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Planning 4 nights S / SE of London for my parents in their late 60s

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My parents are traveling with me, my husband and our 7 year old son to England and France in June. We are flying together from Miami to London where we will stay for 4 nights (Sunday-Thursday). On Thursday we will then take a train from London to Leeds Castle for an overnight stay before heading to Dover to take a ferry to Calais, France, where we will continue the rest of our 3 week trip in France.

My parents are in their late 60s and are avid travelers. But they have been to London before and although they love the city, they would rather see other parts of England while we visit London for the first time. So where could they go while we are in London for 4 nights (Sunday-Thursday)?

They don’t mind traveling from town to town but would rather not have to rent a car unless it is necessary. Maybe they could they take a train or a tour for 4 nights (Sunday-Thursday)? Their preference would be to concentrate on the area South to South-East of London. Regardless, they will definitely meet us at Leeds Castle on Thursday for our overnight stay (which is situated between Maidstone and Ashford along the M20).

Would traveling by train around this area be a possibility or is it only feasible by car? Which towns should they visit and/or stay overnight? Sights? Are there any tour companies that focus on this area?

I’d like to plan this out for them so that they don’t go through too much trouble with this leg of the trip. I am open to any suggestions. Thank you!

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