It is worth going to visit Canterbury from London. The cathedral looks like a closed world in itself, even though it is situated in the heart of the city. It's great but it maintains the balance that other works as pretentious as this have failed to maintain. It is the main religious center in the UK, and it is the place where the Archbishop of Canterbury lives. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual leader of the Church of England. In 1988 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Visiting Canterbury is always pleasant, as the city has many parks, gardens and other green spaces, all very well maintained, ornate and perfectly trimmed. But what gives the city the air of an English Venice is definitely its small canals that run through the city and weave between the traditional houses. The water is very clear and tourist boats jostle for the best views. Is easy to understand why: traveling by water is very nice, especially when the sun is out, and it allows you to discover the city in a unique way. If you're going to Canterbury, don't miss it!
This is a true emblem of the city and is shown on all the postcards. The Castle of Canterbury is the oldest and one of the most important monuments in the medieval city, built in the eleventh century by William the Conqueror at the same time as the castles of Dover and Rochester. Today, it is largely ruined, but the castle is surrounded by beautiful gardens which are a great spot for a picnic.
Located just outside the entrance of the beautiful and famous Christ Church University in Canterbury, and just a few meters from the medieval city walls, the gardens of the Chirst Church are a real peaceful haven. We love sitting on a bench and enjoying the beautiful views over the city and the cathedral, while admiring the majestic entrance of the university, and the states of St Greta and St Ethelbert.
The High Street here is, as in many English cities, the economic heart of the city and not to be missed under any circumstances. Here you'll find many palces and tourists braving the wind to get to the shops. You'll find all sorts here: used bookstores, department stores like Marks & Spencers, small supermarket, clothes shops, and a vast choice of places to eat. A nice walk.
Located at the entrance of the charming Westgate Gardens, along the walls at the end of the High Street, the towerhouse is a pretty little house that deserves a quick look while you are visiting the medieval city of Canterbury. With traditional English architecture, it stands proudly in the middle of the colorful flowerbeds.
You can't miss this bus station, with its dozens of buses, each more colorful than the next (they are mostly blue, red, orange and white). It is without a doubt one of my favorite places here in Canterbury, located just a few minutes from the shops of the city center (not usually the case in England), and a great base for exploring the country for cheap. Practical and pretty, it's a nice place.
Located below the medieval walls of the beautiful city of Canterbury, connecting the bus station to the train station of the East, the Dane John Gardens are a great place to visit. Established in the late eighteenth century, they are a particularly nice spot to have a picnic lunch in the sun, or stroll in by dusk in the cool shade of the trees.
Nestled in the heart of the city walls, the Dane John Gardens are home to the oldest monuments in Canterbury. The Mound is actually a very old tower, and probably dates back to Celtic times. It can be easily seen from the surrounding neighborhood, and if you climb it you'll have a pretty good view of the gardens, the city and even the cathedral.
True symbols of the city of Canterbury, the walls have protected the city from the onslaught of enemies throughout history. Relatively well-preserved for the most part, they were first built between the second and third centuries, in order to protect the town that was then called Dorovernum. They were strengthened during the Middle Ages to cope with more numerous and better-armed enemies. Today they are a nice place to walk away from the busy shopping area of High Street.
Located halfway up the famous and bustling High Street of the city, Beaney House of Art and Knowledge (dating back to the mid-nineteenth century) is among Canterbury's most beautiful monuments. Too bad the road is too narrow to get a good view, but you can make out the impressive proportions of the building. With its pitched roof and timber, it looks rather like the Norman houses, giving an air of Normandy to this traditional English medieval town.
Located on the butter market, just opposite the main entrance to the famous Canterbury Cathedral, seat of the Archbishop of Kent, the Canterbury Visitors Centre is a place not to be missed. The pretty square is always lined with hundreds of tourists, and here you can find a wealth of information about places to see in Canterbury, the surrounding area, and the rest of the country. The multilingual staff are warm and friendly, and happy to answer your questions.
Located at the western end of the famous High Street, marking the end of the pedestrian city center, the Westgate Towers is one of the most important monuments in Canterbury. Impossible to miss with its easily identifiable architecture of two towers and unique stone features. It is excellently preserved, which is remarkable when you consider not only its age but also the number of enemies ve have made war here.
Surrounding the famous Westgate Tower, at the end of the High Street, the gardens of the West Gate are undeniably one of my favorite places to visit in Canterbury. They are very well-maintained, with colorful flowerbeds, perfectly trimmed shrubs and various species of trees with impressive trunks. There are many benches and a beautiful lawn where you can stroll or have a picnic.
In the heart of the pedestrian shopping area of the city of Canterbury, built around the main streets of High Street, Butchery Lane and Longmarket, this is is a very nice downtown pedestrian zone. Far from the noise of the traffic, you can walk through shops of all kinds and find everything you want: bookstores, chic clothes boutiques, vintage stores, sports shops, small restaurants, cool bars, fish & chips ... a great place to go for a wander.
Located in the heart of the pedestrianized shopping area in the town center of Canterbury, the butter market is one of my favorite places. It has a great atmosphere, and is full of tourists, for a good reason: it's only a few meters from the main entrance of the famous cathedral. I love the butter market for its many shops, its central statue, and its lively atmosphere.
A few meters from the bus station and its dozens of multicolored buses, Rose Square is a small, unpretentious square with a lot of charm. There are some typical English brands here, like a 3-story Marks & Spencers with a terrace cafe. It's a charming place, so much quieter than the bustling High Street.
Walking in the beautiful city of Canterbury center is a pleasure as the city is full of parks, gardens and other green spaces (thank you rain!) as well as beautiful buildings. But this northern walk is my favourite in the city, going towards the Westgate. It's a lovely stroll to the water's edge with very nice views of the typically English houses along the canals.
If you're making a list of stuff do in Canterbury, a city which is more than 1,400 years old, one of the essential things to do in Canterbury is to visit its famous cathedral. Regarded as the "Mother Church" of the Anglican faith, Archbishop Thomas Becket suffered martyrdom here and during the Middle Ages it became a place of pilgrimage between London and Winchester.
As the main religious center in the UK, other mandatory places to visit in Canterbury are the church of St. Martin and St. Augustine's Abbey. The latter is located on the outskirts of the city and was built in 598 to celebrate the evangelization of southern England.
Another one of the many things to see in Canterbury is the "Crooked House", which is almost as famous as the cathedral and is known as the House of Sir John Boys. Built in the 17th century as a normal home, renovation work on one of its chimneys caused the façade to tilt.
The city also retains some of its medieval wall. Don't miss the Westgate Towers, the last of the doors that closed the wall, which is one of the top attractions in Canterbury. The towers also served as a prison and now house an arms museum. Other interesting museums and Canterbury attractions are the Roman Museum and the Canterbury Royal Museum & Art Gallery.
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