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Day trip to Dover

Vancouver, Canada
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Day trip to Dover

My wife and I will be staying in Croydon mid April and doing day trips from there. We are planning on purchasing the 4 in 8 BritRail London pass and im wondering if it is worth my while. We will be doing a day trip to Dover stopping at Maidstone and leeds castle as well as canterbury. Does the pass include the coach to the Leeds or do you have to pay extra ontop of the pass?

All trips seem to head to london first, is there anyway of leaving from E Croydon straight to Maidstone?

Any other tips for traveling via transit?

Albufeira, Portugal
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1. Re: Day trip to Dover

I am fairly confident that the rail pass does not include the coach to Leeds castle.

You will be struggling to spend any meaningful time in four different places on the same day, even with trains every 30 minutes! If I had a choice, I would miss Maidstone.

There is no direct route from East Croydon to any of those places. the most straightforward means is to take a train to London Victoria from where there are trains to Maidstone East every 30 minutes.

However, if you decide to miss Maidstone, take a train from East Croydon to London Bridge station from where there are trains to Canterbury and Dover every 30 minutes also.

All the train times are at ww.nationalrail.co.uk

Edited: 09 April 2012, 17:01
Canterbury, United...
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2. Re: Day trip to Dover

Hi, looking at the website this is the London Plus pass at $219. Don't go for the First Class option as first-class is in all essence non-existent on the south-east routes.

If you want to judge its value then you can look at the normal ticket pricing using the very useful National Rail Enquiries journey planner at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/

This shows there is a route with one change from East Croydon via Tonbridge to Maidstone West which avoids London. For Leeds Castle you'd need to cross town and go from Maidstone East to Bearsted.

I can't see anything on the BritRail site about it including the shuttle bus from Bearsted to Leeds Castle.

BUT-are you seriously planning on cramming these 4 destinations in to ONE day trip? A combination of just two of these will be a really full day.

Also curious as to whether you have any particular reason to stop at Maidstone, as it's not particularly held in high regard locally! You can also use the "via Tonbridge" route for Dover Priory, Canterbury West if you are skipping Maidstone

London
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3. Re: Day trip to Dover

I agree with cubsur. Dover and Canterbury make a good day out, but you will really struggle to fit in Leeds Castle and Maidstone as well. What is the draw of Maidstone? I'm sure it's an attractive enough town but it rarely features on a visitor's 'must see' list. It also suffers from poor rail connections due to its geography - Kent is surprisingly hilly in places.

You can avoid going into Central London by catching the direct train from East Croydon to Tonbridge, from where you can change for trains to Canterbury and Dover. However this service only runs hourly and is not particularly fast. Also in the evenings and Sundays you will also need to change at Redhill.

The good news is that East Croydon has much better links to the Sussex Coast. You can get direct trains to places such as Eastbourne, Brighton, Arundel, Chichester, Portsmouth & Southampton. Also, by catching the frequent and regular trains to Clapham Junction, destinations served by South West Trains can be reached without needing to travel right into Central London - such as Salisbury, Exeter, Bournemouth, Weymouth; or closer to home, Windsor and Hampton Court.

Happy travelling!

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4. Re: Day trip to Dover

They may look close on a map, but Dover Castle, Canterbury and Leeds Castle are all very full days in and of themselves.

You are trying to do too much.

Canterbury, United...
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5. Re: Day trip to Dover

Some general advice: if you are doing weekend daytrips, be prepared for engineering works meaning a partial bus replacement along the way - check your routes first! The National Rail site will indiciate with a bus symbol if you hover over the figure displayed in the Chg. column for your selected route.

If you are not taking the BritRail pass, it's cheaper to travel off-peak (after 09:30 Mon-Fri and anytime weekends). Also you could take advantage of 2 for 1 offers at http://www.visitkentoffers.co.uk/

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Day trip to Dover

Thanks for the quick replys!

Yes, upon more reading and googling we will be skipping maidstone and do Dover and Canterbury and if we have some extra time maybe squeese in Leeds. We are doing a rushed trip as we dont have too much time and we want to see as much as possible.

What would you sugest seeing in Dover? The cliffs, castle, tunnels, etc

in Canterbury? Cathederal, Roman Museum..

Canterbury, United...
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7. Re: Day trip to Dover

Your itinerary will be weather dependent eg you won't want to be up on the cliffs in wet & windy weather!

In Dover I've only done the castle & the cliffs (not on the same day). These are generally regarded as the two key attractions. On my only recent trip to the castle I only saw the keep & church and this took up about 2 hrs. If you want to see everything on this very large site - the tunnels etc - then you're looking at several hours worth so I'd suggest forgetting about the museums in Dover town centre especially if it's nice enough for a cliff walk.

In Canterbury the cathedral should be your priority (a thorough value for money visit takes about 2 hrs). Otherwise, in April the gardens are at their best so if the weather is nice I suggest the Westgate Gardens and Franciscan Gardens rather than stick to museums - although I do recommend the Eastbridge Hospital. It's also nice just to walk around the older parts (eg Palace St) or maybe climb the mound/walk the walls at Dane John Gardens. If you have time then maybe one of the several short river tours. The Roman Museum is ok if you have an interest in Roman history but it's mainly mock-ups and a variety of small finds. The actual in-situ Roman foundations are rather dimly lit. I'd recommend on a Canterbury-only day trip but not on a same-day combination with Dover

Don't forget you can click on Things To Do on the left-hand menu for attraction ideas in each destination.

I hope you have a good time whatever you do!

Edited: 09 April 2012, 18:56
Dover
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8. Re: Day trip to Dover

Theres quite a lot of attractions in Dover, but I would strongly recommend Dover Castle - That by itself will take up a fair chunk of your day.

From the castle you will be able to see the cliffs and be only a stones throw away from the Grand Shaft and Dover Western Heights.

www.doverlocals.co.uk/pages/DoverAttractions/

Winchelsea, United...
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9. Re: Day trip to Dover

With apologies to my Kentish friends, it has to be said that the "white cliffs" seen in many films (Pearl Harbor, Atonement, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves etc) are actually not Dover but the Seven Sisters, a short bus ride from Eastbourne then an excellent clifftop walk to "The Tiger" at East Dean and a bus back to Eastbourne.

metro.co.uk/lifestyle/820937-live-life-on-th…

Worth a day trip.

Mike

Edited: 17 April 2012, 19:57
Rye, United Kingdom
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10. Re: Day trip to Dover

If you know the cliffs, you recognise the difference don't you? I did use the seven sisters in my avator until I got a good shot of the White cliffs of Dover.

Hope the OP has a good time whatever they are doing, I won't add to the above advice.