Dover And The Cinque Ports Tour

All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.

  • Henry II’s magnificent Dover Castle

  • The original Cinque Port town of Sandwich

  • Lovely Rye, now an antiques centre, but once an important port

  • Winchelsea – the smallest town in England with its own mayor

Before the Tudor kings established a standing navy, the men and ships of the Cinque ports – originally Dover, Hythe, Sandwich, Hastings and New Romney, together with the two ancient towns of Rye and Winchelsea -  provided a fleet to meet the military and transport needs of their Royal masters. This superb tour in the company of Julian Humphrys explores this fascinating region’s 1000 year old history.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive independently at the Best Western Plus, Dover, from 15.00 
This evening there will be a welcome reception, dinner with wine and a talk by Julian Humphrys - ‘The History of the Cinque Ports.’

Day 2: Rye, Winchelsea and New Romney
First on the agenda today is a visit to Rye, which replaced nearby New Romney as the 5th port when it was damaged by storms and its harbour silted up. Rye is a beautiful town, today renowned for its antique shops and old-world charm, but an important port in its day – the Castle Museum will explain more. Next, we travel to Winchelsea, once a major centre for the wine trade and now the smallest town in England with its own mayor, for a visit to St Thomas Church followed by free time for lunch (not included). After lunch we visit the Court Hall Museum, one of the oldest buildings in the town and which will tell the tale of the history of the town. Our final visit of the day is to New Romney and St Nicholas Church. Once a thriving port, the church was located adjacent to the harbour until a storm in 1287 changed the coastline dramatically and the port was destroyed with four feet of silt deposited inside the church, which now accounts for it being lower lying than the surroudning area. This evening we will have a second talk from Julian, “The Hundred Years War” and dinner at the hotel.

Day 3: Sandwich and Dover Castle
Our first Cinque port today is Sandwich, a charming medieval town with a 16th century Guildhall, that now houses a museum telling the story of the town including its 1300AD “Sandwich Magna Carta.” Then to Dover Castle, one of the most iconic English fortresses which has commanded the Channel for nine centuries. The Great Tower was built by Henry II who sent Thomas Becket to his death and was father of Richard the Lionheart and “Bad” King John. Return to the hotel for approximately 17.00hrs.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion 

Please note: Post tour extra nights are available at a supplement

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 48 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Two nights’ bed and breakfast at the three-star Best Western Plus, Dover, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • First night three-course dinner with wine
  • Second night dinner in the hotel restaurant
  • All talks, guided tours and admissions
  • Coach touring itinerary and tour manager throughout

NOT INCLUDED

  • Transport to the hotel is not included
  • Double for sole use supplement 
  • Extra nights on bed and breakfast basis
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc 
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTEL

Best Western Plus, Dover Marina Hotel & Spa

Ideally located in the centre of the five ports, the four-star Best Western Plus, Dover is a Victorian seafront hotel offering a fusion of Victorian décor with 21st century amenities, including a spa and gym, bar, restaurant and comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities including en-suite bathroom, TV, telephone, wifi, safe, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. 

Parking: complimentary

Hotel Website

MORE INFO - Please click here to see full details of this tour

Your Guide

Julian Humphrys 
Julian read history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, has worked at historical sites both in Britain and overseas and is now a trustee of the Battlefields Trust and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has a very infectious enthusiasm for history and has published numerous books on castles and battles. He currently leads more than a dozen tours for Travel Editions and imparts his extraordinary historical knowledge with wit and panache, making a tour led by him both an educational and entertaining experience.

 

Please note that all our UK tours start and finish at the relevant hotel.  

You can normally check in from 3pm onwards but hotels will always be happy to store your luggage if you arrive earlier in the day. 

For full details of how to get to the hotel, directions and the nearest train station, please click on the hotel website or call our office for details. These will also be sent automatically with your confirmation. 

The welcome reception and first evening dinner / talk will commence at about 6pm - full details will be sent with your joining instructions about 10 days prior to the arrival date. 

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Very enjoyable and informative. Great breakfasts!

Review by Anonymous who travelled 10-July-2023


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 10-July-2023


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Julian Humphrys is knowable and interesting tour leader.

Review by Mose who travelled 10-July-2023


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We enjoyed the tour and the lectures. Perhaps there was an unnecessary amount of free time in Rye and Winchelsea and at Dover Castle, but that was just our personal experience..

Review by Anonymous who travelled 10-July-2023


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As usual, the lectures were superb. I enjoyed everything about the tour and learned so much about the history of the Cinque Ports as well as enjoying the beautiful architecture of the towns we visited. Even the weather was perfect. Thank you. I’m looking forward to my next trip with Travel Editions.

Review by Hawkes who travelled 10-July-2023


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Very full tour and excellent guides

Review by McKenna who travelled 10-July-2023


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I thoroughly enjoyed this short break. Julian's lectures were as interesting and amusing as ever and Nick was a very helpful with lots of additional interesting stories and information. My initial reservations about being based in Dover in the middle of all the reported travel chaos were quickly allayed and they had little affect on us since we had a very efficient young lady coach driver, Linda. The hotel was comfortable with good food and helpful, efficient staff.

Review by Marriott who travelled 25-July-2022


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Interesting holiday, arrangements went very smoothly, excellent guide and manager.

