Depart an uncharacteristically peaceful central London by air-conditioned coach and venture into the English countryside begin your day trip. As you travel, enjoy the views over the county of Kent, known as the ‘Garden of England’ for its pretty hop fields, apple orchards and rolling farmland.
Make your main stop in the ancient city of Canterbury. Along with its Roman origins, this charming city is famed for magnificent, UNESCO-listed Canterbury Cathedral, largely built in the 11th and 12th centuries, but with roots dating back to the 6th.
As you approach the cathedral, hear about its bloodiest hour: the day in 1170 when four knights of the then King Henry II stormed inside the church and murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket, crushing his skull with their swords. Following Becket’s death, the cathedral attracted thousands of medieval pilgrims, as told famously in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, written in the late 1300s.
On arrival, admire the views of this splendid Gothic church, and, depending on the cathedral’s Christmas Day schedule, take the opportunity to enjoy the celebratory services. Then, follow your guide to a local eatery for a traditional English Christmas lunch. After a welcome drink, savor a delicious 2-course meal of dishes such as juicy roast turkey and rich Christmas pudding, and, if you wish, use the occasion to open your own Christmas gifts! See the Itinerary for a sample menu.
Next, travel to Kent’s coast to see the famous White Cliffs of Dover. Gaze out over the chalk cliffs before traveling north to the historical Kent town of Rochester, known for its castle and links to the great 19th-century English author Charles Dickens.
After a walking tour of the town’s pretty streets, return to central London where your trip concludes.