A Tour of Kent: the Leeds Castle, White Cliffs of Dover, Canterbury Cathedral & Greenwich

Kent Travel Blog

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Leeds Castle
Took a day trip out of London into Kent to see one of the most famous and loveliest castles in England - the Leeds Castle.  Standing on two islands on a lake, it was originally built in 857 AD as a Saxon manor and was later transformed into a Royal Palace in 1278 by King Edward I.  The castle has been home to six medieval English Queens as well as Henry VIII, and like with most castles, its original structure has been expanded throughout their reigns.  The Leeds Castle has come under the ownership of several influential families, the last of which was Lady Baillie, an American heiress who rescued its former owners from bankruptcy by buying the castle and restoring its interiors to reflect its illustrious past.
Leeds Castle
  Lady Baillie died in 1975 and the castle was passed on to the Leeds Castle Foundation, which preserves and promotes the castle until today.  It is presently open not just to tourists but for various corporate and private events 

Walking through the castle, I was amazed to find how well it was preserved.  And I don't mean just the castle itself, but a lot of its original trimmings are still intact.  Of course it's been occupied until as late as the 70s so much of it decor is from recent history.  But nonetheless, I think this is one of the few castles I've been to whose public areas remain to be almost fully furnished, unlike a lot of the others where half of the rooms and halls you walk through have been left bare. 

It would've been ideal to see the gardens and take a nice leisurely stroll, but we were on a schedule and there was only time for the main feature, not the extras.
The White Cliffs of Dover
  I did, however, manage to sneak away from the group and head out to the area by the moat to take some photos, seeing as two girls had gone off before me as well. 

The trip then took us next to Dover where we had a less than satisfying lunch at the Lighthouse Inn.  A strong wind was blowing accompanied by fog so thick you could barely see the view.  We drove down to the beach by the port below to get a better view of one of England's most famous landmarks, the spectacular White Cliffs. 

Composed of chalk and black flint and reaching up to 350 ft. in height, the White Cliffs of Dover form part of the southeastern British coastline facing continental Europe.  On a clear day, one can easily see the French coast.
Canterbury
  The Dover Castle sits on top of it, but unfortunately, that wasn't part of the tour and we were soon on our way to to Canterbury

It was like traveling back in time, walking through the centuries-old cobblestoned streets of Canterbury.  It's a shame that modernization has crawled its way into this city, as were greeted by a huge Gap sign over one of the medieval structures.  On to the cathedral....

As with most cathedrals, this is another colossal one, with an extensive history to match its size.  It dates back to the first century when it was first founded by the first Archbishop, St. Agustine in AD 597.  Many additions were erected thorughout the year by succeeding Archbishops.
Canterbury Cathedral
  This includes the expansion of the nave, the construction of the western apse, the Christ Church Priory, the quire and the crypt - the largest in the UK, plus the Trinity Chapel, the Corona Tower, to name a few.  The Canterbury Cathedral is the site where Thomas Beckett, the second Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in the 1100s over a disagreement with King Henry II. 

There was no guided tour for this one, we were pretty much left to our own devices for once and ample time was given for us to go around.  I didn't have a guide to the cathedral though, so I ended just meandering about until it was time to regroup with the rest and head over to Greenwich

It's too bad that the Cutty Sark had been nuked several weeks prior to our visit so we were unable to see that.
The London Eye
  It would've been the only point of interest in Greenwich since we were only driving there to take a ferry ride on the Thames back to London.  With the rain pouring, nobody really had much of a choice but to sit inside.  Good thing they were serving afternoon snacks, which staved off our growing hunger and kept us from getting bored. 

The rain hadn't let up by the time we got back to London so we found shetler in a restaurant for an early dinner. 

Later that evening as we plopped ourselves on the bed and turning on the TV, we discovered that the Glasgow International Airport had been the next location of another terrorist attack, and that a terrorist suspect had just been arrested at the John Lennon Airport in Liverpool.  The news gave us the chills as we had just come from those places, plus there was that failed bomb attack in London just yesterday!!  And to think I was in London in 2005, missing the chain of bomb blasts by a 3 days!  I love London, but in a way was glad to be going home soon.  Goes to show that it's not only third world countries like the Philippines that are vulnerable to such heinous acts of terror, it can happen anywhere and at anytime.
  
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Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
The White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover
Canterbury
Canterbury
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
The London Eye
The London Eye
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Castle swans
Castle swans
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Cottage
Cottage
Flowers
Flowers
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle
Dover
Dover
Dover
Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover
Dover Castle in atop the hill
Dover Castle in atop the hill
The White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover
The White Cliffs of Dover
St. Georges Church Tower, Canterb…
St. George's Church Tower, Canter…
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral
Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich
Greenwich
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Gay Pride at Trafalgar Square
Gay Pride at Trafalgar Square
Kent
photo by: hannah-lou