Taking part in one of the Leeds Castle tours is a great plan if you're looking for things to see and do in London that are outside of the typical urban tour of the city. In fact, it is listed as one of the best excursions in the United Kingdom because of the diversity of landscapes that can be visited in a single short trip.
I invite you to continue reading this compilation of options that I have prepared for you, if you wish, so you can book a package tour based on your own interests.
1. Excursions to Leeds castle near Canterbury and Dover
Just outside Maidstone, in the county of Kent south of London, is Leeds Castle. For many specialists it is one of the most iconic castles in the English countryside; although its fame is not so much due to its architectural majesty, but to the fact that Lord Conway, a famous 17th century soldier and statesman, once described it as the most beautiful castle in the world.
Excursions that take you to this castle built on 20 hectares of gardens on two heart-shaped islands also usually include two other essential stops in this section of southern England.
Canterbury is a medieval city, with an architectural identity that gives it an image as if it had been frozen in time and is internationally known for the majesty of its cathedral. At this stop of the tour there are usually breaks to eat a typical English meal such as Fish and Chips or delicious white beans.
Touring the historic center of the town of Canterbury is another part of this stop, which ends to then continue the tour on the way to the Cliffs of Dover, the iconic white limestone formations that since time immemorial have been an honorary entrance to the south of England and have been part of the visual imaginary of what is expected when thinking of a beautiful British beach.
The sequence of this tour gives you a deeper and more privileged perspective on the beauty that characterizes the countryside that lies to the south of the London metropolitan area.
Details of interest
-Price**:** you can get a tour with these characteristics with tickets around 108 euros per adult and discounts of 5 and 10% apply to seniors and children between 3 and 16 years of age. Babies are included free of charge in the tour.
- Duration: this type of tours usually depart from some point in the center of London, such as Tower Bridge, in the morning hours, and then return to that starting point in the late afternoon. So 10 hours is the approximate duration of a tour to Leeds Castle that includes this and other stops in its itinerary.
- Conditions: the transfer all along this road trip takes place in a bus that has nothing to envy to the best London tour buses. The visit to Leeds Castle is usually under a private tour for the whole group traveling in that vehicle. Regarding the language, there are some packages in Spanish, but the most frequent ones with daily departures are in English. Meals are not included, but passengers are not limited to bring their own snacks.
- Advantages: many companies offer you a free cancellation of your reservation as long as you do it well in advance. The guides usually stand out for the effort they put into familiarizing themselves with the tourists and most often the minimum number of participants for a tour of this type is not exaggerated. Almost always without exceeding the minimum of 6 tickets per reservation.
2. Excursion to Dover with guided walks at Leeds Castle
When you are visiting London, it is logical that you are interested in going out to the outskirts of the city to see for yourself how rural life in the English countryside works. In this context, Dover is a favorite destination for the beauty of its cliffs and the mysticism of its people.
At the same time, going and returning to this city in a luxurious bus that takes you to the iconic sites of this part of the county of Kent is an excellent alternative to optimize your time and save money by visiting several attractions at the same time.
Canterbury Cathedral, the Cliffs of Dover from a closer perspective, a tour of the town of Dover and a guided tour of Leeds Castle and the grounds on which it stands are some of the activities offered in this type of package.
This is an appropriate plan when thinking about what to do and what to see in London with kids. For Dover is a quiet destination, full of entertainment that gives the whole family the opportunity to enjoy the countryside, while being away from the urban movement that characterizes a city as big as London. Best of all, Leeds Castle remains the main feature of the tour planning.
Details of interest
- Duration: equal to a typical tour that leaves London and then returns the same day, this alternative usually lasts a full day taking into account how long it can take at each stop. That is, the departure is almost always scheduled for morning hours, such as 9 am and the arrival in London is estimated for after 4 or 5 pm.
- Conditions: some alternatives usually offer you the option to reserve a seat on the bus for a certain amount of time without paying immediately. It is not necessary to book with a minimum number of people per group, as the bus is large enough to carry up to 50 people. It is almost always necessary to book 24 hours in advance and a tour with these characteristics usually costs more than 100 euros per person.
- Advantages: the bus in which you travel on a tour with these characteristics is so comfortable that in a way it is a good plan to get to know the outskirts of South London, while recharging batteries for other much more demanding activities. For example, participating in the best London bike tours, which can be a good idea after a break like this.
3. Guided tours to Leeds Castle with boat trips on the Thames River
A boat ride is a fun plan, isn't it? Well, for your convenience, many guided tours to Leeds Castle departing from London often include them in their planning. This is to give a much more entertaining twist to an experience that is primarily geared towards historical learning and cultural enrichment.
In short, they are usually a transfer in a comfortable and luxurious bus, which makes its respective stop at Leeds Castle, with private guides and all that this implies.
At the same time, as it happens in most of the excursions to this destination, the transfer to Canterbury is also included to visit the magnificent cathedral declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. It is almost always followed by a visit to the viewpoints of the cliffs of Dover, to give the tourists who are participating one of the most special landscapes of the authentic beauty of the British Isles.
The big difference of this alternative begins at the stage of the return to the city, because instead of heading to the starting point in the historic heart of London, the bus deviates to the port of Greenwich, a couple of kilometers east on the River Thames.
