the Civil War things were out of control during Charles I’s reign and the Castle was lucky enough to survive. Here in this spot your guide will mention the consequences between the Parliamentarians and Royalists at that time. It was the time that we nearly were losing Windsor Castle. In this respect we also need to talk about the restoration period during Charles II reign. From that point onwards, the Castle’s US connections start. By the time you enter the castle, you will realize French touches and styles in every corner. The reason for this is because of the owner of the castle Lady Baillie worked with French architects and designers that they both made significant alterations inside and outside of the Castle. The maze promises a wonderful experience for the kids and the gardens, cafeteria overlooking the beautiful castle promises a very extraordinary sense of the British culture for its visitors. As an addition to the facts we’ve mentioned, Leeds Castle is a popular image for both the political arena and the world of entertainment. The Castle was the venue of political talks and summits as well as a movie location for the films and TV series’ such as Dr Who, The Androids of Tara and even for live concerts by Sir Cliff Richard. The actual entertainment program is very rich for all ages. Bottom line, Leeds Castle is a great landmark for a great day out in Southeast England.
Duration: 2 hours
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
- Infants must sit on laps
- Infant seats available
- Service animals allowed
- Stroller accessible
- Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
- Transportation is wheelchair accessible
- Wheelchair accessible
- Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
- This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
- Face masks required for travelers in public areas
- Face masks required for guides in public areas
- Face masks provided for travelers
- Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
- Social distancing enforced throughout experience
- Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
- Guides required to regularly wash hands
- Regular temperature checks for staff
- Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
- Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
- For healthier travel experience, we will be upgrading our standard vehicles to SUVs, MPVs and Vans for 8 people or less and 16 or 33 seater minibuses for 9 people or more, both options at no extra cost. All medical regulations will be adhered to during this time until further notice for your safety.
- Air-conditioned vehicle
- Bottled water
- Fuel surcharge
- Parking Fees
- Private transportation
- Entry/Admission - Canterbury Cathedral
- Entry/Admission - Westgate Punts
- Entry/Admission - Leeds Castle
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
The tour identified in this promotion is made available through Viator. Groupon is not affiliated with or sponsored by the Tourope UK in connection with this deal. Please contact Groupon customer service for all inquiries related to this offer. Inquiries placed to Viator will be directed back to Groupon.
This offer is not eligible for promo codes.