Destination Guide to the South East of England

Rubbing shoulders with Europe, England’s South East has played a central role in the nation’s rich history making it the ideal destination for a cultural English vacation.

The south east of England shows off this great nation at its most traditional; mellow, pastoral landscapes are dotted with royal palaces, ancient castles and quintessential English townships. The region stretches from London and the city’s bordering “home counties” through the rolling hills of the Thames valley to the country’s most iconic coastline on the English Channel culminating at Dover’s famous white cliffs. Inland the region’s landscapes alternate from the natural untamed beauty of the national parks of the South Downs in West Sussex and the New Forest in Hampshire to some of England’s most famous cultivated gardens such as those at Sissinghurst in Kent and Wakehurst in West Sussex.Due to its geographical setting, situated between the epicentre of London and the English Channel, the South East has always been at the heart of England’s history whether bearing witness to invasions from continental Europe or as the stomping ground of monarchs, politicians and renowned English figures. Today the region is bustling with affluent towns spilling out from London home to rich commuters whilst the landscapes bear hallmarks of even wealthier historic inhabitants. Kent is home to two of England’s most iconic and glorious royal palaces at Hever Castle and Leeds Castle both with connections to the Tudor Dynasty and most notably Henry VIII and his wives. Nearby you’ll find one of many opulent manor at Churchill’s family home at Chartwell whilst further south you’ll find the site of England’s most infamous Battle at Hastings and Battle Abbey. A highlight not to be missed is the glorious Highclere Castle, peacefully set in the Hampshire countryside, this Victorian castle is better known as television’s Downton Abbey.

There are a wealth of historic towns and cities in the region. English cathedral city’s can be found at their most quintessential in Winchester, with connections to Jane Austen, and the Ecclesiastical capital of England itself in Canterbury, setting of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The coastal towns here, however, contrast vividly from the fortified port and iconic white cliffs of Dover to the gloriously bohemian resort town of Brighton home of the opulent Royal Pavillion and the home of English maritime history at Potsmouth. Possibly the jewel in the crown however is the stunning town of Windsor, home to England’s most famous Royal Residence at Windsor Castle.

Home to cathedral cities, coastal towns and some of England’s most famous Castles, the unique history of the south east should be experienced on any tour of England.

Relevant Tours

  Improved Itinerary  
Tour of York England

An England Rail Tour – Make use of England’s extensive and far-reaching rail network to explore the corners of this great nation.  From the capital city of London your journey will take you to England’s farthest reaches in on the Cornish Peninsula and the Lake District. Along the way you’ll visit a host of heritage cites including Plymouth, Bath, Oxford, Chester and York. You’ll take in scenic rail rides along the Cornish Coast and over the Yorkshire Dales and enjoy small-group day tours to reach those less accessible spots including Stonehenge, the Cotswolds and the dramatic scenery of the Lake District.

  Improved Itinerary  
England Tours - Hever Castle

An England Small Group Tour - Explore quintessential England on this six-day journey through the beautiful counties of the South East. Discover a wealth of historic and cultural attractions from Canterbury Cathedral and Dover’s White Cliffs to harbour town Whitstable, the “pearl of Kent”.   On route sample award-winning English beers, wander some of England's finest gardens and explore grandiose medieval castles and Royal Palaces.

Tours of England - Bath

A Comprehensive England Coach Tour - Explore England's unrivalled history, heritage and natural beauty on the Taste of England Tour. Combining the Best of Southern and Northern England tours, this journey of discovery takes you from England's South Coast to the remote and rustic landscapes of the North of England. On our journey we'll visit some of England's greatest historic cities such as Bath, Oxford, Cambridge and York and pass through areas of outstanding natural beauty including the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors and the English Lake District. On route, we'll not only visit ancient castles and stately homes but will also engage with local traditions and culture enjoying historic rail journeys, lake cruises, and sampling regional food and drink. The perfect tour to gain a true flavour of England.

  New for 2020  
Gardens Tours England

English Gardens Tour - This escorted motor-coach journey is a must for any nature lovers and English garden enthusiasts. Offering the opportunity to experience the undoubted highlight of the British gardening year, the Chelsea Flower Show, your tour also explores much besides! Enjoy a comprehensive tour taking you from the South West Peninsula through the heart of England, North Wales and the Lake District - every step of the way you'll enjoy elegant historic houses and stately homes with magnificent grounds of woodlands, formal gardens and floral displays.

