Walking around the City of Canterbury

CarolStarred Page By Carol, 21st Aug 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/5b04tlli/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>England>Surrey, Kent & Sussex

Yesterday I went for a walk around the City of Canterbury, as I retrace my steps, allow me to be your guide. This city is full of culture, history, and beauty. Read on to find out more.,

Walking around the City of Canterbury

Canterbury, with its historic Cathedral , which dates back centuries, is arguably one of the prettiest and most thriving cities in England. It is situated about 7 miles away from the Kent coast, and can be reached both by fast motorway links, and also through country lanes. I live at Herne Bay, and I travel along the Hoath road, a route which takes in farms, fields and country houses, and from where I live it's about 15 minutes drive.

I always enjoy going , there is an atmosphere about Canterbury which prevails all year round. It's a favourite spot for tourists, as it's steeped in history and beautiful architecture, the cobbled streets exude character and one can imagine the horses and carriages negotiating their path along these narrow lanes centuries ago. most of the roads are quite narrow, so cars cannot go down all of them, so it's a good idea to learn your way around first before venturing by car right into the city centre.

If we are not in a hurry, we park along by the river, just outside the main area , there are free spaces there, then we walk along the river bank until we reach the gardens by Westgate Towers. By doing this we can take in the beauty of the city, those gardens are always laid out beautifully both winter and summer, the flowerbeds burst with colour, the lawns are green and fresh, and beautiful trees and shrubs complete this picture of peace and tranquility.

The river Stour flows through Canterbury, in the gardens there are little wooden bridges to cross over it, the water always looks clear and clean, and you can see ducks and swans swimming lazily along, enjoying the summer sunshine, whilst keeping an eye out to see if there are any tit bits from visitors to take advantage of.

We walk on from Westgate Towers

After leaving the gardens we walk along the cobbled pedestrian area, which has every shop you can possibly think of. Shops with souvenirs of the area, coffee shops, and restaurants serving meals, Department stores, then half way up, the river runs under a little bridge, and we can look over and see the ducking stool, used in centuries past to punish people. River trips run from Canterbury to the outlying areas, and are very popular with summer visitors.

Canterbury Tales is also another taste of the culture and history to be enjoyed, as people dress in period costume to take you on a tour and share the secrets of past centuries when life was cheap, and sometimes people were killed for no good reason.

About half way, just past the little bridge we have the post office, and then the Beaney Museum of Art and Knowledge, which also houses the library. The Beaney was refurbished completely last year, so the inside of the building has some very modern areas. Yesterday the Beaney was the main reason for my visit, as on 7th September, which is their first anniversary, I am holding my Book Signing. along with Kevin Marsh, who is a Whitstable author, and I was taking in posters and advertising, which they have kindly allowed us to display in advance.

There were quite a few people in the library, it's always a busy place, and I feel very lucky and privileged to be able to launch Evil Woman there. I was shown the area where we will be sitting, and the willingness of the staff to help with displaying posters and leaflets is a credit to them. Whether you are a visitor, or are there for any other reason, entering the Beaney is an experience to be enjoyed, and you will always feel welcome.

What about Canterbury Cathedral?

After sorting out the publicity, when we came out I didn't want to just go home. I wanted to walk about and savour that special atmosphere that is unique to Canterbury.

Students of all nationalities come to experience Canterbury, groups of them can be seen walking around at any time, and the biggest draw of all is of course Canterbury Cathedral. It dominates the whole of the city, although nestled in a cobbled side street, when approached it is a big building, and dates back many centuries. Its spires rise majestically above the city, and can be viewed from miles away. At night time it is lit up and looks magnificent.

Last Christmas one evening when I came out of the Marlowe Theatre, which has also been rebuilt, the snow was on the ground, and the sight of the Cathedral spires, bright in the night sky was remarkable, and I wished at that moment that I had a camera with me to capture it.

It was on the very steps of that Cathedral that Thomas Becket was murdered after the famous words were uttered. " Can no-one rid me of this turbulent priest?" The words spoken by Henry 2nd were taken quite literally, and so Thomas Becket met his violent end, and was one of two Archbishops to be disposed of in that place, with the same violence, the other one being Alphege..

