We booked a tour to go to Leeds Castle, Canterbury and Dover to see the White Cliffs. That is the one thing that my children remember about a trip we took many years ago, so I decided to do the same thing with my grandchild. We booked a cab from Hailo again, just to be sure that we arrived at the bus station in plenty of time for the tour. We awakened on time and I had coffee before we left. We looked out of our flat window and saw the cab right in front of our door, so we finished getting ready and headed down. Our driver was very talkative and we arrived at the bus station in plenty of time. We ate breakfast, then boarded our bus with about 12-13 other people for the trip to Leeds Castle. Our tour guide, Richard, did a wonderful job of telling us about London. It look nearly an hour to get out of London because of the traffic, but we headed out on the A2 highway, which was very nice. The countryside along the highway was beautiful and Shannon saw sheep for the first time.
Our first stop was Leeds Castle, otherwise known as the Lady’s Castle. We were fortunate to arrive when they were having a floral festival in the castle, so it was loaded (and I mean LOADED) with beautiful arrangements. Apparently the castle was in terrible shape when an heiress decided she would make it her summer home and spent lots of money having it refurbished. It worked and the castle is known as being one of the most beautiful in England. We enjoyed a short lunch while there and then were on our way to see the White Cliffs.
As I said earlier, many years ago, I had taken my children to England and we spent a few days in Canterbury in a B&B. The only thing they remember was seeing the White Cliffs while crossing the Channel on a hovercraft then driving to the top. I let them crawl to the edge to have a look. It was scary, but exhilarating at the same time. They probably remember it because they thought it was dangerous and were surprised that I let them do it. Anyway, my granddaughter also enjoyed this part of the trip the most. We made a short trip in the city of Dover where we dipped our toes in the water. We then picked up some pretty rocks as that was what the “beach” consisted of.
We boarded our bus for the short trip to Canterbury and entered a gate. We were given these devices with a headset and our guide, Richard, was able to tell us all about the Cathedral. We learned about Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury that was murdered in the cathedral and were shown the area that he was murdered. We also saw the candle that burns 24 hours a day in his honor. We were given an hour to mill about the town or see more of the cathedral, so Shannon and I decided to explore the pedestrian part of the town. We walked through the very busy pedestrian area and decided we needed some food (or at least she needed some food). We stopped at a little cafe and enjoyed a few minutes of solitude together (I with my wine and she with her spaghetti). She was much happier afterward, as I was, so we boarded our bus for the return to London. The bus dropped us off on the North side of the river and we made our way back home to decide where to eat tonight.