Cathedrals, Castles, and Ancient Churches In Kent | Travel Research Online


Cathedrals, Castles, and Ancient Churches In Kent


Two weeks ago, my Agent’s Perspectives article took a look at Castles and Cathedrals in the Cotswolds. This week, the focus sharpens on some of the Castles, cathedrals, and some 11th century churches which are like a slow but riveting walk through centuries of English history.

Some of them double up as short pre-or-post cruise extensions sailing in/out of Dover, while others come together as components for a travel-less, see-more tour that will appeal to your garden-loving clients. Other ingredients can be blended together for an English cathedrals-based tour perhaps with Sunday morning worship in Canterbury Cathedral?


Chaucer’s Pilgrims and St Augustine

This short itinerary works well for independent travellers or as a short filler to a longer London programme for a church group.  With a few adjustments, it can also be easily converted into an imaginative on and off the beaten track cruise extension for Dover sailings or extended to include more of the region’s many castles, stately homes and gardens, with one or two pub lunches thrown in for good measure!

Great Castles, Cathedrals, and Gardens in Southern England

For Sunday morning LHR arrivals, start with Morning Worship in St. George’s Chapel Windsor. Then blend together five absolutely stunning castles, three magnificent cathedrals, prehistoric England at Stonehenge, a stroll in the footsteps of Jane Austen, a touch of the exotic at Brighton’s Royal Pavilion, and the WWII tunnels that go deep into Dover’s famous White Cliffs. This itinerary is well worth considering.

Meet Mr Pickwick And His Pals

Annually, between 5th-6th December, the city of Rochester becomes a feast of Victorian delights. There are lamp-lit parades, carols to be sung, and even a guaranteed snowfall – framed by Rochester’s fairy tale cathedral and castle. Rub shoulders with a host of larger than life Dickensian characters including Scrooge, Miss Havisham, Bill Sykes, Nancy, and Bull’s Eye the dog and not to mention a few odd balls.

The Ancient Churches of Romney Marsh

Adjacent to the must-visit medieval, hilltop town of Rye used as the location for the filming of Mapp and Lucia. Romney Marsh is renowned for its rural historic churches. Dating from before the 11th century, 14 of them were built by the lords of the manor to serve the local communities. The church of St Thomas à Becket at Fairfield (pictured) is arguably the most iconic.

The Key To England

Commanding the shortest sea crossing between England and the continent, Dover Castle is known as the ‘key to England’. It has played a crucial role in the defense of the realm for over nine centuries, a span equalled only by the Tower of London and Windsor Castle. Discover the top-secret WWII tunnels that penetrate deep into the famous White Cliffs, experience the underground hospital and learn about Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk.

The Great Castles at Walmer and Deal

15 minutes along the cast road from Dover, you’ll find Walmer Castle, a Tudor fort, transformed into a stately home surrounded by 8-acres of award-wining formal and informal gardens. 5 minutes further on, crouching low and menacing, the rounded bastions of Deal Castle is one the finest Tudor castles in England. Between them, they make a very good side trip from a base in Canterbury.

The World Garden at Lullingstone Castle

Set within 120 acres of beautiful Kent countryside, this is one of England’s oldest family estates. The Manor House and Gatehouse were built in 1497 and have been home to the same family ever since. In 2005, Tom Hart Dyke created a unique and inspiring ‘World Garden’ and filled it with thousands of rare, unusual, and beautiful plants from all over the world. Come and see it in 2021.


Paull Tickner, owner of U.K-based Custom GB, is known for his expertise in creating and operating imaginative, value-added tours of Great Britain and Ireland. Visit his website at or email him at

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