Because London is in such a wonderful location and England is a small country (by US standards), I’ve been taking a lot of day trips, which has given me a nice little introduction to many places I have wanted to visit.
Over the weekend I took a day trip to Canterbury, which was such a gorgeous town! I went through the UK Explorers company, which was worth every penny spent. I definitely will try to plan more day trips through them!
When we first arrived, our tour guide walked us through the city and gave us a nice sense of what Canterbury has to offer.
Our first stop was to a park where we walked along the city wall. It was so windy, there were times I was worried someone would blow over onto the road!
Next, we walked through the Dane John Gardens and climbed up the mound.
The Dane John Mound is part of a former Roman cemetery and fortress, and is much higher than I thought. It gave me an awesome view of the city, and I could see the top of the famous cathedral.
We next made our way to the ruins of Canterbury Castle.
You really have to use your imagination for this castle, since just the outside walls are standing.
Group pictures are always a necessity!
We wandered along the canal, taking in the sights. This is probably my favorite picture from the day; it just seems like a stereotypical fairytale English cottage that you’d see in the movies.
Another architectural gem along the canal. You can’t really tell from the picture, but the doors are very short-I’m 5ft and almost had to duck my head to avoid hitting the top of the door. The poor guy with me was over 6ft, and it was entertaining to see him try to limbo through.
It was such a cute little town, and I kept getting distracted by all there was to see!
I want to find out what type of tree that is! Its truck is ginormous!
We made our way towards the main streets, which were getting a bit crowded.
I loved that the Cathedral really dominates the city and creeps through in unexpected places.
I always get excited when normal, everyday stores and chain restaurants are inside beautiful old buildings like these. It makes me feel less guilty when I go there.
This is Sir John Boys House, or more adequately nicknamed, the Crooked House, a 17th century building on Palace Street. You can’t quite see the door (those people just would not move!), but it looks even more crooked than the house!
I loved walking around. It’s clear they have a lot of pride in their town’s history, and want to preserve what they can.
Sometimes I felt like I was walking around Epcot in Disney World. It was quite idyllic.
It always astonishes me when I see dates on buildings that are older than my country.
Always keep your eyes open-you never know what tiny details you might see!
We finally made our way to the famous Canterbury Cathedral!
I arrived at the perfect time! Choir practice was going on, so I got a beautiful concert while I explored the inside.
The choir was breathtakingly beautiful, and make the cathedral even more magnificent. It is so huge that it took me almost two hours to explore.
I’m a sucker for stained glass windows. I think they are just such gorgeous works of art, and I love that they also tell a story.
I loved that they had old British flags and Union Jacks hanging.
The outside was so big, it was impossible to fit it all in one shot
The problem with structured day trips with a tour company is that I can never spend as much time wandering and exploring as I’d like. While I like sticking to a schedule in my day-to-day routine, when I travel I like being able to take my time and be flexible. I would have loved to have spent a few more hours in this place, especially since I didn’t get to venture inside any of the cute little shops and boutiques.
But, I do like that these tours allow me to gain a little “preview” into what a city has to offer, and if it leaves me wanting more, I know I need to re-add it to my travel list and come back for a longer trip!