The place where time began (GMT) and home to the Prime Meridian line, where the western and eastern hemispheres meet. Home to the Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark.
Five miles from the heart of London lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Greenwich. Home to the Royal Observatory (where time began) and situated in Royal Greenwich Park, a former hunting park and one of the largest green spaces in London, offering spectacular views across the city. At the bottom of the park sits the architecturally impressive Old Royal Naval College. We’ll make a short comfort stop here down by the Cutty Sark - one of the world's fastest sailing boats when built in 1869 as a tea clipper - bringing us tea from China and wool from Australia. Listen to your guide explaining Greenwich's key part in British history, and the creation of standardised time and coordinated for the entire world. See the Cutty Sark and pass the glorious Naval College and Royal Greenwich Park.
Famed for its ancient cathedral, Canterbury is a world famous historic English city. Cobbled streets, fascinating history and a network of waterways make this a must-see city.
Our guided Canterbury tours from London take in Canterbury Cathedral, a place of worship for over 1400 years, originally built in AD597, but later rebuilt and consecrated in 1070, it is the Mother Church for English Christianity. We will learn about some of the important events that have shaped our country through religion – such as the baptism of King Ethelbert in AD597 and the brutal murder of St Thomas Becket in 1170 sparking pilgrimages for centuries after. If you choose to enter the cathedral, you will discover the tombs of Archbishops, Edward the Black Prince and King Henry IV, nestled amongst the Norman architecture of columns, cloisters and crypts.
Forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site alongside St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church, Canterbury has been rightfully recognised as a place steeped in history, and spectacular architecture. There is more to modern day Canterbury than its history and traditions though, and you will find a vibrant city packed with a nod to the past in its many beautiful sights.
Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover Tour
Known as the “key to England”, Dover Castle is an imposing monument overlooking the spectacular White Cliffs and beyond
The next sightseeing stop on our tour from London is Dover. We are treated to spectacular views of the English Channel – the stretch of water separating England and France. Boasting the title of “closest town to France”, Dover is a town and major port on the South East coast of England. Guarding the water are the White Cliffs of Dover – beautiful chalk cliffs, that present an imposing structure and have historically formed a symbolic guard against enemy invasion. No Dover tour would be complete without heading down to the shoreline beneath the cliffs to have a good look (weather permitting – it does get foggy!) and if the weather is really clear we’ll be able to see France 20 miles away across the water.
Heading back up the cliffs towards Dover Castle – known as “The Key to England” due to its historical defensive significance, even up to WWII, during which a network of tunnels was used as a military command centre, air raid shelters and an underground hospital. Dating back over 900 years, it is a fine example of a Medieval English castle and is the largest in England.
Kent Tour - countryside and villages
Famously the “Garden of England”, the countryside in Kent is some of the most beautiful in the country.
Kent has some of England's most beautiful, lush, green countryside, interspersed with characterful historic villages. You'll see curiously shaped, but instantly recognisable oast houses dotting the landscape and explore charming Chilham - an absolutely stunning village centred around a square with half timbered buildings, manor house, a traditional English pub and a 15th century church.
We depart from next to the London Eye, on the corner of Belvedere Road and Chicheley Street, SE1 7PB. This is the bus pick up and drop off point for the London Eye. This is in the Waterloo area and a short walk from both Waterloo and Westminster Stations. Your bus and guide will normally arrive 5-10 minutes before departure. Look out for a small white bus with “The English Bus” written on the side. A prompt departure is essential so please arrive in plenty of time. See more about our departure point HERE
After we have picked everyone up, and you are sat comfortably, your driver/guide will introduce themselves, and explain the plan for your day. Your guide will provide full commentary on our interesting route out of London to the south east. We will make a short comfort stop in historic Greenwich, by the glorious 19th century sailing ship - the Cutty Sark. Time to get a coffee and hear about the crucial role Greenwich has played in British history and it's influence on world time and coordinates.
Taking advantage of our small minicoach, we'll take you down some local back roads that big buses cannot manage, to the shore of the English Channel. On a clear day you'll be able to see the 20 miles across the sea to the coast of France. Turn around and you'll be able to admire the impressive and imposing chalk white cliffs, so famous for their symbolism in British and allied military history.
A short drive from the shoreline under the White Cliffs, we arrive at the spectacular and enormous Norman era Dover Castle where we’ll have around 2 hours to explore, and have lunch from one of the cafe/restaurants within the walls of Dover Castle. Explore the castle grounds, climb the tower, walk the walls, and learn about the history of the castle from the 11th Century right up to WWII.
Leaving Dover Castle, and heading towards Canterbury, we will take a scenic drive through the Kent countryside - past hop fields, farmlands, oast houses and characterful villages. We’ll make a stop in the beautiful village of Chilham, centred around a square with a traditional English pub, manor house and 15th century church.
On arrival in Canterbury, join your guide on a walk into the city centre where you'll have a couple of hours free time to have a look around, and visit the vast, historic and stunning Cathedral if you wish. We'll provide you with maps and recommendations to get the most out of your time. Later join your guide on a walking tour and learn more of the history of Canterbury, tales of its visitors, and discover some hidden secrets and passageways.
**Please note that the Cathedral is closed to paying visitors on Good Friday (7th April 2023), but is open for evensong visitors on that date. Parts of the cathedral are closed on July 18 & 21 and September 12 due to graduations. There may be other dates announced later where the Cathedral or parts of will be closed to visitors**
Dependent on traffic, we’ll arrive back in London between 8.00 - 8.15pm, stopping back where we started by the London Eye in the Waterloo area. Ask your guide for a dinner recommendation, there are plenty of eating options within a 10 minute walk of the drop off point.
We may alter the order of the day depending on traffic/weather/special events in order to maximise your enjoyment of the day. Due to shorter daylight hours in the Winter, this tour runs April - October.