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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 Portsmouth. 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

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.

England Tours Salisbury

A small group tour of England – England’s Rustic Charm is a leisurely tour exploring the highlights of central and northern England. Departing the elegant city of Bath you’ll enjoy a journey through the rolling hills and honey-coloured villages of the Cotswolds to the ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the English Lake District and Yorkshire Dales. Along the way we’ll visit the dreaming spires of Oxford, the Tudor streets of Stratford-upon-Avon and spend two nights in the medieval city of York. A leisurely journey that will leave you charmed by England’s unique heritage and rustic landscapes.

English Gardens

An English Gardens Tour – Enjoy a leisurely journey through the scenic South East of England to visit a host of opulent country estates and their quintessential English Country Gardens. This itinerary takes you from the vibrant city of London to the romantic Sissinghurst Castle and onwards to the opulent Hampton Court Palace. Along the way we'll see a host of RHS gardens including London's Kew Gardens and visit the historic city of Windsor – a delightful journey to see the very best of this green and pleasant corner of England.

  Improved Itinerary  
Britain Tours - Lake District

A Small Group Tour of England and Scotland – From the southernmost tip of the Cornish Peninsular to the remote wilderness of the Isle of Skye, Britain Coast to Mountain takes you on an epic small-group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England and Scotland. Discover the quaint fishing towns of Cornwall, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the rustic dales of Yorkshire and the barren moorlands of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way we’ll visit the heritage cities of Bath, York, Chester and Edinburgh and experience regional food, drink and hospitality. Britain Coast to Mountain is the perfect immerse yourself in culture and panoramas of England and Scotland.

  New for 2021  
Chelsea Flower Show, London

An English Garden Tour – Is there anything more beautiful than the quintessential English Garden? This elegant escorted coach tour takes you on an incredible journey across England and Wales to visit some of the UK’s most renowned gardens. Explore royal palaces and stately homes to discover the secrets of their formal gardens and rambling estates and enjoy the scenic drives through Britain’s wonderful countryside. A highlight will be your visit to one of the most esteemed garden shows in the country – the Chelsea Flower Show.

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.

  New for 2021  
Chester, England

An English Literature Tour – this uniquely themed coach tour of England takes you on an incredible journey following footsteps of some of Britain’s most renowned authors and playwrights. Travelling across the English countryside, immerse yourself in the lives of literary greats from William Shakespeare’s Stratford-upon-Avon, the charming city of Bath that stole Jane Austen’s heart, the coasts of Dorset and Thomas Hardy Country to the rural idylls of Yorkshire and the Lake District, stomping ground of the Bronte Sisters and William Wordsworth. Along the way, we’ll see historic cities and England’s rustic landscapes.

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 explores 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!

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.

Guernsey, Channel Islands, England

A Channel Islands Tour – Immerse yourself in the Channel Islands' natural beauty and fascinating history on this epic journey across the English Channel from London to Paris. Between England's classic Dorset Coast and the Gallic charm and exquisite coastlines of Northern France we'll tour this enchanting group of tiny islands, discovering Guernsey's wartime occupation, uncovering Western Europe's best-preserved Neolithic sites in Jersey, and experiencing a bygone world on Sark.

  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 - 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 and the mountains of Snowdonia in the North Wales.

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.

English Gardens

An English Gardens Tour – Enjoy a leisurely journey through the scenic South East of England to visit a host of opulent country estates and their quintessential English Country Gardens. This itinerary takes you from the vibrant city of London to the romantic Sissinghurst Castle and onwards to the opulent Hampton Court Palace. Along the way we'll see a host of RHS gardens including London's Kew Gardens and visit the historic city of Windsor – a delightful journey to see the very best of this green and pleasant corner of England.

  New for 2021  
Britain Tours - Lake District

A Small Group Tour of England and Scotland – From the southernmost tip of the Cornish Peninsular to the remote wilderness of the Isle of Skye, Britain Coast to Mountain takes you on an epic small-group journey through the diverse cultures and landscapes of England and Scotland. Discover the quaint fishing towns of Cornwall, the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, the rustic dales of Yorkshire and the barren moorlands of the Scottish Highlands. Along the way we’ll visit the heritage cities of Bath, York, Chester and Edinburgh and experience regional food, drink and hospitality. Britain Coast to Mountain is the perfect immerse yourself in culture and panoramas of England and Scotland.

  Improved Itinerary  
Chester, 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.

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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