Things to do in
Leeds Castle

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Leeds Castle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

1. From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

Escape the bustle of London on a full-day sightseeing tour of the English countryside. You will head to the Garden of England, with visits to Kent’s Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury Cathedral. The journey takes you over the Greenwich Meridian and past the London district that is home to the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper, and the Royal Observatory. Then see Leeds Castle, described by Lord Conway as “the loveliest castle in the world.” Set in the middle of a natural lake, and surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, you will enter the castle before the doors open to the public, and experience its magic in an atmosphere of still tranquility. There will also be time to explore the castle grounds, where you will find the Lady Baillie Garden, with views over the lake. Next, make your way to Canterbury and visit the historic Canterbury Cathedral. The most important Anglican church in the world, the central Bell Harry Tower dates back to 1498, and the crypt is from the 11th-Century. Your guide will tell the story of the shocking murder of Archbishop Thomas Beckett in 1170, and there will also be time to explore the narrow streets of Canterbury, with an opportunity to stop for lunch. Continue your tour through the picturesque landscape of Kent, dotted with unusual buildings and quaint little villages. Arrive at Dover, where you will see the famous White Cliffs, standing 400 feet above sea level. Brooding above the White Cliffs is the sprawling Dover Castle, still watching over the town after 800 years.

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Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

2. Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

You’ll depart from London in the morning on a drive to Leeds Castle, the former royal residence of 6 of England's medieval queens. The palace was transformed by Henry VIII, and became a retreat for the rich and powerful. Begin with a private viewing prior to the castle opening to the public. Explore the chapel, galleries, courtyards, and the banqueting hall. Afterwards, you’ll see the grounds that are home to wildfowl, black swans, and birds in the aviary. Next on your full-day tour is a scenic drive along the old coastal road to the famous white cliffs of Dover. Admire the historic port and its magnificent 12th-century castle. On a clear day there are views of France across the English Channel. After your Dover visit, experience the ancient city of Canterbury, the center of Christian worship for almost 1,700 years. Tour its greatest treasure, the Canterbury Cathedral, probably best known as the site of the brutal murder of Thomas Becket in 1170. After touring the cathedral you’ll have free time to explore Canterbury. Take a walking tour through Greenwich, which boasts exquisite parks and gardens. See the famous Cutty Sark, the fastest sailing ship of its time. As evening approaches, you’ll enjoy an exclusive Thames River cruise. Cruise back to the center of London, sailing past historic sites, including the Tower of London, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.

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Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

3. Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

Described as 'the loveliest castle in the world' by Lord Conway, Leeds Castle sits on 500 acres of landscaped parkland across two idyllic islands, deep in the heart of the magnificent Kent countryside. Early arrival and visit Leeds Castle, where Henry VIII retreated to escape the plague that was raging in London during his reign. Upon arrival at Leeds Castle you will be greeted by your guide. Discover the history behind this magical castle and sample a glass of mead as Henry VIII would have! Next up, embark on a visit to Canterbury Cathedral, the scene of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s gruesome murder in 1170. Learn the intriguing history behind this captivating masterpiece of medieval architecture. Marvel at the cathedral’s spectacular stained glass windows, many of which have survived from the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Then, tantalize your taste buds with a traditional two-course meal. Visit the gateway to England and admire the famous White Cliffs of Dover, with a photo stop on the stunning stretch of coastline that faces continental Europe. You'll also see Dover Castle, a commanding medieval fortress rising over the English Channel and a key film location in 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. Then, head to Greenwich to see the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, as well as the Royal Observatory and world–famous Cutty Sark, a fascinating 19th–century clipper ship. Get a fresh perspective on London’s attractions with a boat ride on the River Thames, from Greenwich to Embankment Pier. You'll pass Tower Bridge and stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral along the way.