  New for 2020  
Britain Tours - Lake District

A Northern England Coach Tour - Experience iconic English cities and landscapes along with lesser known gems on this journey from London to the beautiful North of England. Discover the contrasts of England's historic cities such as Liverpool, Cambridge and York with the beautiful and remote countryside of the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. Your journey includes a host of unique experiences including historic steam-train rides, lake cruises and sampling traditional food and drink. The North of England is a region waiting to be discovered.

Tours of England - Liverpool

A British Rail Tour – Get two countries for the price of one as you use the British rail network to explore the rails England and Wales. Your itinerary will include scenic rail rides through the scenic Welsh border Marches and over the Yorkshire Dales whilst overnight stops include the historic cities of Chester and York and the cosmopolitan Welsh capital city of Cardiff. In order to best explore the rural landscapes of Wales we’ve included two separate day tours to explore the South Wales countryside the Mountains of Snowdonia in the North.

  New for 2020  
England Tours of Canterbury

A South England Coach Tour - Explore England's beautiful South, an area of unrivalled history, heritage and natural beauty. Our journey will take us from the capital city of London to the Cotswolds countryside and the cliffs of the English coastline. Along the way you'll sample traditional English ales, see opulent manor houses, explore grandiose castles and wander quintessential English gardens. Something for everyone and a region not to be missed.

  New for 2020  
Tours of England - Hampton Court

An England Garden Tour - With a visit to the renowned Hampton Court Palace Flower Show as its centrepiece, this tour takes you on a leisurely journey through the South East of Engand's greatest gardens. Esteemed stately homes, medieval castles, charming countryside vistas and Aromatic RHS gardens await on this trip which will delight any gree-fingered traveller or fan of the quintessential English Garden!

  Improved Itinerary  
Tour the North of England - Durham

A Britain Small Group Tour - Travel from Edinburgh to London through England's enchanting Eastern regions where the Celts, Romans, Angles and Vikings all left their marks. On this Eastern England small group tour we'll discover rich and contrasting history and culture as we explore the cathedral cities of Durham and York, drive through the stunning and remote landscapes of the Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District and wind our way through the colleges and cobbled streets of Cambridge. On route we'll encounter hidden villages, stately homes and Royal Palaces.

  New for 2020  
Christmas in Britain Tours

A Winter Tour of England - There's nowhere quite like England when it comes to wrapping up warm and enjoying the seasonal magic of Christmas. This small-group tour explore's England's most festive attractions as we tour the Cotswolds countryside and cathedral cities of central England.  We'll get in to the Christmas Spirit as we experience Choral Evensong services, discover the traditions of bygone times and set aside time to pick-up some gifts in and maybe indulge in a mug of mulled-wine at some of England's renowned Christmas markets along the way!

Gardens Tours England

An English Gardens Tour - This small-group journey allows you to enjoy the undoubted highlight of the British gardening year, the Chelsea Flower Show, exhibiting award-winning gardens and resplendent flower displays. With this event as its centrepiece, this tour explores the charming county of Kent, known as the "Garden of England" and celebrates some of the most iconic, creative and inspirational historic houses and gardens in England.

  Improved Itinerary  
Tours of England - Hampton Court

A Royal Tour of Britain - Sweeping through a land rich in history and tradition, this small group journey takes in bustling cities and picturesque villages, rolling green hills and rugged coastlines. As the name suggests this tour is specifically designed to visit many Royal sites and connections across the UK including opulent palaces, Royal residences and grandiose castles. From the gates of Balmoral to Buckingham Palace explore the historic streets of Edinburgh to the excitement of London, one breath-taking step at a time.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

A Britain Castle Tour - Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

Tours of London - Tower Bridge

London is a city like no other!  Enjoy three days exploring this magnificent metropolis and some of its most famous sites, recognizable the world over.  From a stroll along the banks of the Thames to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace. The independent Essential London package offers the perfect add-on for any self-drive or rail tour of England or Britain.

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