Visiting Canterbury and Leeds Castle

What to expect, briefing and logistics travelling from London

Canterbury Train

Canterbury: less than an hour by train from London

Canterbury overview

Canterbury Cathedral is the major attraction in Canterbury for visitors from London, but there is much, much more for the independent traveller that will easily fill up a day here.


Canterbury itself is less than an hour from London St Pancras by frequent train so it's easily accessible independently by all visitors to London.

There are also guided day tours if you want to also see nearby Leeds Castle and the famous White Cliffs of Dover.


Given that Canterbury Cathedral is the main attraction for visitors to Canterbury we would suggest avoiding visiting on a Sunday. The cathedral is closed to the public much of the day on Sundays.


It's always worth checking with the Canterbury Cathedral web site beforehand. There are often events that will result in restricted access on these days too. We have a dedicated page on Canterbury Cathedral and what to expect. Canterbury Cathedral is at the heart of the medieval city centre of Canterbury.

Canterbury is a regional shopping centre too with the shopping area merging into the historic sights and buildings. There is no shortage of restaurants for all budgets in the bustling centre.

Canterbury Cathedral details

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle

Often described as the “loveliest castle in the world”, Leeds Castle is not far from Canterbury.


Most if not all of the coach tours from London combine Canterbury and Leeds Castle. The castle set on two islands and has been home to royalty, lords, and ladies for over 1000 years.

Besides the historic Leeds Castle itself there are extensive grounds with many walks in the grounds, a large aviary, falconry displays, a maze, vineyard, golf course and much else. An ideal place to bring a picnic.


Unlike many castles like Windsor with its emphasis on a 'serious' tour of history and royalty, Leeds Castle is more informal and more set up for a longer visit with much emphasis on keeping the kids happy.

Leeds Castle details


Dover Castle

Dover Castle has secret wartime tunnels

Dover Castle

Just to the south east of Canterbury is Dover with frequent train and bus connections. Dover Castle sits strategically upon the famous White Cliffs of Dover, overlooking the port and town far below.


Today you can tour the Secret Wartime Tunnels. Dover Castle, the Roman Lighthouse and much more. There is much to see, an average visit taking a whole morning or afternoon. Dover Castle is open daily.


The famous White Cliffs of Dover go east and west from the town of the Dover. There is a visitor centre quite close to Dover Castle.

Dover Castle details


Canterbury & Dover by rail

South Eastern Trains run regular train services from London Victoria, St Pancras and Charing Cross to both Canterbury East station and Canterbury West station. The fastest trains from St Pancras do the journey in under an hour.

Upon arrival at either Canterbury station the cathedral and all the sights are a short walk into the city.


A big bonus for going by rail is the availability of 2 for 1 admission promotions. Normally these do not cover Canterbury Cathedral but often do the Roman Museum, Canterbury Tales and St Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury.

From Dover Priory, there are frequent trains to both Canterbury and London.

The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways

Canterbury & Dover by National Express bus

National Express run a service between Dover, Canterbury and London Victoria at broadly hourly frequencies. Journey time is typically around two hours to/from Canterbury. Fares can be very cheap if you get a promotional funfare deal from the National Express website.


National Express Coaches are comfortable long distance coaches with onboard washroom and toilets. National Express coaches are much slower, but much cheaper than the train services.

National Express Coach Services

Leeds Castle, Dover, Greenwich and Canterbury tours from London

While travelling independently by public transport gives you flexibility of seeing things at your own pace, it is time consuming. Dover Castle is about a mile from the train and bus stations at Dover and Leeds Castle is quite isolated.


The day tours from London let you access all three, Canterbury, Dover and Leeds Castle in one day. The tours use comfortable door to door touring coaches with professional guides to transport you from attraction to attraction.


There are currently two tours available, both visiting the same Canterbury, Dover and Leeds Castle combination. It should be noted that neither tour visits Dover Castle.

Leeds Castle, Dover and Canterbury Day Tours from London - more details

Visiting Stonehenge and/or Bath and/or Windsor

Stonehenge Morning Or Afternoon Half Day Tour- £49

Stonehenge & London Day Tour (Apr-Oct only) - £55

Windsor Castle Windsor Morning & Afternoon Tours - from £53

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (inc Lunch, no adm Roman Baths) - £112

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (no Lunch, inc adm Roman Baths) - £95

Windsor, Bath, Stonehenge & Salisbury - £99

Windsor, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group - Max 16 people) - £145

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge admission only) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £71

Stonehenge & Bath (Stonehenge & Baths adm) - 3.5 hrs in Bath - £85

Stonehenge & Windsor (featuring extended time at Windsor) - £87

Stonehenge & Avebury - £74

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £102

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £108

Stonehenge, Glastonbury & Avebury (Small Group) - £145

Lacock, Bath & Stonehenge (Small Group) - £145

Visiting Cotswolds and/or Oxford and/or Stratford and/or Warwick

Oxford, Stratford & Warwick Castle - £102

Oxford, Cotswolds & Stratford (Small Group) -£145

Stratford & Cotswolds (inc Anne Hathaway’s) - £87

Shakespeare’s Stratford–upon–Avon - £55-75 (no admissions incl)

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch - £95

In-depth Cotswolds Only Tour + Lunch (Small Group) - £145

Blenheim Palace, Downton Abbey Village & Cotswolds Tour - £85

Stratford, Cotswolds, Bath & Stonehenge - £108

Windsor, Stonehenge & Oxford - £102

Oxford & Cambridge Tour (May-Sep only) - £99

Downton Abbey & Blenheim Palace (Small Group) - £145

Visiting Canterbury, Leeds Castle & Dover

Leeds Castle, Dover & Canterbury with river cruise - £102

Canterbury, Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Rochester (Small Group Apr - Oct) - £89

Dover Castle, White Cliffs & Canterbury - £87

Special Theme Tours

Stonehenge Special Access (Walk Among Stones) Tours

Downton Abbey + Highclere Castle Tours

Harry Potter Tours

Day Tours by Train to Liverpool, Paris and Scotland

Beatles Liverpool Day Tour - £159

Day Trip to Paris - from £170

Day Trip to Edinburgh - from £199

2 to 12 Day Tours covering Great Britain, Ireland, Paris & Amsterdam

2 Day Avebury, Cotswolds, Bath & Oxford - from £159

2 Day Stonehenge, Bath, Cotswolds & Oxford - from £190

3 Day Tours of English Regions (3 tours) - from £269

3 Days in Paris - from £329

2 Day Edinburgh - from £302

3 Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekend - from £329

3 Day Edinburgh & Scotland Weekday - from £499

3 Day Amsterdam - from £259

5 to 12 Day Tours of Great Britain & Ireland (4 tours) - from £1050

Special Offer Day Tours From London