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Dover to London & Heathrow via Canterbury and Leeds Castle

4. Dover to London & Heathrow via Canterbury and Leeds Castle

After meeting your friendly guide at Dover Cruise Terminal, board a luxury coach and combine your transfer to London with a wonderful tour of the Garden of England, with visits to historic Canterbury and Leeds Castle. Firstly, come face-to-face with the White Cliffs of Dover, and the magnificent Dover Castle. The fortress dates back to Roman times, and is one of the largest and most impressive castle keeps in Britain. Continuing through this chalk landscape, discover the history of the country, from Celtic Settlers and Roman invaders to the Saxon migration and the Norman conquest. Stop at the city of Canterbury and glimpse into its world famous cathedral on a guided walking tour. Formerly the Roman town of Durovernum Canticorum, the city boasts a wealth of history. After the walking tour, have some free time to walk the narrow streets and admire the historic buildings. In the cathedral, you can see the tomb of King Henry IV, the resting place of The Black Prince and learn of the death in 1170 of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. It is then on past the Oast Houses, hop fields, orchards and vineyards to Leeds Castle, described by Lord Conway as the loveliest castle in the world. Dating back to 880AD, Leeds Castle has been home to many English Queens, from the end of the 12th century to the Tudor reign. Beautiful landscaped gardens are a main feature of the grounds, as is the stunning lake. Explore the castle's historic interior, admire the delightful rooms and get lost in the famous maze. After some free time, the tour departs for central London to begin drop offs, followed by Heathrow drop offs. The drive from Leeds Castle to London takes you through Royal Greenwich, and past Tower Bridge, with a view of the Tower of London. 

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From Brighton: Leeds Castle & Canterbury Full-Day Trip

5. From Brighton: Leeds Castle & Canterbury Full-Day Trip

Meet your professional guide in central Brighton and first travel to Leeds Castle. Discover the castle which was once the home of King Henry VIII, and is sometimes called "the loveliest castle in the world". Take a guided walk through the stunning gardens, visit the maze and grotto, and see the majestic hawks and eagles in the aviary. Kids can explore Knights Stronghold playground and adventure golf onsite. Next, visit the medieval town of Canterbury, a historic pilgrimage site. Take a guided tour of The Westgate and The River Stour, concluding at Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn about the Roman and medieval history of the city and associated famous people. Your guide will advise you with regards to visiting the Cathedral and other places of interest during your free time in the town. After some free time to explore, hop back on the bus for the return journey to Brighton.

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Private Full-Day Tour: Leeds Castle & Chartwell from London

6. Private Full-Day Tour: Leeds Castle & Chartwell from London

Ah, England! Full of beautiful castles, palaces and stately homes. There are so many to choose from, it is hard to know where to start. Especially if you are basing your vacation in London. This full day tour will help you out by taking you to one of the country’s most romantic castles and combining that with a visit to the former home of Winston Churchill, or the birthplace of Vita Sackville West. You will be picked up from your central London hotel and driven in style through lovely English countryside to Leeds Castle. Located in Kent - sometimes referred to as the “Garden of England” – the castle is a former royal residence and was once home to Catherine of Aragon. Surrounded by a peaceful lake, most of the property today dates from the 19th-Century, but it has its origins in the 12th-Century. Whatever its age, it is one of the most loved castles in England and includes a charming maze in its tranquil gardens. Next you can visit Chartwell, former home of Sir Winston Churchill. The Victorian property nestles in peaceful countryside on the outskirts of Westerham. Alternatively, go to Chartwell Knole, one of the largest private houses in England. The childhood home of Vita Sackville West, and providing inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando,” it has a famous collection of 17th and 18th-Century furniture and an exquisite 1,000 acre deer park. If you wish to book the services of a Blue Badge Guide, you may. Otherwise, explore at your leisure before your return to central London.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Leeds Castle

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What people are saying about Leeds Castle

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 185 reviews

The tour guide was so knowledgeable and did her best to make sure everyone was enjoying the trip. This tour was a great value, and I will definitely recommend!!

Chrissy was great!!! She was so good and had so much information as we drove through each part of our tour!!! It was a very very good day!!

A bit disappointed with canterbury since you can't get good pictures outside with all the scaffolds. But inside was so lovely

Great tour with an excellent guide Bruce. Very knowledgeable about the places we visited and great recommendations.

Our guide was fabulous. The tour was great and was everything we expected.