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The highlights of this special shore excursion will take in some iconic landmarks as we leave Cruise Terminal – look out for the most famous of all of England’s fortresses (Dover Castle)– a former Tudor fortress which evolved into a stately residence for many celebrities names (Walmer Castle) – an early artillery fort constructed by Henry VIII (Deal Castle).
Our journey moves away from the coast and into the byways of Kent, we shall come across some quirkily named villages such as – Tilmanstone, its parish church dating back to the 11thcentury and built with flint – Goodenstone, land once owned by the Anglo-Saxon ancestors of King Harold – until we arrive at our first stopping place.
Fordwich lies just downstream from Canterbury in the picturesque River Stour Valley – and our walkabout here will take in a Norman Church, river crossing, cottages dating back to the 17th century plus morning coffee at a traditional Kentish Inn named the ‘George and Dragon’(a selection of beverages are available to be enjoyed either on the step-free terrace or inside the spacious lounge and restrooms are also available at this stop).
Continuing our journey on the road of pilgrims we shall encounter some magnificent viewpoints – including the majestic Canterbury Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On our motor meander through the valley, we climb the Kent Downs taking in some sheltered and secluded villages before pausing at the agricultural medieval market square of Chilham with its Jacobean Manor House. This timeless setting has been a popular shoot for movie-makers.
Our coach driver will negotiate the narrow steep hill to emerge into an oasis of calm – a traditional setting bordered by Tudor timber-framed dwellings, a 16th-century church and an imposing castle.
Our excursion around this delightful corner of Great Britain continues to wind its way through some more quintessentially English-named villages and rural farmland – until arriving at our lunch (or afternoon tea) stop in Pluckley.
This picturesque village has also been a favourite for movie makers – a settlement which goes back to the Doomsday Book completed by order of William the Conqueror and includes a pretty 13th-century parish church.
Pluckley’s unaltered charm hides a secret – because according to the Guinness Book of Records, this is the ‘most haunted village in England’!
It’s rather apt therefore that lunch (or afternoon tea) should be taken in the ‘most haunted pub in England’ – where you can hear stories of both the pub and the village’s regular ghosts!
The ‘Black Horse’ provide a varied menu and refreshments available to be enjoyed either in the step-free garden or inside the spacious lounge and restrooms are also available at this stopping point).
A stroll around this delightful village may even reveal more ghost happenings!
As we continue on our scenic route we shall pause at the fairy-tale village of Bibbenden – and its welcoming village sign on the village green depicts the conjoined twin sisters Eliza and Mary who resided here 900 years ago.
The quaintness of the higgledy-piggledy cottages in this neighbourhood certainly has appeal– and the picturesque sightseeing continues across the rolling countryside back down to the coast and you can reflect on your Kentish tour experience as you make your way back to your cruise vessel.
3 Hours Before Flight Time