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Published: July 22nd 2009
Today was our day trip to Leeds Castle, White Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury Cathedral. After breakfast we walked to Victoria Coach Station to catch our tour bus (Evans’ Tours). The bus left at 9am and we headed first to Leeds Castle, driving through parts of London we hadn’t seen yet (including Elephant and Castle, birthplace of Charlie Chaplin). Our tour guide, Debbie, was BRILLIANT. So funny and interesting…this was the first tour that I wasn’t dosing off within the first 15 minutes on the road.
On the way to Leeds Castle we passed through Greenwich and the Prime Meridian, where East meets West and time is set. We arrived at Leeds Castle at about 10:30am and had about an hour and a half to tour the castle and grounds (there is an aviary, gardens, and maze).. Dating back to 1119, the castle served as a royal palace in 1278 for King Edward I of England and his queen, Eleanor of Castile and became a residence to many kings and queens after. In 1926 the property was purchased and restored by Lady Olive Baillie, and was opened to the pubic in 1976.
After walking around the castle and grounds
(and escaping a brief rainfall while we were inside), we next went to the ferry port town of Dover, which faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel. There we saw the White Cliffs of Dover, which stand 400 feet above sea level and are composed of chalk and accentuated by streaks of .black flint. Overlooking the cliffs is Dover Castle, regarded as the “Key to England” because of its defensive significance throughout history.
After driving past the castle, we made our way next to Centerbury, the birthplace of English Christianity, where we visited Canterbury Cathedral. Built in the 11th century, the church is linked to many famous church figures, including Sir Thomas Beckett who was murdered here In 1170. The cathedral is also the site of the tomb of The Black Prince, Edward Prince of Wales, who died one year before he was to become king.
We walked around the cathedral and grounds and then wandered around the town and shops before stopping for an early dinner (of more fish and chips!) at Panteli’s. After dinner we browsed around a bit more and then it was time to head back to London with our tour
group. On our way back into London we passed areas we hasn’t seen before, including the financial district and Leadenhall Market (where the first Harry Potter was filmed).
We arrived back at Victoria Station at about 6pm and stopped on our way back to the hotel at Cask Pub for a few pints (I had Dark Horse HopHead, and English better that was better than the Titanic bitter I’d tried the other day). We hung out for awhile avoiding the rain (which has started AGAN) and then walked back to our hotel for the night.
Tomorrow si our last day in London and we’ll finally be seeing Stonehenge!
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