Canterbury, Dover & Leeds Castle

Mar 2nd, 2005, 10:02 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20
Canterbury, Dover & Leeds Castle


Need travel advise. I have only 1 day for Canterbury/Dover/Leeds Castle. My base will be at Canterbury.
I will be flying to Salzburg the next day thru Kent Int'l Airport.

Period of travel is 25-26Mar05. Supposedly thought to be early spring - and chilly weather.

I've few questions:
1. Is it convenient to travel from Canterbury to Kent Int'l Airport, using public transport on a Saturday morning?
2. Day trip to Dover cliff - worth the visit now considering the sight and weather?
3. Getting to Dover from Canterbury - train or bus? which tpt mode is faster?
4. Dover castle and Leeds Castle - which one better? If Leeds Castle is the choice, how do I go from Canterbury and Dover?

If 1 day is more than enough for these places, what other places can I cram-in?

Appreciate all your feedback. Thanks a lot.

kelvinteh is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,213
1. I strongly advise you learn how to spell advice.

2. What chilly weather? Who supposes it?
If you're unfortunate enough to find English spring temperatures uncomfortable, you have my sympathy, and are doubtless receiving medical attention. 60 million of us will be out and about that weekend, not whining about some third-hand information they've credulously accepted.

3. Manston doesn't yet have proper public transport like real airports do. Ramsgate - about 10 mins away by taxi, and 30 mins by a somewhat intermittent bus service - has good train connections to Canterbury, Dover, Ashord (for the Eurostar) and Central London. Check train times at the nationalrail site. Trains from Canterbury to Ramsgate are every hour on Saturdays from 0713, taking 20 mins. You might find a better bus locally, but searching for buses on the web can be a nightmare.

4. Dover Castle and Leeds Castle are in different universes. Leeds Castle is pretty, widely used for sales conferences (get yourself invited to one and you can stay overnight, possibly even in a room overl0oking the moat and decorated with real Impressionist paintings), extensively "restored" (ie mangled) and of zero historical interest, notwithstanding the gibberish its promoters churn out. There's a train from Canterbury to Bearsted with a connecting bus: I wouldn't begin to think how you'd do it from Dover.

Dover Castle, and its associated cliffs, are interesting to look at. Infinitely more importantly, the castle has helped defend us from the horrors surrounding us since Roman times. It's a real castle, unlike the prettified country house up the road, with a host of visitable stuff around it, spanning the period from the Roman occupation to WW2. Asking if it's worth a visit is as mildly offensive as asking an American if the Statue of Liberty is worth visiting - except that Dover has been of far more value to the world for a great deal longer, and far more recently.
flanneruk is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 02:02 AM
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March traditionally comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
Late March should have beautiful Spring weather with the birds singing and masses of beautiful flowers. It won't be boiling hot, but do as we always suggest and take layers.
Flanner, it is one of those Mercan speling oddities that they spell the noun and verb the same where we spell them differently as in practice/practise, advice/advise.
Mar 3rd, 2005, 04:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 14,001
For flanneruk, Strongly suggest you take your own advice before posting.

>in a room overl0oking <
obxgirl is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 3,654
About 4 years ago we did the Canterbury, Dover & Leeds Castle tour with one of those well known coach tours. We left from London's Russell Square area at 8am and returned to Victoria station around 6pm.
We found ample time to wander around at each place. Dover being the least interesting as they don't take you to the castle just the sea front to get a side glimpse of the white cliffs.
Canterbury was next ( but was supposed to be first on the agenda) and it was particularly interesting as we have a family member's plaque up on the wall in the cathedral. That was what we really went to see besides everything else.
Leeds Castle was lovely and I have the best photograph ever taken of my mum & myself by some very kind American man.
(We sat on the wall of the little bridge with the castle in the background).

As for your travel arrangements - sorry I can be of no help there but thought you might like to know it is a great day out.
tod is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 06:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 438
As Flanneruk said, Dover is a real castle while Leeds is a country house.

The grounds and the exterior of Leeds Castle are lovely , in fact it's the 'castle' I envisioned when I was a child reading fairy tales. This is where Cinderella and the Prince could have lived happily ever after .

There's even a maze with a grotto. There's also an aviary .
I found the interior of Leeds Castle much less appealing than the exterior.
There has been much restoration over the years as the various owners updated this family home.
We drove to Leeds Castle; so I'm not sure how you get there w/o a car. There probably is a train/bus combination that can take you there.

Given a choice of Dover Castle vs. Leeds Castle and given your time restrictions, I would go to Dover.
It's a short train trip from Canterbury. Once you arrive at Dover Priory Station you can walk approximately 1 1/2 miles ( uphill) to the entrance of the castle grounds. Or, you can take a taxi from the station and arrange a time for it to pick you up for the return trip.
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Dover Castle. Once you see it you'll understand why it was such an important fortress for so many centuries.
If you go, allow time to tour the WWII tunnels.

starspinners is online now  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 07:01 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,873
"Dover being the least interesting as they don't take you to the castle just the sea front to get a side glimpse of the white cliffs." --- OH MY GOD! That is why guided tours can be so horrible (yes I know some are good) But to go to Dover and not even go to the Castle is an absolute crime. They should be ashamed for stealing your money.

Leeds is pretty but is not very interesting inside. In March the early spring flowers wiill be out but that is about it.

Dover Castle on the other hand can easily take a full day by itself. There is a Roman Lighthouse, Saxon church, a huge and totally fascinating castle, plus all the WWII tunnels and field hospital. It is so vast they have a tram to take you around to the various areas. If it were me (I've been to both several times at different times of the year) there would be no contest - DOVER for sure.

And "March traditionally comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Late March should have beautiful Spring weather with the birds singing" --- Don't count on it. You could have nice weather, terrible weather, something in the middle, bright sunshine or howling gales and drenching rain. There is absolutely no way to tell this far ahead. Just prepare for the worst and appreciate it if you get good weather.

As flanner says, getting to Kent International will not be easy/straightforward. Maybe your B&B or hotel can arrange transport for you.
janis is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2005, 05:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20
Thanks for all your ADVICE and the grammar lesson.

Very appreciative indeed.

Thanks again!
kelvinteh is offline  
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