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Canterbury Kent UK

Information about Canterbury in Kent

Canterbury Cathedral English history began here in the south. Probably, the most important place to visit in England, outside of London, is the ancient cathedral city of Canterbury, 65 miles to the southeast on the banks of the beautiful River Stour in Kent.The Cathedral, St. Augustine's Abbey and St. Martin's Church form a UNESCO world heritage site. The magnificent Norman Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Church of England. This imposing Gothic church was built during four centuries. The first church was consecrated on its site in 597 AD but much of what can be seen today dates from the 11th century . Throughout medieval times it was a major pilgrimage site and it is here that Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury was murdered in 1170 AD. It was these pilgrimages that Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about in his famous Canterbury Tales. The grounds around the cathedral are lovely. Admission price to the cathedral is 6.00 with concessions for children. St Martin's Church is the oldest parish church in England and has been continuously worshipped in by Christians since the 6th century. Admission here is free. St Augustine's Abbey was founded in AD597 by St. Augustine. It is now a beautiful and haunting ruin. There is an extremely interesting museum in the grounds with some original artifacts. Admission price is 4.00 with children half price. A multi entry ticket can be purchased for slightly less price and gives entrance to both the cathedral and the Abbey.

Once you have visited these important cultural sites, the city is worth exploring in its own right. The centre is closed to traffic to enable visitors to enjoy the charming narrow streets and medieval buildings in a safe environment. Other interesting sights to see include The Canterbury Tales Centre, housed in the ancient St. Margaret's Church. It cleverly reconstructs medieval England during the time of Chaucer and all his characters can be seen and heard here. Go and see the oldest Franciscan building in Britain, Greyfriars House, which is all that remains of the ancient Greyfriars Friary. Set in beautiful gardens it is the perfect spot to wander. Straddling the Stour, it also houses a very interesting Franciscan exhibition. Follow the city wall trail along the ramparts of the remains of the Norman Canterbury Castle and get a stunning view of Canterbury city from the top of the Dane John Mound. Visit too the Dane John Gardens which has won many Awards for outstanding beauty. Another perfect way to enjoy the city is to take one of the historic river boat or punt tours along the Stour.

Good restaurants and pubs to try are Pinocchio's Restaurant in Castle Street. This small Italian restaurant serves wonderful food but because it only has 10- tables book in advance to avoid being disappointed. In St. Peter's Street is The Old Weavers House. A beautifully located 16th century building on the edge of the River Stour. In summer time you can sit in the gorgeous flower garden and watch the boats go by whilst sampling their very tasty, traditional British food. For more traditional food, try the City Fish Bar in St Margaret's Street. Allegedly the best chip shop in Canterbury and must be so if you count the queue outside waiting for their take-aways. For something a bit different and upmarket go to Fusion in St Dunstans Street, Its newly opened and has a very impressive menu of dishes beautifully cooked by the Chef. It is possibly one of the most expensive restaurants in the city but the food is worth paying the extra money for. If you are visiting a pub be sure to go to the Two Sawyers. It is a cosy, quiet little place with log fires to sit around in winter and a pretty garden to relax in during the summer. You will find it on the outskirts of the City Wall. Another gem is The Dolphin in St Radigunds Street., Canterbury Scouring the back streets of Canterbury you will come across it. It serves great food, and is a member of CAMRA so you will find real ales here. Finally, The Millers Arms in Mill Lane, This pub has lovely views overlooking the Cathedral and the site of the old Mill on the causeway. It serves tasty reasonably priced food, serves good beer and has a nice atmosphere to relax in.

There are plenty of places in and around Canterbury if you are looking for accommodation. In the city itself or in the surrounding countryside or coastal towns you will find farmhouses offering bed and breakfast, village guest houses or country inns. The whole area is enchanting and it is easy to see why Kent is known as the garden of England. Beautiful rural countryside, dotted with historic villages, each one having its ancient stately home and/or church. Many places exist for country walks or cycle rides like the Crab and Winkle Way or the Wantsum Channel.

2007 travel guides