Door 2 Tour

Coach Holidays, Escorted Tours & Events

0330 440 3999

Monday - Friday 9am to 5pm

Behind The Scenes At Kent's Finest Buildings

UK & Ireland
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Board Basis: Half Board
  • Tour Ref: D2TJUS9055

Holiday Summary

  • Travel Type: Coach

5 days

Heritage 2022

PRICE FROM ? £695 per person
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Itinerary

Description

The enchanting castles, colourful landscapes and moated manor houses of Kent provide the perfect backdrop to this idyllic getaway, where we learn about the county’s role in shaping English history and discover some of its famous residents, including Sir Winston Churchill. With a mix of privileged access to special areas and out-of-hours tours, this is your backstage pass to beat the crowds and get up close to the historical treasures that lie inside some of Kent’s iconic landmarks, from Chartwell and Sissinghurst Castle to Canterbury Cathedral. 

Itinerary

Excursion One – Chartwell & Chiddingstone Castle
The day starts at Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill’s beloved family retreat, where we enjoy a guided tour before the house opens to the public. Outstanding views over the Weald of Kent combine with an evocative, homely interior full of the great statesman’s personal and political mementos, including an amazing collection of gifts he received from other world leaders. The rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, and after exploring the house we get to peek in Churchill’s studio, hidden in the beautiful grounds and brimming with his striking landscape paintings.

This afternoon, a guided tour awaits at Chiddingstone Castle,with a focus on all of the castle’s treasures and how they are cared for. Set in 35 acres of beautiful grounds, the castle has undergone a number of architectural changes; from its beginnings as an early timber-framed Tudor dwelling to a rebuild which resembles a medieval castle in the early 19th century. Today it houses the collections of the late antiquarian Denys Eyre Bower, including Japanese lacquer, Ancient Egyptian treasures, Stuart paintings and Jacobite manuscripts. The Victorian kitchen and servants’ hall give a taste of the former 'upstairs downstairs' life of the house.

Excursion Two – Sissinghurst Castle & Ightham Mote
We make our way to Sissinghurst Castlefor an out-of-hours guided tour before the castle opens. From its fascinating time as a prison in the 1700s to a home to the women’s land army, we discover its astonishing history and hear how novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson started transforming the castle and gardens in the 1930s. The grounds are stunning; all laid out as a series of individually-planted ‘rooms’ including a fragrant Herb Garden and Rose Garden. 

From here, we continue on to the moated manor house of Ightham Mote. Once described by historian David Starkey as ‘the most beautiful and the most interesting of English country houses’, Ightham has been home to medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and Victorian High Society. Slumbering gardens lay outside, as well as a picturesque courtyard, an orchard, water features and woodland walks. We enjoy a special guided tour of the gardens, taking in the South Lake, which is not usually open to the public. Afterwards, there is time to discover the impressive house interiors.  

Excursion Three – Dover Castle & Canterbury Cathedral 
We head to Dover Castle, one of England’s most iconic castles, for a fascinating visit. Situated atop the famous White Cliffs of Dover, the castle played a part in the defence of the country for nine centuries. It endured one of the greatest sieges of the medieval era, and the evacuation of Dunkirk was masterminded from tunnels beneath the castle walls. 

Our last visit takes us to the spellbinding Canterbury Cathedral, where we take a guided tour with special access to the archives and library. Our country’s oldest cathedral boasts awe-inspiring architecture, including a sweeping Gothic nave and cavernous crypt, and one of England’s largest collections of medieval stained glass. Recent research has shown that it’s among the earliest stained glass in the world, meaning the windows would have witnessed the murder of Thomas Becket and other key events in British history.

Itinerary

Excursion One – Chartwell & Chiddingstone Castle
The day starts at Chartwell, Sir Winston Churchill’s beloved family retreat, where we enjoy a guided tour before the house opens to the public. Outstanding views over the Weald of Kent combine with an evocative, homely interior full of the great statesman’s personal and political mementos, including an amazing collection of gifts he received from other world leaders. The rooms remain much as they were when he lived here, and after exploring the house we get to peek in Churchill’s studio, hidden in the beautiful grounds and brimming with his striking landscape paintings.

