England page 11-13
South East England

Historical South East England

Outside of London, South East England has the most historic properties per square mile in the country. So it's no surprise that you'll find many wonderful places to visit. Places like Battle Abbey built on the site of William's victory at the Battle of Hastings, or the more modern De La Warr Pavilion on the seafront at Bexhill, and many fascinating buildings in between.

Henry VIII has connections with many of the region's castles, having built Deal and Walmer as coastal defences, given Leeds Castle to one of his wives and courted Anne Boleyn at Hever Castle. The stately home at Penshurst Place is still owned by the descendants of Elizabethan poet, Sir Philip Sidney, and Knole House at Sevenoaks is the largest private house in England.

South East England is a region of contrasts. With over two hundred and seventy miles of coastline,

The rolling hills of the North and South Downs straddle the region, with many parts of the South Downs following the Sussex coastline.

The South East is also Britain's gateway region, Gatwick Airport along with the ports of Dover,Folkestone, Ramsgate and Newhaven and now the Channel Tunnel, provide a variety of routes into the region.

Famous People and Connections

Charles Dickens spent his early years in Chatham and Rochester. His father was an employee at what is now the Historic Dockyard and many buildings in Rochester were the models of places in his later novels. The city is described in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations.Gad's Hill Place, which was one of his homes, is now a girls' school. The Dickens' Centre pays tribute to Dickens and his works and the Swiss Chalet, which Dickens used as a study at Gad's Hill Place, is now in the grounds. Dickens'holiday home at Broadstairs has been turned into the Dickens Museum. Also at Broadstairs,is Bleak House, which he leased for a while and where he wrote the novel for which the house has been renamed.

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling lived at Rottingdean for a few years before moving to Bateman's at Burwash where he lived until his death in 1936. Following his wife's death, Bateman's was passed to the care of the National Trust and today remains very much as he left it with his study open to view and his Rolls Royce car in the garage.

Sir Winston Churchill

Sir Winston Churchill lived at Chartwell, Westerham, near Sevenoaks, in Kent from 1922 until his death. Chartwell was left to the National Trust by his wife after he died and the rooms are very much as they would have been when he lived there. There is a museum room with medals, uniforms and photographs and gifts to him from all over the world.

A A Milne

A A Milne lived at Hartfield in East Sussex on the edge of the Ashdown Forest and near to the town of Tunbridge Wells. It was here that he created the characters of Winnie the Pooh and his forest friends

Virginia Woolf

Another of the Bloomsbury Group, Virginia Woolf, lived with her husband,Leonard, at Rodmell House near Lewes

Virginia's sister, Vanessa Bell, lived with her husband and Duncan Grant and other members of the Bloomsbury Group at Charleston, a farmhouse at Firle near Lewes in the lea of the South Downs.

Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll, author of the Alice in Wonderland stories, spent many years living with his family at The Chestnuts at Guildford.

Henry James

The author Henry James lived at Lamb House in Rye from 1897 to 1916. It was his favourite home and he wrote many of his books here.

Princess Pocahontas

Gravesend has connections with Princess Pocahontas where she died on her journey back to America. She is buried here and there is a statue of her in St. George's Churchyard.

Sussex Country

Stretching from the Ashdown Forest, where the Kings of England once hunted, to the famous and evocative coastline of the Seven Sisters Cliffs, the unique 'Wealden' countryside


Worthing's five mile coastline and long promenade and pier, and over 100 acres of beautiful parks and gardens,

Heart of Kent

Covering the towns of Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Maidstone and their surrounding countryside, the Heart of Kent is rich in history. Boasting a great range of castles, stately homes and gardens,

East Kent

East Kenta bewildering variety of coastal towns to the popular resorts of Broadstairs, Margate and the Royal Harbour of Ramsgate to the ancient town of Sandwich and the important port of Dover. And the garden coast towns of Folkestone, Hythe and New Romney


Rochester is dominated by the 11th-century castle and cathedral. The cathedral is the second oldest in England whilst the castle has the tallest and finest Norman keep in the country.

White Cliffs Country

The White Cliffs of Dover have always been a powerful image, representing the image of England’s traditional independent spirit. Only a narrow stretch of water separates Britain from the mainland European continent, and Dover is only 30 kilometres from France.


Dover has a claim to be one of the world’s oldest ports: at the town’s museum there are relics of an ocean going boat 3000 years old! All around are monuments and ancient buildings which are witnesses to Dover’s eventful history.


Among the most spectacular is Dover Castle, dating from 1187. The Kings and Queens of England regarded it as the key to the country’s defence.

Sandwich and Deal

The town of Sandwich was an important place in ancient times as it provided ships and sailors to serve the King. A short distance away lies the picturesque town of Deal, whose streets once thronged with sailors and ships’ suppliers.

Sussex Country

Sussex Country Houses from the beautiful 14th century thatched Clergy House at Alfriston to the 17th and 18th century homes of Rudyard Kipling at Batemans and the famous Bloomsbury group at Charleston Farmhouse


The Historic City of Canterbury England's famous cathedral city, Canterbury sits in one of the most attractive corners of rural Kent.

Much more than just a Cathedral Canterbury today is a delightful mixture of architecture, history, arts and culture, museums,

Swale, Sittingbourne, Faversham
and the Isle of Sheppey
Where Coast and Country Meet!


Within Swale's 18 by 15 mile area, are many historical houses, museums and beautiful gardens to seaside resorts.


Sittingbourne has a long history as a market town. An important stage post for medieval pilgrims on their way to Canterbury.

Isle of Sheppey

The largest town on Sheppey is the historic port of Sheerness,


Queenborough is noted for its naval history whilst Eastchurch is connected to the aviation heritage.

Leysdown is at the eastern most tip of the Island


Faversham is a market town with a fascinating history. It has many fine buildings particularly the historic Abbey Street including The Guildhall and Fleur de Lis Heritage Centre