Pre-Cruise Tour of Leeds Castle and Dover Castle to Dover

Visit these two famous castles on your way from London or Heathrow to Dover port sharing with other people from your cruise ship.

You will only be sharing with 3 or 4 other couples from your cruise ship in a luxury minivan or up to six other couples in a luxury mini coach, leaving from your London hotel or Heathrow airport to your cruise departure at Dover port via one and a half hour stop at Leeds Castle and one and 30 minutes stop at Dover Castle for photographs.

If you are travelling in a shared minivan it is likely that you will be picked up just from London or just from Heathrow for your tour transfer as you are only 3 to 4 couples.

We will start collecting from Heathrow hotels first and then London hotels at 8am and aim to reach Leeds Castle at around 10:30am. We will spend one and a half hours at Leeds Castle, leaving at 12:15pm heading towards Dover Castle where we will stop for 30 minutes allowing enough time to take photographs.

We will leave Dover castle at 13:30pm to the port driving past the White Cliffs of Dover on the way, arriving at the port at 13:45pm well in time for you to check in for your cruise.

Leeds Castle Tour

On arrival at Leeds Castle you will be in awe of the magnificent 900 year old Norman castle which is built on two small islands rising majestically from the moat and surrounded by a lake formed by the River Len accompanied by the most scenic formal gardens and park lands you are ever likely to see. Leeds Castle was once a Royal residence for six of England’s queens, and was used as a residence for King Henry VIII first wife Catherine of

Aragon and was also a retreat for the rich and powerful. The Castle was built in 1119 by Robert de Crevecoeur as a Norman strong hold and become the property of King Edward I in 1278.

You will explore the 900 year old castle, chapel, galleries, courtyards and banqueting hall before taking time to enjoy the gardens with wildlife which includes wildfowl and black swans and you can also experience the maze made out of 2400 yew trees.

After visiting Leeds Castle we will depart at 12:15pm towards Dover Castle.

Dover Castle Tour

We will reach Dover Castle at 13:00pm where we will spend 30 minutes for photographs before departing for your cruise ship at Dover port which is only 10 minutes away.Placed above the white cliffs of Dover, the ancient Dover castle has been protecting the English shores for around 2000 years. The Medieval Dover Castle, which is the largest Castle in England, was founded around

1160 by King Henry II, and is famously known as ‘the key to England’. The castle was designed by Henry II’s architect ‘Maurice the Engineer’ and was built between 1180 and 1185. Henry II would welcome noble pilgrims travelling to the new shrine in Canterbury Cathedral of St Thomas Becket.

The Castle was a symbol of kingly power and authority guarding the gateway to the realm. It has been continuously garrisoned right up until 1958, protecting Britain from invasion from the shortest sea crossing from Europe.

Dover Castle is a great medieval fortress with the Great Tower at its heart. The Tower is 83 feet high, just less than 100 feet square and the walls are up to 21 feet thick. From 1740 until 1945 its defences were successively updated in response to every European war involving Britain.

The Castle hosted many royal visits by Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria.

During the Napoleonic Wars Dover became a garrison town and there was a need to build barracks which were built in tunnels about 15 meters below the cliffs top. The tunnels become abandoned for more than a century until the outbreak of the Second World War when they were converted into an air-raid shelter and later into a military command centre and underground hospital.

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