This afternoon, a guided tour awaits at Chiddingstone Castle,with a focus on all of the castle’s treasures and how they are cared for. Set in 35 acres of beautiful grounds, the castle has undergone a number of architectural changes; from its beginnings as an early timber-framed Tudor dwelling to a rebuild which resembles a medieval castle in the early 19th century. Today it houses the collections of the late antiquarian Denys Eyre Bower, including Japanese lacquer, Ancient Egyptian treasures, Stuart paintings and Jacobite manuscripts. The Victorian kitchen and servants’ hall give a taste of the former 'upstairs downstairs' life of the house.

Excursion Two – Sissinghurst Castle & Ightham Mote
We make our way to Sissinghurst Castlefor an out-of-hours guided tour before the castle opens. From its fascinating time as a prison in the 1700s to a home to the women’s land army, we discover its astonishing history and hear how novelist Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson started transforming the castle and gardens in the 1930s. The grounds are stunning; all laid out as a series of individually-planted ‘rooms’ including a fragrant Herb Garden and Rose Garden. 

From here, we continue on to the moated manor house of Ightham Mote. Once described by historian David Starkey as ‘the most beautiful and the most interesting of English country houses’, Ightham has been home to medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and Victorian High Society. Slumbering gardens lay outside, as well as a picturesque courtyard, an orchard, water features and woodland walks. We enjoy a special guided tour of the gardens, taking in the South Lake, which is not usually open to the public. Afterwards, there is time to discover the impressive house interiors.  

Excursion Three – Dover Castle & Canterbury Cathedral 
We head to Dover Castle, one of England’s most iconic castles, for a fascinating visit. Situated atop the famous White Cliffs of Dover, the castle played a part in the defence of the country for nine centuries. It endured one of the greatest sieges of the medieval era, and the evacuation of Dunkirk was masterminded from tunnels beneath the castle walls. 

Our last visit takes us to the spellbinding Canterbury Cathedral, where we take a guided tour with special access to the archives and library. Our country’s oldest cathedral boasts awe-inspiring architecture, including a sweeping Gothic nave and cavernous crypt, and one of England’s largest collections of medieval stained glass. Recent research has shown that it’s among the earliest stained glass in the world, meaning the windows would have witnessed the murder of Thomas Becket and other key events in British history.

Self Drive Bullets

  • 4 nights at the 4-star Tudor Park Marriott Hotel, Maidstone with dinner & breakfast 
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After-dinner tea and coffee at the hotel 
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Chartwell, Chiddingstone Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Ightham Mote, Dover Castle & Canterbury Cathedral 
  • Guided tours of Chartwell, Chiddingstone Castle, Ightham Mote Gardens & Canterbury Cathedral 
  • Out-of-hours guided tour of Sissinghurst Castle 
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

Coach Bullets

  • Return coach travel
  • 4 nights at the 4-star Tudor Park Marriott Hotel, Maidstone with dinner & breakfast 
  • Porterage
  • Welcome drink
  • After-dinner tea and coffee at the hotel 
  • Coach transfers to and from your excursions
  • Visits to Chartwell, Chiddingstone Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Ightham Mote, Dover Castle & Canterbury Cathedral 
  • Guided tours of Chartwell, Chiddingstone Castle, Ightham Mote Gardens & Canterbury Cathedral 
  • Out-of-hours guided tour of Sissinghurst Castle 
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

Search Bullets

  • 4 nights at the 4-star Tudor Park Marriott Hotel, Maidstone with dinner & breakfast
  • Visits to Chartwell, Chiddingstone Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Ightham Mote, Dover Castle & Canterbury Cathedral
  • Guided tours of Chartwell, Chiddingstone Castle, Sissinghurst Castle, Ightham Mote Gardens, Dover Castle & Canterbury Cathedral
  • Accompanied by a knowledgeable Tour Manager throughout

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Accommodation

4-star Tudor Park Marriott Hotel

The comfortable 4-star Tudor Park Marriott Hotel is nestled within hundreds of acres of parkland just east of Maidstone, the perfect location to explore the scenic surroundings. The luxurious roomsoffer tea and coffee-making facilities, flat-screen TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi.The hotel also features a restaurant, lounge bar, 18-hole golf course, gym and swimming pool. Spa treatments are available at an extra cost.

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