A Sunny Day In Canterbury

by - 11:00

On the Saturday of the last bank holiday weekend, me and my dad took a little trip down to Canterbury to check out the city and visit the famous cathedral. The idea came about after I worked on a project that my company has down there and after seeing so many pictures of the area I wanted to get a look for myself!
Although the forecast promised sun for most of the day, we got caught in some rain on the way down and hoped it wouldn't follow us - luckily it didn't and we enjoyed a lovely, warm day in one of the most beautiful cities I've visited.
 First stop - coffee!
After parking next to the old city walls, we wandered through the city to reach the Cathedral. As there was a fair queue, we decided to grab some coffee before joining it and found this cute little coffee shop called 'Chocolate Cafe'. It was beautifully decorated with carnival masks hanging everywhere and an 'antique' feel to it which matched its location.
We both got a latte (which was delicious) and joined the queue. Considering we'd come on a Bank Holiday weekend and it was a day when everybody seemed to be out and about we only had to wait about 20 mins which was pretty good.

The Cathedral
In case you had any doubts, Canterbury cathedral is stunning. The architecture is typical of its period and for it to have survived for so long (including withstanding two wars) is amazing. There was some preservation work being done to a couple of the huge stained glass windows while we were there underneath the scaffolding that you can see in this picture.

It is, without a doubt, the most beautiful religious building I've visited so far. The gravity-defying height of the ceiling is incredible and really reminds you of how focused people were at the time of its creation with the notion of religion, specifically heaven and hell.
The crypt area underneath the Cathedral was also really lovely (though you weren't allowed to take photos down there) and I lit a candle for all the people in my life that I love. There were lots of areas to say and leave prayers and it really reminds you of the importance of faith for so many people all over the world.
 
Lunch at 'La Trappiste'
After the Cathedral, we went in search of some food before we continued exploring and stumbled upon a cute, French restaurant and bakery which enticed us in with the smell of freshly baked bread and pizzas. We went upstairs to a little outdoor terrace which was a real sun trap and really enjoyable in the afternoon sun.
As beautiful as the location was, however, the service was awful. But that kind of awful where you don't even have a chance to just walk out, either because they bring your food (or part of it) as you're about to leave or there's nobody around to bring you your bill. Let's just say that it took over an hour and a half to get a plate of pate and a Croque Monsieur to us and although there were plenty of staff members, there was only one who was trying (and failing) to serve anyone.
So...good food, lovely location but don't expect to just get a 'quick bite to eat'!
 
Exploring the City
We wanted to go on a boat tour and, as it was located on the other side of the city, started to make our way over there after lunch. I've never seen so many well-preserved old buildings and what was especially nice was the way that many of the shops embraced the antique style in their shopfronts and decor. 
As we crossed over the river, I was reminded of what really attracted me to the city: the long reeds that sweep along the bottom of the River Stour that runs through the centre. In some places, there are statues of women swimming which lie on the bottom of the river bed and add to the 'Pre Raphaelite' feel of the place.
 
Boat Tour

 
As the River Stour is protected to help to keep it as one of the cleanest in Europe, there are no motors allowed on it, which means the only way to take a tour is to row/punt down it - which I thought was really lovely and more in keeping with the whole setting.
Our tour guide was brilliant, not only did he single-handedly row a boat of twelve people up and down the River but he also kept us entertained with a lot of history about Canterbury as well as the odd cheesy joke thrown in!
All in all, I'd say that Canterbury is a really nice city for a day out, especially if you're a fan of historic buildings and boutique shops and restaurants. I'd definitely recommend a visit to the Cathedral and a boat tour is a lovely way to get the real feel of the place, also be sure to grab some food/drink from any of the cafes, I wish I could have tried more. It also seemed to have some great shopping locations, so there's something for everyone.
Have you ever visited Canterbury? Or does it look like the kind of place you'd want to go?
Stay inspired,
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5 comments

  1. Wow! I love those Cathedrals! <3 They look very medieval!

    http://avengerthea11.blogspot.com/

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    1. It really is such a beautiful place!

      Thanks for commenting :) xo

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    2. You're so welcome! And about the question on your blog post, I've never been outside my country, which is the Philippines, but I would love to go to the US! <3

      http://avengerthea11.blogspot.com/

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  2. Aw this place looks so stunning! I've never visited but I would absolutely love to! Thanks for sharing this beautiful place lovely :)

    Katie // Words By Katie

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    Replies
    1. It's a beautiful city! I'd definitely recommend it for a weekend break :)

      Thanks for stopping by! xo

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