Canterbury Tales and Trails

How could I resist sneaking in a Chaucer based blog title? Think yourself lucky because it was nearly a nod to our housesitting with the title “Canterbury Tails“. For me there will always be a link to my studies oh so many years ago when I studied some of the work of Chaucer for my GCE O Level English Literature and I will never forget pouring over the text for hours making hundreds of pencil notes on each page in an attempt to translate the 14th century middle English poetry.

If the authentic streets of Canterbury are not enough to immerse you in medieval England then you can pay a tidy sum (£10.95) to visit The Canterbury Tales experience to savour the sights, sounds and even smells in a theatrical experience. With so much to see in and around Canterbury and beautiful weather, why would we?

Our Photo Diary

With so much history each way you turn, I have a strategy to limit the amount I bombard you with historic facts. So this will be mostly a photo blog with just a little bit of blurb on each location.

A Walled City – The city walls of flint and ragstone were built by the Romans. Over half of the walls still remain and give a birds eye view of the city below and Dane John Mound. This mound was originally a Roman burial ground and then the location of a Norman castle.



Street Life

To give you a bit of a flavour of the city here is what waits for you within the walls.

“The famous Crooked House”
“Canterbury Castle”
“The quaint narrow streets of Canterbury”
“The Weavers Inn by the river”

Punting on the River Stour – Cambridge is not the only university town where you can go punting. There are a couple of locations where you can book up for a guided trip along the waterways.


Walk through the Gardens

On our wanderings, we walked through the beautiful Westgate Gardens (with Tower House – originally one of the towers in the city wall), Greyfriars Gardens and perhaps the most interesting Lady Wootton’s Gardens which were originally a pathway that provided a link from within the city walls to St Martin’s Church and St Augustine’s Abbey. A little off the beaten track this tiny garden had statues of the one of the first Kings of Kent, Ethelbert.

“King Ethelbert and Queen Bertha”
“The Westgate”
“Westgate Gardens”
“The Tower House”
“Greyfriars Gardens”

Historic Buildings of Canterbury

Where do we start with this? There are so many but there are just a few of the highlights. 

Canterbury Cathedral
“The Cathedral is home to the Archbishop of Canterbury – the leader of the Church of England and apart from the stunning architecture, stained glass windows and cloisters it is famous for being the site where one Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Beckett, was murdered in 1170 after he fell out with King Henry II. Over hundreds of years many pilgrims have visited the shrine to this Martyr. Allow plenty of time for a visit to the Cathedral and you will not be disappointed for your £12 entry fee.”
“St Augustine Abbey – a Benedictine monastery which was dismantled in the dissolution of the monasteries by King Henry VIII”
“Officially called the Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr of Eastbridge it was founded after the assassination of Thomas Beckett to provide overnight accommodation and assistance to poor pilgrims visiting the shrine. It still provides accommodation for the elderly of Canterbury and is only a few pounds to enter and have a look around.”
“The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge – this impressive building, currently being refurbed, is home to the library, a museum, art gallery, tourist information centre and little cafe. It is free to enter and the museum was much bigger than we expected. It is obviously a hub of all things Canterbury and is well worth a visit.”

….and now for a few random photos

“Hare Krishna festival a procession along the High Street complete with two oxen!”


“A day trip with my friend Wendy to Broadstairs.”
“Bleak House in Broadstairs”
“…. with lunch at The Yarrow. Within the grounds of East Kent College this little gem did a fine dining two course lunch for £16.95 each. The food was excellent and it offers real work experience for the students attending the college. It was a shame it was so empty but it was a sunny day so most people probably headed for ice creams and the beach.”


Canterbury Tales

That brings me to the end of my tales of Canterbury. Having lived in Kent for many years we had visited before quite a few times but there is always something new to find in this gem of the Garden of England and with all this on offer it still surprises me that it is not the County Town of Kent.

18/08 – 25/08/2019

Pinterest Canterbury Tales and Trails


  1. Nice blog Jo. I have no idea how many times I’ve been to Canterbury but it’s mostly been for shopping, a bit of work, cricket or beers and I’ve been guilty of not paying enough attention to all of the history. Its all too easy to forget how important a city Canterbury was although I doubt if the medieval visitor ever encountered a traditional Hare Krishna procession! You’ll have to tell me the name of the pub so that I don’t embarrass myself by trying to get in.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautifu post, Joanna! 😀 I love your presentation style of the photos and the snippets of information … although I’ve visited this lovely town, I’ve learnt lots more from your post today. Next time I’m down, I’ll make sure to head to The Yarrow!


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