Hey. Let's Go to..Canterbury, England!
Canterbury. I mean..
According to Wikipedia, "Canterbury, a cathedral city in southeast England, was a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages. Ancient walls, originally built by the Romans, encircle its medieval centre with cobbled streets and timber-framed houses. Canterbury Cathedral, founded 597 A.D., is the headquarters of the Church of England and Anglican Communion, incorporating Gothic and Romanesque elements in its stone carvings and stained-glass windows."
If that does not get your history bells ringing-you might want to check your pulse! This fairytale city has everything you could want for a nice long weekend trip or a day trip from London.
Growing up as a kid you hear about Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and the medieval madness involving Thomas Becket and King Henry VII fighting with the Archbishop of Canterbury when he broke England away from the Catholic Church.
What I'm getting at is that Canterbury is one of those places that I've only heard and read about. I never thought that we would get around to going there. Now, this isn't a "MUST SEE" destination like Iceland or Malta but wow did it have charm. We stayed in a a fantastic hotel called The Castle House Hotel. It was a fantastic boutique hotel that overlooked the old Canterbury Castle (now in ruins) but it was a nice view. We were a short walk to the city centre and Canterbury Cathedral. Its everything you think a Roman walled / medieval city could be. Cobblestones, tiny alleyways leading to shops, pubs, cafes and amazing architecture, including wood framed houses that actually lean..
Yes, thats a leaning book store.
We were fortunate enough to attend the anniversary of Thomas Becket's murder in Canterbury Cathedral. We got to go into the crypt and attend a service at night. It was amazing to go into the cathedral after all the crowds have went away and have essentially have the place to ourselves. I cant begin to describe how massive and beautiful this cathedral is. We made our way to the spot where he was murdered and said a prayer and even got to kiss a relic! Sounds creepy..and actually it was but when you get a chance to kiss a relic from Thomas Becket..you pucker up!
We toured St. Martins Church (the oldest church in the English speaking world) then made our way to St .Augustines Abby. This abby lies in ruins as King Henry VII dismantled all the monasteries in the UK when he broke away from the Catholic Church. It is a world heritage sight and if you are into those, its fun to check them off the list! We wondered the streets in awe of the architecture, city walls, and nice green spaces. Pro tip: Bring a buggy with all-terrain wheels and comfortable shoes. Cobblestones are not your friends!
Overall, it was such a pleasure visiting Canterbury and we would go back in a heart beat! We are such history nerds and this hit the spot. We realise that England has so much to offer and can be attained in quick overnight or weekend trips. We plan to schedule other cities such at York, Warwick, Hastings, and Winchester to name a few.