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On this fascinating holiday you’ll explore famous homes, castles, and their gardens, including Lady Churchill’s rose gardens, the vibrant colourful gardens at Scotney Castle, and the Tudor gardens of Penshurst Place, which was once a hunting lodge for King Henry VIII. You’ll also take two journeys by steam train, looking out on the beauty of the South-East’s countryside. Each night you’ll sit back, relax, and dine at your 4-star accommodation, Dale Hill Hotel and Golf Club, located in the heart of East Sussex.
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Make your own way to our hotel, Dale Hill Hotel and Golf Club, where you will meet our Tour Manager. Enjoy a relaxing evening with dinner served in the hotel’s restaurant.
After breakfast, we travel by coach to the market town of Tenterden, where we will enjoy a return rail journey between Tenterden and Bodiam on the Kent & East Sussex Railway. After some free time in Tenterden to browse or enjoy one of the cafés or tearooms, we continue by coach to Scotney Castle, where we include entrance to the castle and gardens. Scotney Castle has a long and rich history. The earliest parts of the Old Castle were built in 1378 by Roger de Ashburnham and were added to over the years by both the Darell and Hussey families. Scotney Castle has been in the ownership of the National Trust since Christopher Hussey’s death in 1970, and the house remained the private residence of his widow, Betty Hussey, until June 2007, when it was first opened to visitors. Visit the renowned picturesque garden to enjoy the vibrant colours and wander the romantic and ruined Old Castle. Inside the nineteenth century house is a large collection which features many artworks, books, and furniture, as well as stories about previous inhabitants. You’ll have plenty of time to explore before we return to the hotel for our evening meal.
Today we visit Penshurst Place and Gardens, once visited by Henry VIII as a guest of Edward Stafford, 3rd Duke of Buckingham. After the lavish visit Henry VIII had Stafford tried for treason and Penshurst Place became the property of the crown. Henry used it as a hunting lodge whilst courting Anne Boleyn, whose family owned Hever Castle nearby. In 1552, King Edward VI granted the estate to Sir William Sidney, and it has been the ancestral home of the Sidney family ever since, including the Elizabethan poet, courtier, and soldier, Sir Philip Sidney. We continue onto Hever Castle, a romantic 13th century moated castle and childhood home of Anne Boleyn. In 1903 it was bought by William Waldorf Astor who went on to restore and extend the castle and create the vast, beautiful gardens. You can take a stroll through the Tudor Garden, rhododendron walk, and Anne Boleyn's walk. The splendour and beauty of Penshurst Place and the enchantment of Hever Castle make for a truly wonderful day out.
After breakfast, we travel by coach to Sheffield Park station where we ride on the Bluebell railway to East Grinstead station. On arrival, our coach will be waiting and will take us to Chartwell, the family home of Winston Churchill from 1924 until the end of his life. The house itself is fascinating, and the history of Churchill portrayed here gives us a glimpse into the private life of Winston ‘the family man’. Outside of his Prime Ministerial duties, Churchill enjoyed painting, and over 50 years created more than 500 pieces, which can all be viewed in his studio. You will also have time to explore the gardens here, including Lady Churchill’s rose garden, the Golden Rose Avenue, and the walled garden. We return to the hotel for dinner this evening.
After a leisurely breakfast, it is time for you to check-out and embark on your return journey home. *Please note: We cannot guarantee that all our rail journeys will be steam hauled and the running order of the itinerary may change depending on availability. The final itinerary will be confirmed in your final Travel Documents.*
You will stay for four nights at the Dale Hill Hotel and Golf Club.
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When it comes to getting you to your destination. Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from
For complete flexibility, make your own transport arrangements to and from the ship. We will provide you with times and locations as well as some useful information for you to make your own arrangements to join your cruise.
If you require any further information to assist with your travel plans, please contact our Holiday Advisors who will be happy to help.
Travel down to Dover and jump onboard your coach for your ferry crossing.
Alternatively, travel the day before your departure and enjoy an overnight stay, with complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise, before being collected after breakfast the following morning.
Step aboard Eurostar at London St Pancras for a fast and comfortable journey to mainland Europe. You can even upgrade your reserved seat to Standard Premier – speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information. On arrival in Paris, Lille or Brussels, you will then join connecting services for your onward journey.
Return flights from London Heathrow with transfers to and from the ship are included in our package on our specific arrival and departure dates. We also include one item of checked in luggage per person.
If our included flights are not suitable, alternative flights may also be available from other airports on our arrival and departure dates. These may have an additional supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.
For those travelling from further afield, you can also book overnight accommodation in London, before and after your holiday. Speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information.
For an even more relaxed start to your European holiday, why not stay overnight in Dover or nearby Ashford the night before your cruise from only £65pp? All our quoted prices include car parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise and cooked breakfast the following morning. Our coach will collect you and return you to the hotel on its way to/from the port of Dover. And if you don’t want that holiday feeling to end, why not do the same on your return journey?