After a few months here in Brighton, I was thinking about discovering more the UK. Discover different cities, cultures and landscapes. So, this week-end I went to discover Leeds Castle & Canterbury with Discovery Tours.
Discovery Tours is a company which organises trips in the UK and in Europe. In departure of Brighton, London, Hastings, Eastbourne or Worthing, you can take part in one day trips (like Oxford, Cambridge or Bath) or multiday trips (like Bruges, Paris or York).
For this first trip with Discovery Tours, I chose to go to Leeds Castle & Canterbury in the Southeast England (but I promise, if I make another trip, I will write another article about it!).
With our lovely group (only 20 people this time) and guide (Andrew), we left from Brighton at 9am (it’s one of the possibility of departure, but other places and departure times are available on the website) by bus. More than one hour after, we arrived in Leeds Castle. It is said to be as one of the “loveliest castles in the world” (I agree that it is a really really beautiful castle but not the loveliest in the world, from my point of view).
Leeds Castle has been a Norman stronghold, the private property of six of England’s medieval queens, a palace used by Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon, a Jacobean country house, a Georgian mansion, an elegant early 20th century retreat for the influential and famous, and in the 21st century, it has become one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain (find more here).
We began the tour with a walks in the garden to joining the castle (a beautiful garden and so many ducks and other birds).
In the castle, a tour has been organized, you just needed to follow the arrow and enjoy the place. You will find several explanations all around the castle and the rooms are in really good condition.
The castle is not so big, so you have time to discover all the garden. With lovely restaurants and … and the labyrinth! We have spent so much times to found the exit! But it was really worth it, at the end you discover a totally improbable cavern. Just go discover and you will understand what I want to say!
After this time in Leeds Castel we went in Canterbury (it’s quite 1hour in bus). Canterbury is a city known for his lovey centre and the major cathedral in England for the Church of England.
We began the tour with a visit for the centre of the city, with its numerous shops and the possibility to make a tour with a punting on River Stour. The Guide were always with us and provided a lot and a lot of explanations!
After, we went at the Church of Canterbury. Very impressive outside, I haven’t found the inside so beautiful. But it stay a very huge and incredible church.
The guide left us some times to discover by ourselves the centre of the city (and, we have taken time to enjoy the sun with a beer).
At 5:20, we left Canterbury to go back to Brighton and we arrived at nearly 8p.m.
- The guide leave enough time to avoid to be in the rush all day.
- A lot explanation but a lot of time too to discover by yourself (and not just follow a guide all day long).
- We were lucky: not a big group and a lovely weather!
- The places are very lovely but nothing really extraordinary.
- On Sunday, no explanation tour in the Canterbury church.
I really recommend this trip, we had a proper tour with the main places to visit and enough times to be autonomous. If, like me, you are not a native English, don’t be afraid: all the group came from different countries and the guide adapted the level of the explanation to the level of understanding of the group, it was really clear!
I would to thank Andrew the guide and Discovery Tours for inviting me on this trip.
See you soon, I hope with a lot of new discover here in the UK!