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For centuries it was traditional to blame great big bits of geology on the Devil. We savour the remarkable views from the Devil's Kneading Trough and take a scenic drive across the Kent Downs to the sea at Folkestone. A sociable 2-course lunch with coffee is followed by a Behind the Scenes Tour at the stately old Grand Hotel. That's the quirky Edwardian hotel on the Leas, not the run down hotel in the harbour.

Meet the Blue Badge Guide at 10.30am at the excellent Dobbies on the M20 at Ashford to buy morning refreshments. A short drive through handsome Wye, takes us up onto the Downs, to the dramatic viewpoint often described as Kent's top beauty spot. You only need take a few steps on the level to experience the drama of this great grassy bowl created in the last ice age when torrents of meltwater cascaded down the chalky slopes. You look out over the flat Kentish Weald to Romney Marsh and as far as the English Channel.

The chalk wildflower grassland is brimming with orchids and butterflies in the summer.

High in the coach we'll sweep over the Kent Downs, through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

This morning is a real reminder that days out don't need to be all about a ticket to go in anywhere when you can enjoy the glory of the English countryside with someone who knows all the backways and stories.

We arrive at the Grand Hotel on the Folkestone Leas for a 2-course lunch with coffee. Much loved locally, think faded Downton Abbey crossed with Half a Sixpence and Mary Poppins, and all with a view of the English Channel. Built in 1899 this was a very innovative building as we discover on the fascinating Behind the Scenes Tour.

Never a traditional hotel but rather Gentlemen's Chambers The Grand became very fashionable when King Edward VII took the first dance in new ballroom. The second dance he took with his mistress. The stories keep on coming - from the Belgian Royal family in exile during the Great War to Agatha Christie staying here while writing Murder on the Orient Express.

At the end of the tour tea and biscuits is served back in the Palm Court to see you on your way home at 4.45pm.

Adults & Seniors: £36

Available weekdays all year.

Enjoy the Grand Hotel Behind the Scenes Tour when you stay with us at the 4* Best Western Plus Burlington Hotel, which is next door to the Grand.

We have Kent holidays based in Folkestone at all times of the year, including The Kentish

& Cockney Christmas - our entertaining and sociable break for groups who shudder at the very idea of Turkey & Tinsel.

Price Valid to 31 March 2021

25 miles