Hotels in Canterbury, United Kingdom
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Canterbury – a pretty and historic city on the river
The city of Canterbury, which sits on the River Stour in south-east England, is known for its historic religious links and to this day the city lends its name to the title of the most influential figure in the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Canterbury’s cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to 596 AD, and was the scene for the then Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket’s infamous murder in 1170. Inside the historic walls of Canterbury, which were built during Roman times, there is a medieval city centre which retains timber-framed buildings dating from the medieval period, along with cobbled streets that are even older. Canterbury is also part of literary history thanks to the Canterbury Tales. These 24 stories, which were written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the fourteenth century during the ‘middle English’ period, tell a series of colourful and often bawdy stories from the point of view of a group of pilgrims as they make their way from London to Canterbury to visit the cathedral.
See a piece of history
If you want to see what the Romans left behind in Canterbury, you can pay a visit to Canterbury Roman Museum. The museum displays the remains of a tiled Roman road which was discovered only after bombings during World War II uncovered it, along with a number of Roman and Celtic artefacts. Stepping forward in time, Canterbury Norman Castle is the ruins of an early Norman castle. It is not a large site, but it is free to walk around, and might be a good way to round off a walk round the ancient city walls. The city walls date back to 270 BC, and you can enjoy extensive views across the city. Canterbury Cathedral has already been mentioned, but it is worth pointing out that this old church is open to the public. The ancient building is beautifully preserved, and even if you are not a religious person it is well worth a visit for its art and architecture. Guides in Canterbury Cathedral will happily answer any questions you might have about the building and its history. If you want to stay in the historic heart of Canterbury, there is a wide range of hotels for you to choose from.
Float down the river
A great way to see the city on a visit to Canterbury is from the River Stour which runs through it, as it gives you the chance to pass close to the medieval buildings and see them from an unusual vantage point. Guided tours are available along the river, including by rowing boat or a traditional punt. Just make sure you remember to duck down as you travel under the low bridges which cross the river. For another way to enjoy the serenity of the river, you can pay a visit to Westgate Parks. On the river side, these lovely, well-maintained gardens are a great place for a walk or just to relax, and perhaps have a picnic on warm days. If you have children you need to keep occupied, the Toddlers Cove area next to the park has plenty of space with play equipment suitable for little ones. If you still have energy before you head back to your hotel, there is adult exercise equipment available too.
A day in Canterbury
The city of Canterbury has plenty to offer casual visitors. As you would expect for a city that caters for so many tourists, there are plenty of places to choose from when it comes to eating and drinking. One such place is the Buttermarket, a square which has many cafes and restaurants that is located just outside the main cathedral entrance. Along with a host of popular high-street shops, Canterbury has its fair share of boutique outlets for you to explore. If you want something a little bit different, such as antiques, jewellery or art, you will find smaller, individual shops in the areas of the Kings Mile, Westgate and St Dunstan’s. When you need a lunchbreak, perhaps stop in at one of Canterbury’s very many traditional pubs for a glass of real ale and some delicious pub food.
Price rangefrom NZ$70to NZ$298
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