- Visit medieval Canterbury Cathedral
- Take a ride on a Belmond British Pullman train
- Celebrate Saga’s 70th anniversary
- Sir Roger De Haan & Euan Sutherland
70th Anniversary Jamboree at the Best Western Clifton Hotel
- Half board
Celebrate with us in the town where it all began
Raise a glass with us to celebrate 70 years of Saga on this three-night staycation in Folkestone, the town where it all began!
Saga was the first company to charter a train with British Rail taking guests from the north of England to the seaside town of Folkestone. In recognition of these roots, a private charter of the Belmond British Pullman will greet you at London Victoria Station. On board, you will be met by wood-panelled elegance and vintage glamour as you sit down to an afternoon tea in these historical carriages and the English countryside slips past your window.
For accommodation, you will stay at the Best Western Clifton Hotel (3Q) located near The Leas, a Victorian promenade that overlooks the English Channel.
3 breakfasts (B) and 3 dinners (D)
Dedicated Saga Host
- Cancellation rights
- Champagne afternoon tea on board the glamorous Belmond British Pullman
- 1950's themed afternoon party
- Farewell cocktail party
- Free Wi-Fi
- Hotel porterage
Included excursions and visits
- Canterbury with entrance to Cathedral (three-quarter day)
- Guided walking tour of Folkestone (half day)
07/09/2021 London Victoria to Folkestone
Your itinerary begins with a journey back in time to the heyday of British rail transport. Aboard the iconic Belmond British Pullman train from London Victoria, luxury and glamour accompany you as you travel through the English countryside. Check in at 1300 at the Belmond British Pullman departure lounge located on platform 2 – you’ll be met by your Saga Host. The train is scheduled to depart at 1500.
It is a modern locomotive that drives you towards Folkestone, however, each of the carriages – privately chartered by Saga - has its own distinctive characteristics and captivating history: Audrey, for example, was damaged by an air raid in 1940, and Perseus formed part of Winston Churchill’s funeral train in 1965.
You won’t find plastic tray tables and USB chargers on board a Pullman. Instead, each carriage has been restored to its former wood-panelled glory, preserving an era of elegance for you to enjoy. Afternoon tea with a glass of Champagne will be served during your journey, and Pullman encourages passengers to dress to impress while on board.
You’ll be greeted by the Mayor of Folkestone and a brass band will play on your arrival into Folkestone West Train Station at around 17:30, marking the beginning of an exciting programme of events and excursions. Transfer to your hotel where dinner is served. D
This morning you are joined by a blue badge guide for a walking tour of Folkestone, a port in use for almost two thousand years. As well as its connection to Ancient Rome and extensive fishing heritage, Folkestone was also where it all began for Saga back in 1951.
Sights to be seen during your walking tour include the Rhodesia Hotel, owned by the De Haan family when visionary Sidney De Haan founded Saga, and some of the artworks located around the town from Folkestone's art festival, held every three years. Your tour finishes at the Harbour Arm, an embarkation point for over nine million British and Allied troops fighting in France during the Great War.
After free time for lunch on the Harbour Arm, this afternoon a private area comes alive with the sights and sounds of the 1950s for an exclusive Saga party. To help you rock around the clock at this themed party are a band playing hits from back in the day and a group of dancers showcasing the fashion from the era.
After an early dinner at about 6pm back at your hotel, you will transfer to the Quarterhouse, Folkestone’s local theatre, for an audience with Non-Executive Saga Chairman Sir Roger De Haan CBE - son of Sidney - and Group Chief Executive Euan Sutherland. During the evening you will hear about the history of Saga and have a chance to ask questions. B, D
Your day begins with a trip to Canterbury, home to a magnificent cathedral that was an important pilgrimage site throughout the medieval era. It was to St Thomas Beckett’s shrine that travellers from across Europe came. Entrance to the cathedral is included, allowing you to explore during a self-guided visit at your own pace.
Return to Folkestone and freshen up for a pre-dinner cocktail party hosted at Saga’s headquarters. Back at your hotel, a farewell dinner with wine is served. B, D
10/09/2021 Folkestone to London
Check out of your hotel after breakfast, having celebrated Saga’s 70th anniversary in style!
Those wishing to return to London will depart by coach at 09:00. If you do not wish to take the coach back to London, please inform your Saga Host. B
This Victorian-era hotel was built in 1884, offering guests accommodation for over 150 years! Your standard room has been designed with comfort and tradition in mind. In the Ocean Bleu Bar and Lounge, you can enjoy a drink or two surrounded by the elegance of a bygone era, and meals will be served in the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar and Grill, which looks out into the hotel gardens. For a coffee on the go, consider stopping off at the hotel’s Costa Lounge.
The hotel is located near The Leas in Folkestone’s west end. It was along The Leas, with the sea far below, that the upper echelon of Victorian society came to stroll, take in the sea air, and be seen. It is from the promenade that you will be able to experience some of the best views across the English channel.