Postcard-perfect and endlessly interesting, in many ways Southern England is to the British what the sunny California coast is to Americans. Sun-ripe vineyards and glistening shores are of course set apart with an English flair—think thatch-roof cottages, Victorian-era refinement, and spectacular castles.

Natural beauty in Southern England comes in abundance. On the coast, the White Cliffs of Dover rise up starkly against the blue sea and stretch around the southeastern-most tip of the island. The New Forest National Park, one of the former hunting grounds of bygone royals, harbors a diverse and plenteous blend of thicket, wildflowers, lowland bogs, and occasional roaming ponies.

Undulating pastures of green and sleepy limestone villages define the inland areas of Southern England, where it seems time has stood still for centuries. Towns in this region sprouted up around markets that remain active still today, continuing the quiet country way of life. Step into a cheery, small-town pub for a friendly pint, or simply walk the country paths in quiet reflection.

At the heart of Kent rests Canterbury, the center of the Church of England and the lovely Canterbury Cathedral. Kent is known as the Garden of England, rife with emerald orchards, fields of hops, and fantastic vineyards that contribute to the production of outstanding wines and beers. The historic homes in this area are a green-thumb’s dream with miraculous garden designs from Arundel Castle, the largest inhabited castle in England, to the manicured multi-level gardens of Winston Churchill’s home, Chartwell.

For all its beauty and idyllic attitudes, Southern England also bears a few scars. This coast was the first stopping point for invading forces from antiquity all the way to World War II. If wartime history is of interest, there are an ample variety of fascinating sites from any era to explore up close with the Ker & Downey guides.

Add Southern England to your next luxury English travel itinerary to experience its laid-back loveliness for yourself. Contact your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant to start planning your journey.