Last weekend we hopped on the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle and headed to Canterbury in Kent.
Canterbury is one of the cutest cities I’ve ever see, it’s a Roman city and home to one of the world’s most beautiful cathedrals which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s worth visiting this small town just to see the cathedral. Canterbury is also know from ‘The Canterbury Tales’, a collection of 24 stories written by Geoffrey Chaucer.
How to get there from Calais
Canterbury is located less than an hour from the city of London, so it’s the perfect place to spend a day there before visiting London. If you’re comfortable driving on the other side of the road and navigating the English streets you can take The Eurotunnel Le Shuttle with your car from Calais to Folkestone. Thousands of passengers travelling underneath the English Channel to reach the other side. The journey only takes 35 minutes and runs 4 journeys per hours, so it’s an efficient way to travel for a day trip or weekend break and you don’t have to rent a car.
In the heart of Canterbury you can be awed by stunning architecture and a wealth of history. The Cathedral is the star of the show, for £18 - £20 you get inside. As you walk in the main entrance you can’t help but admire the tombstones lined up all along the wall from different centuries, on your way down you’ll see the exact spot where Thomas Becket was murdered many years ago (the crime that inspired ‘The Canterbury Tales’).
St. Augustine’s Abbey
Just outside of the Cathedral you’ll find one of the most beautiful spots in Canterbury, St. Augustine’s Abbey. The abbey is one of England's oldest remaining monasteries and was originally intended as a cemetery for the kings of Kent. A large part of the layout of the abbey has been preserved, while the ruins around the entire site can be explored.
The Westgate Towers
One of the iconic landmarks of Canterbury, are the old Westgate Towers. For many yeast the Westgate serves as the town prison, connected by a walkway to the police station. Today this ode gateway offers a nice view of the city whilst standing on top of the largest surviving medieval gateway in England. The upper floor of the gatehouse is a small West Gate Museum, you will find armour and weapons. Children can dress up in replica armour, and see the old prison cells within the gatehouse tower.
Westgate Gardens Riverwalk
The Westgate Garden are one of my favorite spots in Canterbury. It’s situated alongside Westgate Towers, the city’s 600-year-old gatehouse, and has been a public open space since the Middle Ages, making it one of England’s oldest parks. Part of the gardens is an official ancient monument site because it covers the remains of the old Roman wall and London road gate.
If you want to see the beautiful historical city of Canterbury from a new angle and discover hidden secret's you need to glide under bridget by boat on the river Stour, you pass the gardens and watch wildlife in the water. The River Stour was used as a major transport route during Roman and medieval times, connecting Canterbury with mainland Europe. The name ‘Stour’ means stirring, or moving.
The Good Shed (daily farmers market)
The Goods Shed is a permanent indoor food market home to twelve independent food and drinks traders running thirteen stalls, plus the outstanding Rafael's Restaurant. A unique local business, openend in 2002 as a daily farmers market with fresh ingredient’s usually picked that morning, and travel not miles but yards. It’s located next to the Canterbury West train station.
the crooked house
This skewed English house has looked like its going to fall over for centuries. The Crooked House is like the most funniest bookshop I’ve ever seen! Rumour has it that the building was leant on by a giant passing through the city, The truth is, nobody really knows the exact history of the wonky door found at the Northgate entrance to the city.
It’s located at the end of Palace Street, near the center of Canterbury and within earshots of the bells of the Cathedral. It changes hands frequently, in recent years it has been a gallery, a bookshop, a school outfit shop, and an instrument shop. The severely crooked door has changed colors often, but has always kept its angled aspect. Today, it is the home of ‘Catching Lives Bookshop’ which sells secondhand books to raise money for the homeless.
The Canterbury Tales
‘The Canterbury Tales’ is a collection of 24 stories written in Middle English by Geoffrey Chaucer and are presented as part of a story-telling contest by a group of pilgrims as they travel together from London to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Saint Thomas Becket. The prize of this contest was a free meal in a historic Tabard Inn at Southwark on their return.
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