Spellbound, under its imposing cathedral, Canterbury is a city rich in history. Surrounded by Kent’s bountiful fields of harvest, there is something mellow and intimate about this pretty city.
With an understated air, Canterbury proudly bears the accolade of being an UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s Cathedral having become a major focus of pilgrimage following the 1170 martyrdom of Thomas Becket and, it is a journey of pilgrims to his shrine which served as the frame for Chaucer’s 14th Century classic, ‘The Canterbury Tales’.
Today it finds it’s pilgrims being of an entirely different breed. With world class heritage, culture and a contemporary centre, it draws visitors young and old from all over the world, all year round.
The city centre is a myriad of medieval streets encircled by Roman walls, within which you will find familiar shops, eateries and watering holes rubbing shoulders with timber framed houses and 13 Century market squares. The iconic Canterbury Cathedral, founded in 597 AD and headquarters of the Church of England and Anglican communion, is a Gothic and Romanesque enchantress standing over the city.
Flowing through the centre of the city is the river Stour, a gentle stream of calm and serenity casting its spell upon the city and its people. Along the river banks you will find the art museum as well as any number of quirky and romantic restaurants and, to the south of the centre lies St. Augustine’s Abbey, England’s first seat of learning.
Crowds throng around the busy high street and Cathedral entrance, with the squares and lanes filled with hustle and bustle, yet, you will be surprised at how quickly a step down a side alley or a stroll along the river will only be accompanied by silence, bird song or the splash of oars.
Canterbury is the perfect fodder for any budding historian and a city break here, will leave your days filled. Be sure to pack an absorbent brain. Though if you fancy just the day trip, then a holiday in the surrounding area offers the best of both worlds; mix the seaside with a city escape and stay in a cottage in Whitstable or Herne Bay.
If Canterbury has just joined your bucket list, then search through our portfolio of available self-catering properties in and around this mesmerising city.