Canterbury Cathedral is a beautiful place to visit, both inside and out, it is still in use. The choir boys ages range from 8 to 13. They receive scholarships to attend St Edmund's School. Canterbury Cathedral was also a place where the Pilgrim Fathers journeyed to, as it was considered a place of healing. What I have told you is a mere morsel of the history of this beautiful building, and indeed the details would command a completely new article of its own, as there is so much to write about.

Moving on up the High Street

So as we walk up the cobbled High Street, which always has market stalls selling many different things, my attention strays to a man who is playing the most beautiful classical music on an instrument I don't recognise, but it flows around me, and is so captivating, I sit down to listen to it for 10 minutes or so.

After a while the man stops for a well deserved break, and I walk on, further up the street is a young lad about 15 I would say, he is playing the guitar and singing, with such sincerity, his voce is very appealing, so once again I sit down to listen, and there is a hat, where you can put some money to show your appreciation, and it's full with pound coins.

When I go to Canterbury in winter to do Christmas shopping, this same high street wafts the delicious smell of chestnuts being cooked, but today it is August, and there is a big queue around the ice cream van, not surprising really.

I go in and out of shops viewing everything from clothes to shoes, or book and cards, banks and building societies are busy too, and of course when you pass Marks And Spencers at the end of the road, there is MacDonalds full of mums and children on holiday all enjoying whatever takes their fancy.

I realise I have been taking in the sights and enjoying my walk for over 2 hours, so now it's time to head home. I can once more enjoy that walk down, but for anyone who doesn't have the time to do that, Canterbury has many car parks both multi storeys and ground level. Prices vary, but there is no doubt about it, if you want to experience the beauty of Canterbury, and the cosmopolitan atmosphere that abounds here, as well the friendliness of people living in Kent, it's a place you need to visit. I promise you that you won't be disappointed.

The Beautiful City of Canterbury
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Tags

Beaney, Book Signing, Busker Thomas Becket, Canterbury, Canterbury Cathedral, Cobbles, Culture, Evil Woman, Herne Bay, High Street, History, Kent Coast, Library, Murdered, Museum Of Art

Meet the author

author avatar Carol
I am a proud mother and grandmother, and an author. I have had 7 books published. My hobbies are walking, swimming, and playing badminton. I try to raise more awareness of autism with my writing.

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Comments

author avatar Connie McKinney
21st Aug 2013 (#)

How lovely, Carol. You made me feel as if I was walking along with you. You make good use of details which helps to put the readers on the scene. Well done and well deserved star page!

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author avatar Carol
21st Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks Connie, so glad you liked it

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

so beautiful this Carol...I walked with you and Connie too!!! great star page indeed

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author avatar Carol
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

Oh I am glad, thanks Carolina.

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author avatar Stella Mitchell
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

What a beautiful day out dear Carol ...a treat for us all ..and so beautifully illustrated as a feast for our eyes as well . Kent is such a lovely County , truly the Garden of England .
Bless you dear friend for sharing your visit with us . As per usual , a well deserved star .
God bless you
Stella ><

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author avatar Carol
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

Many thanks Stella, so glad you liked it.

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author avatar Delicia Powers
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

I return in heart once again to the wonderful places you have shared so beautifully with us , thank you for all your shining pages- I look always forward to each and every one...

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author avatar Carol
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

Oh bless you Delicia, and thanks.

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author avatar Mariah
22nd Aug 2013 (#)

You make an excellent guide Carol..thank you for a lovely tour of Canterbury with the added interesting historical facts.
Loved the music too.
Mariah x

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author avatar Carol
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

You are welcome Mariah, so glad you liked it.

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author avatar M G Singh
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

A beautiful post.

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author avatar Carol
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

Thanks for reading Madan

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

What a way to introduce a beautiful city with a history behind it, Carol! Just fascinating. I knew about Canterbury and Kent mainly through the game of cricket. Colin Cowdrey played for Kent for a long time and also captained England - siva

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author avatar Carol
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

You are right Siva he did, and he lived near to me. Thanks for reading

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author avatar Trillionaire
23rd Aug 2013 (#)

A peaceful post.

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author avatar Carol
24th Aug 2013 (#)

Many thanks Trillioaire

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author avatar Souvik
6th Sep 2013 (#)

Great information on Canterbury Carol.

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author avatar Carol
6th Sep 2013 (#)

Thank you Souvik

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