There, in the famous Greenwich waterfront, you board the boat that takes you to the height of Tower Bridge, allowing you to see from the perspective of the river a good part of the historic buildings of the east bank of London.
Details of interest
- Duration: a tour that includes a boat ride back to the center of the city usually lasts a little longer than those that only make land transfers. So the excursion can be extended for approximately 11 hours, taking into consideration the time it would take you to change from the bus to the boat.
- Conditions: a package with these characteristics usually includes a guide who will explain to the passengers the historical details of all the places visited. It may also include the entrance to the cathedral and the guided tour of Leeds Castle. Most often, they do not require a minimum number of people to approve the reservation. Regarding the boat, you can be confident that it can compare with the best Thames cruises for comfort and safety.
- Prices: the rates will never go below 180 euros per person taking into consideration that two different means of transport are combined
- Advantages: the excursions to Leeds Castle from London that include a return to the city on a boat on the Thames are an economical combination of several fun activities in a single package. At the same time, it is one of the best things to do in London in August, as it is a safe escape from the heat and allows you to enjoy the river at the only time of the year when it is not too cold.
4. Private transfers in luxury cars from London to Leeds Castle and Dover Castle
Wanting a more intimate and exclusive experience is also something valid and viable when you are interested in booking an excursion to Leeds Castle from your hotel in London. This is within your reach with private transfers that take you to Leeds Castle and Dover Castle in a luxury car exclusively for you and your companions and then return you to your accommodation in the city.
In fact, it is somewhat logical that luxury is a distinguishing feature of the experience when you consider that the historic site you will visit was the private residence of a couple of medieval queens, later to become a veritable haven for the rich and powerful of England.
The start of the trip always begins with a pick up at the door of your hotel and depending on the proximity of the hotel to a place like Buckingham Palace, it is likely that the driver will make a stop so you can take pictures at your leisure.
The transfer to the castle stands out for its nature of comfort and convenience in the best style of the rich and famous. These are vehicles that are usually at least a Mercedes with air conditioning in the seats and wifi on board the car cabin.
The payment of the private guide who will explain the historical details of the castle are included in the transfer fee, as well as the payment of another guide who could help you to walk a section of the hiking tra ils on the cliffs of Dover.
As a matter of flexibility, it is usually left to the client to decide which is the other town in the county of Kent to visit on the trip. The truth is that it is a very diverse area in which it is not essential to know the Canterbury Cathedral, knowing that there are other places like the same city of Maidstone, which is much closer to the castle protagonist in the itinerary.
This is a good plan to see or do in London during a seven-day visit because of the fact that it can work as a luxury entertainment that extends for a whole day while you also know much more of the panorama of southern England.
Details of interest
- Duration: 10 to 12 hours usually takes a private tour in a luxury car through the county of Kent under the circumstances offered by tourist agencies. Take into consideration that being a private service, for two or 4 people, everything is usually much more adjusted to your demands and needs. At least if you compare it with a planning that is shared with 50 other people in a tourist bus.
- Prices: the rates of this type of private and luxurious transfers may seem exorbitant, but you have to value the fact that the 500 or 600 euros are an amount per transfer and not per person. That is, if you distribute what you are paying between 3 or 4 passengers, it ends up being only a little more expensive than what you can spend on a bus tour.
- Advantages: as the route adjusts to your whim, you can enjoy much more of the nature that characterizes the county of Kent. If you are left wanting to see more trees and wildlife, there is always the opportunity to visit some of London's best parks on the next day of this wonderful plan.
Why is it better to book a tour than to go on your own to Leeds Castle from London?
The main convenience of an excursion, such as the ones I have compiled for you in this list, is the fact that the structure of the whole tour is preconceived, knowing how long each place should take so that the times are right and you do not arrive late at any destination.
Economic savings is another decisive factor, since it is believed that public transportation can be a better alternative to get to know all these destinations under your own financial terms. However, the reality is that it is impossible to get to so many places in a single day if you only use the bus routes, since they have schedules that will not necessarily fit your needs.
Added to that is the fact that access to sites such as the castle are already included in the transfer fee, not to mention the private guide of the group, both the bus and the sites you visit. Which you would have to pay separately if you decide to complete the route on your own.
Therefore, private or shared tours to Leeds Castle are usually ranked by many specialists among the best excursions from London for a matter of economic convenience. As well as for the excellent time planning that is handled in these tour packages.
What is the best time of year to take a tour to Leeds Castle from London?
Thereis no preferred time to visit Leeds Castle, since it is a tourist attraction that receives visitors all year round.
If you look at it from another point of view, what can condition your enjoyment of this tour is the number of tourists and the weather at the time you choose to visit it.
If you enjoy the heat, it is preferable to go in late spring, since at that time there are not so many visitors due to the high summer season. The same applies to the cold, as mid-autumn is a time with low tourist influx compared to the early winter full of Christmas festivities.
You should also bear in mind that the south of England is characterized by cloudy and rainy weather for most of the year. It is therefore advisable that you bring raincoats and boots to ensure your comfort on the parts of the tour that involve walking in the countryside.