Escape the rush of the 21st century by stepping back in time for a day with me and have an experience of a lifetime. Go 'off-the-beaten-track' and impress your family and friends. - The medieval way!
Most visitors to London see Buckingham Palace, The Tower, The London Eye and many other popular sites through well-trodden routes. Great, but why not experience something completely different? Create memories and photos so unique others will think, "I wish I had been there too!"
Medieval England is closer than you may have thought.
Hello, I’m John and I have been delivering many private tours in London and also in Kent's beautiful countryside, known as 'The Garden of England.' My speciality is showing guests some of England's most beautiful castles and historic houses. I live in London’s suburbs meaning I can easily take guests into the heart of the countryside within just a few minutes. It's about making 'the best of both worlds.' The city and the countryside.
However, what about the world which still encapsulates Medieval England? How would you like to step back in time, away from the crowds of London, by experiencing something that's overlooked by millions of visitors?
I can make that happen!
In the heart of the picturesque Weald of Kent are two hidden gems. As a local, I know their secrets!
IGHTHAM MOTE - Described by David Starkey, (Britain’s leading historian), as “One of the most beautiful and interesting of English country houses.”
Almost 700 years old, this house has been owned by Medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and wealthy Victorians. This precious building, now owned by The National Trust, has a moat, a pretty courtyard, an historic Great Hall, a crypt, a Tudor painted ceiling and even a Grade I listed dog kennel!
PENSHURST PLACE – A wonderful, remote, film location for 'Mary Queen of Scots', 'The Other Boleyn Girl', ‘Wolf Hall’ and more.
Once Henry VIII’s hunting lodge, it boasts of one England’s most valuable treasures, Medieval Baron’s Hall, enabling you to step into the 1300’s! This historic house, still owned by the Sidney family, proves that not all artefacts are in London. It showcases some of England’s most valuable paintings and furniture. (Penshurst Place is open from end March to end October only. If you're planning your visit outside of these months, ask me to make recommendations as I can personalise this tour for you!)
What really tops these gorgeous houses is they both have beautiful surroundings nurtured by skilful gardeners, including volunteers, who passionately preserve England’s cultural heritage.
This tour can be 100% personalised.
Visit the remains of 14th-century SCOTNEY CASTLE. A medieval castle, where some rooms are still accessible. The estate includes the 'New Castle' which is a Victorian house which boasts gardens which are a celebrated example of the Picturesque style, with the beautiful backdrop of the fairytale castle. Amongst its former owners was Christopher Hussey, architectural editor at Country Life magazine, and who played a significant role in the preservation of this and many historic properties in England.
Travelling with kids? Here’s an opportunity for them to really experience Medieval England too! For a extra nominal charge, (as it's further away), I can swap one of the locations with, for example, medieval BODIUM CASTLE in East Sussex. - A ruined castle full of splendour, including spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis. It’s most definitely for adults too. As the National Trust shares - “This is a place where you can relive your childhood memories and let your imagination run riot.”
Please request a personalised tour should you wish to visit Scotney Castle, Bodium Castle or another location in Kent or Sussex.
Guest testimonial. - “…A few days later I took a second tour with John and we visited Ightham Mote and Penshurst Place. Ightham Mote is a home built in the thirteenth century with a moat, lake, and gardens. I really enjoyed my visit there. Afterwards, we visited Penshurst Place which is a much larger home. It has very extensive and beautiful gardens which were just coming into bloom when I was there. I enjoyed my visit there as well.”