Review by Turner who travelled 25-July-2022


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-July-2022


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A really excellent holiday - full of interest! Julian Humphreys and Nick Hancock were a brilliant double act. Most enjoyable - thank you. We look forward to our next Travel Editions holiday.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-July-2022


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Enjoyable and informative

Review by Ruscoe who travelled 25-July-2022


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Speaker Julian Humphries was very good - knowledgable (as one would expect) but put over in an interesting fashion. Would be quite happy to hear him again

Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-July-2022


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-July-2022


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Both the tour leaders were excellent, very efficient, knowledgeable and great fun to be with. The other participants were very friendly, I suppose partly because we were all there because we had similar interests. In general the hotel was a good choice, well-placed with direct sea views. My only criticism would be that the food and wine were not up to the standard I would have expected from a hotel that was billed a Best Western Plus. You should not be expected to eat, two nights running, the same vegetables clearly taken from a catering pack.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 25-July-2022


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An excellent trip, with very good hosting and tour managing. The hotel was well positioned, but the food was not very good and the lift is tiny and insufficient for the number of people staying, also very slow to arrive. Altogether a very enjoyable trip, an awful lot packed in again, so excellent value for money!

Review by Taylor who travelled 25-July-2022


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The Tour Guide and Tour Manager were excellent. It makes a real difference to have efficient tour management and a tour guide who knows his subject and is really enthusiastic about it. You have two excellent people in Julian Humphreys and Nick Hancock

Review by Knowles who travelled 25-July-2022


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Thoroughly enjoyed, as before. Learnt a lot. Thank you.

Review by Childs who travelled 25-July-2022


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The Tour Guide and Tour Manager were excellent. It makes a real difference to have efficient tour management and a tour guide who knows his subject and is really enthusiastic about it. You have two excellent people in Julian Humphreys and Nick Hancock

Review by Knowles who travelled 25-July-2022


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Review by Howarth who travelled 26-July-2021


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Speeches, Lectures and Presentations would be far better done after dinner, because all these events before dinner meant the dinner was far too late in the evening for the age range of people on the tour. With main courses coming round just before 9.00pm was far too late and that is the time presentations and speeches should be taking place. Dinner at 6.00pm or 6.30pm would be far better for most in the group. There were 30 people in the group not 10 which was all I was allowed to fill in.

Review by Payne who travelled 26-July-2021


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The tour guides, Julian and Nick, were excellent. The programme was very good but would be improved by spending 1/2 hour less in Sandwich and starting that day earlier thus leaving more time for the Dover Castle complex.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 26-July-2021


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Bearing in mind the present problems and clearly the hotel was short of staff at times , another travel editions tour the excellent standard

Review by Brock who travelled 26-July-2021


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 26-July-2021


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Excellent trip in all respects. Hotel accommodation was quite satisfactory, albeit a little run - down, and we did have to ask for soap, biscuits, milk etc to be replenished on the second day as this had not been done. This was quickly rectified and the staff at the reception desk in the hotel were always cheerful and polite.The food was excellent, particularly breakfast with a good choice in the buffet. Complimentary car parking in the car park behind the hotel was very welcome. The Tour Manager (Nick) and lecturer (Julian) were both excellent as ever, and I do hope they will be in charge of my next tour (Tonbridge) in September. I have several bookings to look forward to, and thank you, Travel Editions, for providing such enjoyable, interesting and imaginative holidays for us.

Review by Wright who travelled 26-July-2021


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Good tour. Excellent leader and tutor. Bathroom in hotel highly dangerous. No support/grip rails to assist climbing into shower and non slip mat only on request. The worst I've ever known. Excellent food.

Review by McManus who travelled 26-July-2021


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As we have come to expect from Travel Editions, the tour was very well organised, enjoyable and informative. We were looked after very well throughout.

Review by Green who travelled 20-August-2019


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Information sent out should have said parking was in a public car park near the rear of the hotel and to get a voucher for free parking from reception. This would have avoided stress in in leaving the car parked illegally while trying to find out . Otherwise excellent.

Review by Hill who travelled 20-August-2019


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Julian Humphrys and Nick Hancock made this a superb, fun and very informative holiday. We won't forget 1287 (hope that's correct) as the date of the great storm which changed the course of history.! The Hythe Venetian Fete was certainly unique and Dover Castle a must to revisit. Hotel was clean, in a very good position but bathroom was a bit on the small side.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-August-2019


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Both Nick, tour manager and blue guide, and Julian, historian, were exceptionally good. They both had nice loud voices too! The whole trip was both wonderfully informative, well organised and thoroughly enjoyable. My only complaint is the hotel accommodation. By chance I looked the Dover Marina hotel up on the internet beforehand to discover that the single rooms looked horrible, tiny, and with a small single bed. After contacting Travel Editions, on top of my single supplement I then had to pay another £18 per night for a double room for single use. I feel that because I am single (a widow) I am entitled to expect a decent room and I hope in future you will offer double rooms for single use as standard. As it turned out my room was fine, and the hotel staff were charming!

Review by Reader who travelled 20-August-2019


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Well-organised and interesting tour. Hotel was adequate, hotel evening meal poor. Hythe Venetian Festival was over-long with uncomfortable seating on hard wooden benches!

Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-August-2019


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Hotel very good apart from lift service. Only one lift to serve 4 floors, causing long waits and queues in the lobby.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-August-2019


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Julian Humphreys was as good as I expected he would be - brilliant. Hotel seemed not to have learnt the advantages of joined up thinking. Nonetheless, as enjoyable as always. Thank you. Best wishes Janet (McLeavy) PS May I be presumptuous and congratulate Travel Editions on their decision that the maximum size of any group should be 35. In two and a bit days I was still seeing new faces by the time we got back to the hotel as we prepared to leave!!

Review by McLeavy who travelled 20-August-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-August-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-August-2019


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