A few weeks ago, Nadia and I decided it was time to get out of the city for the day. Now, if you’ve been reading our blog you know we don’t usually do day trips at a leisurely pace and this was one was no exception! For this Cultural Saturday, we traveled Southeast of London to Leeds Castle, Dover, Canterbury, and Greenwich with a guided tour through Premium Tours.
We started our day at Leeds Castle, located in Kent, England, just about 1 hour outside of London. The coolest part about using the tour company is that we were one of first people inside the Castle and had a private tour before it was open to the public. Leeds Castle is described as the “loveliest castle in the world.” In it’s prime it was once a Royal residence for six of England’s medieval queens, and a palace of Henry VIII. The castle was built on two small islands, in the middle of a lake, and is surrounded by a vast estate. During our tour, we visited the chapel, galleries, courtyards and banqueting hall, and even had some time to walk around the grounds to see the wildlife including the black swans! It was a lovely way to start our day!
Next up, we traveled to Dover, which is on the coast, to visit its famous White Cliffs. The White Cliffs form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. It was a very clear day and we could even see France! Dover is also the spot where many swimmers begin their journey to swim the English Channel! Even though it was a colder day, I couldn’t help to stick my hands in the channel! It was a short trip, but so worth it. The views were breathtaking and we would love to go back when it’s warmer!
After Dover, we traveled the to the ancient city of Canterbury. The city has been the centre of Christian worship for almost 1,700 years. Its greatest treasure is the cathedral. We didn’t have nearly enough time to explore the city because we really wanted to spend most of our time in the cathedral. It was SO WORTH IT! Canterbury Cathedral is absolutely gorgeous! We spent every minute we had walking around and trying to take everything in. We were so enthralled in the sites, that we almost missed the bus going back! If you have a chance to visit Canterbury, make sure you have plenty of time to spend in the cathedral.
Last on our tour was the Royal Borough of Greenwich, located only 4 miles from Central London. Greenwich is where you can find the Prime Meridian of the World and where we get Greenwich Mean Time or GMT, the local time in London. We walked around a bit and took in the sites. We had planned to take the boat back to Central London, but the wait was super long. Instead we ate a local chain called Nando’s. It’s an interesting restaurant and one of the only places in London where you can purchase unlimited soda’s. We had a great meal and ended up taking the train back home. I look forward to coming back to Greenwich in a few weeks for my first 5k.
It was a long day of touring, but a great one! I’m really glad that we were able to get out of the city for a bit and explore some new places.