Great Britain

Historical sites in the South of England

There are plenty of historic sites to explore in the South of England from enchanting castles to awe-inspiring abbeys, Kent and Sussex alone have some fantastic sites to explore.

From the moment your arrive into Dover on the ferry you'll be treated to some impressive views! Dover Castle is not to be missed, set high above the town of Dover on top of the famous white cliffs, you'll find a whole day of entertainment here! With a great range of food and drink outlets scattered around the grounds and plenty of room to have a family picnic it makes for a great family day out. From the Great Tower, to the underground hospital and the impressive Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment Museum, there's plenty to explore! Not forgetting the impressive secret war tunnels, which played a vital role in operation Dynamo - the evacuations of Dunkirk.

From Dover to West Sussex and Windsor, there are plenty of places to explore in the South of England, whether you are travelling by car or train. Travelling by car and need some added flexibility to your booking? Upgrade to one of our Standard Flexi or Fully Flexi tickets and you'll benefit from some flexibility on your departure time. Plus, if you upgrade to our Fully Flexi ticket, you'll also avoid cancellation and amendment fees! 

We’ve put together our top pick of historical sites in the South of England below.



















Historical sites in the South of England

Castles in the South of England

The South of England is full of castles and castle ruins all of which have their own stories to share. Arundel Castle is a beautiful castle based in West Sussex with over a 1000 years of history. It also has magnificent grounds that overlook the river Arun for you to walk around. Arundel Castle has maintained many of its original features such as the Norman Keep and medieval Gatehouse. 

Another great Castle to visit is Leeds Castle in Kent. This castle has the most stunning grounds for you to explore, with a different experience based on the season. They also have a great selection of birds of prey for you to visit. The castle itself is a Norman stronghold with many historic figures having lived there, such as 
Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. 

Or perhaps Windsor Castle is more up your street? Home to the Queen it is full of over 900 years of royal history. It was founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th Century, it has been the home of 39 monarchs. 

Arundel castle and gardens

Interior of Canterbury Cathedral

Churches and Cathedrals in the South of England

There are loads of impressive churches and cathedrals in the South of England. But it would be a miss, not to mention Canterbury Cathedral. Just a short 40 minute drive from Dover port, it is a beautiful cathedral set in the centre of a vibrant city. Full of 1,400 years of history and is often referred to as ‘England in Stone’ as its history is intrinsically linked to the country’s history. You can also learn more about the murder of its most famous archbishop, Thomas Beckett. 

Another stunning cathedral in the South of England is Chichester Cathedral in West Sussex. The cathedral is a living, working place of worship that is central to life in Chichester for the last 900 years. Further it is set within a quaint town with plenty of independent shops and cafes for you to explore. 


Explore Abbeys in the South of England

The South of England is home to some magnificent Abbeys, including 1066 Battle Abbey, near Hastings. Let us set the scene in the year 1066, the armies of William the Conqueror and King Harold clashed at the Battle of Abbey. You can go and see the Harold stone, marking the spot where King Harold fell, or walk around the battlefield trial full of wooden sculptures depicting Norman and Saxon soldiers.  

Alternatively Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire is a stunning country house on the border of Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. The abbey and gardens have been open to the public since the 1950s. Woburn Abbey is home to an outstanding collection of art works including artworks by Queen Victoria and Richard Stone. It is also home to a world renowned Deer Farm since 1993. 
Battle Abbey in East Sussex

Historic Dockyard in Chatham

Historic Dockyards in Medway

If you’re looking for something to do on a daytrip to England then visiting the Historic Dockyards in Medway. It is an hour drive from Dover port. The Historic Dockyard of Chatham was pivotal to warship building and repair for over 400 years. And today it is the world’s most complete dockyard of the Age of Sail.

You can explore the historic warships, submarines, historic railway and it is also home to the RNLI Historic Lifeboat Collection. With so many different things to explore you will have an action packed day – there are also food and drink outlets available at the dockyards for you to grab a bite to eat. 

It is also home for filming the popular British TV Programme, Call the Midwife. Making it a popular venue for fans of the sitcom of those interested in learning more about the programme.