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Episode 6 – Interview with John Coupland of John England Tours
We believe that to get the most out of a destination taking a guided tour with a professional tour guide can’t be beaten. So today I am excited to talk to John Coupland the founder, owner and professional driver-guide behind John England Tours. For those of you visiting South East England John’s personalised private tours will provide you with a memorable experience of the authentic England many visitors miss.
In this episode, John shares information about his private day tours to various destinations in South East England including the popular Hampton Court Palace, castles such as Hever, Leeds and Dover, some hidden gems plus his London walking tours.
John also discusses the many advantages of taking a driver guided tour including being able to sit back, relax and enjoy the beautiful English countryside without the worry and stress of driving yourself, the ability to visit smaller villages and areas of interest that coaches can’t even get to, tailor-making your itinerary to your specific interests and of course access to local knowledge and expertise
John also shares tips about what to look for if you plan to book a driver guided tour and how to ensure you get the best out of your day.
Stay tuned to the end of the podcast when John announces an exclusive special offer for UK Travel Planning Podcast listeners.
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Episode 6 – Show Notes
Topics covered in this episode include:
- Introduction by John to John England Tours and where he is based South East of London
- What areas and places do John England Tours cover?
- Kent, East and West Sussex and sometimes into Surrey
- Themes and places visited on John’s tours include
- Castles such as Hever, Leeds, and Dover Castles.
- History – Tudor & Medieval
- Gardens – Visit some of South East England’s beautiful gardens
- Hampton Court Palace
- Rochester Castle
- Tailormade – bespoke tours which can be tailormade depending on interest eg Medieval/Tudor focus including to hidden gems such as Penshurst Place
- London – walking tours (outside tours only)
- London – virtual tours
- The advantages of taking a guided driving tour with John England Tours
- Accessibility – with John as your driver-guide you don’t have to worry about driving to the destinations. John is able to drive to some destinations inaccessible to coach tours.
- Local knowledge and expertise
- Enables a deeper experience and interaction
- What to expect on a John England Tour
- For the driver-guide tours meet John at Bromley South Station
- Memories to last a lifetime
- An authentic experience of England
- John’s most popular tour/s
- Hever Castle
- Combination tours (not more than 2 in one day)
- Bespoke tours John has created for previous clients
- Pooh Sticks – visit to Ashdown Forest
- Memorable tours
- Pooh sticks
- Visiting Smallhythe Place in Kent (former home of Victorian actress Ellen Terry)
- Private virtual tours
- Tours last up to one hour and can focus on historic areas of interest in London
- How far in advance to book a John England Tour
- Make enquiries at least 3 months in advance for castles and historic houses.
- For a London walking tour – enquire at least 1 to 2 weeks before.
- John’s number 1 tip for first-time visitors to the UK
- Check reviews for any driver guides you intend to hire to ensure they are also a guide and not simply a chauffeur.
- Communicate with your driver-guide to ensure you communicate what you would like out of your day.
- To make the most of your tour don’t try to combine more than 2 destinations in one day.
Links to John England Tours
- Book tours with John on his website here – John England Tours
- Use discount code UKTP10 at checkout for a 10% reduction on any tours booked up until 31st May 2022 and taken this year.
Places mentioned in this episode include
- Hever Castle – tour the childhood home of Anne Boleyn
- Leeds Castle – Medieval and Tudor connections (Catherine of Aragon stayed at Leeds castle)
- Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover
- Rochester Castle – a medieval ruined castle
- Canterbury – John takes tours around Canterbury (though not in Canterbury Cathedral)
- Ashdown Forest (for Pooh Sticks) – Visit the home of Winnie the Pooh and play Pooh sticks in Ashdown Forest
- Penshurst Place and Gardens – Medieval Manor House located near Tonbridge in Kent.
- Rochester Castle – English Heritage Castle located on the River Medway with a large stone keep (one of the best-preserved in England).
- Chartwell – Former home of Sir Winston Churchill
- Hampton Court Palace – Favourite residence of King Henry VIII
- Smallhythe Place – Former home in Small Hythe (near Tenterden Kent) of Victorian age actress Ellen Terry. Now managed by the National Trust.
We also have some useful planning resources on this website
- Read John’s guest article about 5 Historical Treasures in South East England
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