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Steeped in medieval history, Canterbury is famous for its stunning cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Less than an hour and a half from London, the city offers a rich tapestry of history and culture. Walk through the ancient city walls, visit the Canterbury Tales exhibition, and explore the Roman Museum. The cobbled streets and timber-framed buildings add to the city’s charm.

Discovering Canterbury

Discovering Canterbury: a journey through history and beauty

Canterbury, famed for its world-renowned cathedral and illustrious history, is one of England’s most captivating historic towns. It is also among the country’s most revered pilgrimage sites. Despite the significant destruction caused by a WWII air raid in 1942, Canterbury retains many Roman and Anglo-Saxon remnants, offering a rich historical tapestry for visitors to explore. Beyond its religious significance, Canterbury boasts a plethora of engaging activities. From intriguing river tours to delightful dining experiences, there is something for everyone.

For those interested in the ancient past, the Canterbury Roman Museum is a treasure trove of archaeological finds. The museum houses remains of a magnificent Roman home, complete with beautifully preserved mosaic floors. Clever computer reconstructions and immersive exhibits make the visit both educational and entertaining. Artefacts such as glassware, jewellery, and silverware offer a glimpse into the everyday life of Roman Canterbury.

The town is charmingly quaint, with narrow alleyways adhering to the original medieval street plan and the serene River Stour meandering past Tudor facades. A historic river tour offers a unique perspective of Canterbury. These 40-minute guided boat trips on the River Stour depart every 15-20 minutes. Wide, flat-bottomed boats navigate the gentle waters as eloquent guides share captivating stories and anecdotes about the city’s history. One of the highlights of this tour includes a glimpse of the Greyfriars Chapel, situated on a tiny island in the middle of the river. This 13th-century building is the oldest example of Franciscan architecture in the country.

Canterbury Cathedral

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral is an absolute must-see. Recognised as one of Europe’s finest ecclesiastical buildings, it forms the spiritual heart of the Church of England. The cathedral’s awe-inspiring architecture and deep historical roots attract over a million visitors annually. Nearby, you can explore the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, dating back to the sixth century, providing further insight into Canterbury’s rich religious heritage.

Culinary delights

When it comes to dining, Canterbury does not disappoint. The Goods Shed, a converted Victorian railway freight store, is now a supreme farmers’ market and restaurant. Here, you can indulge in dishes prepared with the freshest produce.

For a traditional English tearoom experience, Tiny Tim’s Tearoom is a must-visit, though be prepared to wait for a table.

How to get to Canterbury

Conveniently accessible from London, Canterbury is just an hour away by fast train from St Pancras—slower trains, taking approximately 90 minutes, run from London Victoria and London Charing Cross. If you prefer to drive, the journey takes around 90 minutes.

With its historic charm and modern amenities blend, Canterbury is a destination that promises an enriching and delightful experience. Whether you are drawn by its spiritual significance, historical allure, or simply the beauty of its setting, a visit to Canterbury is bound to leave you with unforgettable memories.

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Silvia's Trips

Hi there! My name is Silvia and after 15 years between the Paris Opera and the Palau de les Arts in Valencia I now run a boutique hotel in Cinque Terre, deal with tourism management and blogging, sail, horse-ride, play guitar and write about my solo trips around the world. For more info about me and my travel blog check my full bio.