United Kingdom
City of Canterbury

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  • Day920

    Canterbury Park and Ride

    January 2, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 4 °C

    Feeling shell shocked at both the loss of our dog and a trip to A&E for Will on New Year's Eve, we said our goodbye's to Will's sister and her family on New Year's Day. We'll be forever grateful to them for looking after us through this difficult time.

    With a few tears we made our way to the motorhome aire at Canterbury. It is incorporated into the city's Park and Ride complex, is one of only a handful of dedicated motorhome facilities in the UK and probably the largest, with capacity for over 70 vans. We'd been keen to make use of it for a while and having a few days to spare before our ferry from Dover, made now the ideal time.

    We are not planning to get another dog while touring, so had decided to donate Poppy's effects to Dogs Trust Canterbury. It was only once we'd entered the aire via the barrier that Vicky found the kennels were closed the following day. She therefore packed up Poppy's things and we whipped out to drop them off. We made it back with just enough light not to have to use our headlights, which Will had switched for continental ones at Orpington- phew!

    The aire is a quiet place, which is usually something we value, but on New Year's Day it was near silent and Poppy's absence was all the more obvious. Vicky had resorted to cleaning and tidying to keep her mind occupied and the van felt far too sterile without our very furry friend.

    For £3.50 per day (charged midnight to midnight) the aire provides fresh water, bins, waste water and toilet emptying facilities as well as unlimited passage for up to 6 people into and out of Canterbury city centre on buses that run every 8 minutes.

    The following morning dawned with venus and a waning crescent prominent in what promised to be a blue sky. Vicky did half an hour of pilates (for the first time in several months) and we rode into Canterbury. Will needed to take things easy as he was still recovering from his operation and the complications that followed, but we strolled slowly around the city's streets, soon finding our way off the main stretch to the cobbled lanes, where we found a range of interesting shops. On the King's Mile we discovered Unboxed; a small grocery store whose products, from rice to tomatoes, were all free of packaging. The sun was shining on the wall of the cathedral courtyard but with a fee to enter, we admired from afar.

    After a while we came accross Lily's Bistro, an ethical café advertising seasonal, locally sourced food with zero waste and vegan options. We chose a table in the little bay window and watched the people go by. Our toast with toppings tasted great and we chose to buy two 'pay it forward' soups to be given to the homeless, some of whom we'd seen earlier huddled in a doorway. As we were moving on to tea and apple crumble cake a couple came in with a French Bulldog. It had been years since Poppy was well enough to explore cities on foot and we would usually only leave her for up to 2.5 hours. Now it is just the two of us we have a whole lot more freedom but we would swap it in a second to have our Poppy happy and healthy with us.

    We really enjoyed visiting Canterbury's characterful lanes and would definitely make use of the aire again. Prior to leaving we used our credit card to pay the machine £10.50 for 2 nights and the barrrier opened automatically when it read our number plate. An easy to use and effective system. Next stop Dover!
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  • Day7

    First night in England

    August 9, 2019 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    We found such a nice spot for our first wildcamping in England. Took us a while driving through the night though... The green landscape with a lot of forest surprised us. And our Calitop had his first use with a lot of rain in the night.

  • Day18

    Canterbury Club Campsite 2. Tag

    October 10, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Heute ist wirklich mal ein Ruhetag mit relaxen angesagt, so haben wir uns für heute einfach gar nichts vorgenommen. Ein bisschen ausschlafen, einen schönen Hundespaziergang und ein wenig lesen und einfach das machen was das Herz begehrt.
    Morgen geht es wieder auf die Fähre nach Dover und dann rüber nach Calais. Wir haben uns entschlossen Morgen nochmals ca. 3h Richtung Belgien zu fahren, so dass dann am Donnerstag die Rückreise nicht mehr gar so weit geht. So müssen wir uns Morgen von Didi auf der Fähre verabschieden, er hat noch eine weitere Woche Ferien und wird Richtung Normandie fahren und dort noch ein paar schöne Tage alleine verbringen.Read more

  • Day21

    Canterbury River tour

    August 21, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Well it isn’t Bruges but Canterbury does have a River and it does have a river tour.

    A very pleasant fellow called Pete rowed us up and down the Stour River.

    It’s about as deep as a decent bath but is amazingly clear as it drains through chalk. (Think White Cliffs of Dover).

    Pleasant sit for 45 minutes, past (under) oldest road bridge in England. Originally buit by Saxons and widened in 1770’s.

    Very interesting way to see the city, the flind used in the walls cuts the noise amazingly, also kills any phone reception.

    Past ancient buildings including Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr Hospital where pilgrims got one night free and one drink.

    Not a hospital Hospital but a plave of hospitality.

    Past part of King’s School that’s ben operating since 6th Centuru. Not known if the curriculum has been updted, we can only assume.
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  • Day19

    Sissinghurst Castle Garden

    August 19, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Plan 2.

    Off to Sissinghurst Castle.

    We know that you remember Vita Sackville-West of Knole fame.
    She of the well known Poems and books (none of which I can remember). From a popular culture point of view she is as well remembered as the lover of Virginia Wolf.

    You may remember that her cousin Eddy inherited Knole although he didn’t want it and she wanted it but couldn’t inherit.

    So she and her husband bought an Elizabethan manor house with a 4 storey tower and proceeded to design and plant one if England's most famous gardens. Strange place. No real centre, parents slept in one cottage, sons and kitchen in another, library in another.

    Very interesting place.
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  • Day89

    Day 89: Canterbury Cathedral

    May 15, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Time for the next UNESCO word heritage site! Up at a decent time and had breakfast in our room before the reasonably short drive over to Canterbury. The site in Canterbury is actually three separate churches, not just the main cathedral. First stop for us was St Martin's church, one of the oldest in the country and I think the longest continually-operating church in the English speaking world. Something like that anyway - sounds impressive but with several qualifiers tacked on.

    Unfortunately it was closed as we expected, so we just grabbed a few photos and had a quick wander around the outside. Next stop was Canterbury Cathedral itself, were we got a good parking spot just outside the walls of the city. Fairly short walk through the gates and down the main street to the cathedral proper.

    The cathedral as an entity actually dates back to the 7th century, though the current building was started just after the Norman conquest. It's historically been the most powerful religious office in the country, though I'm not sure why - probably because of its proximity to the Continent and thus Rome.

    We had a look around inside which was quite interesting; it's very large and a bit hodge-podge as it's been built in several stages over the centuries. The most interesting feature was a candle burning on the main altar in honour of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered on the orders of Henry II back in the 11th century. There was some disagreement between Thomas and Henry about religious and political power, Thomas ended up excommunicating Henry, and Henry responded by asking his knights to "do something about it". So they killed him in cold blood.

    Thomas was venerated by the pope fairly quickly (though not sainted), the shrine erected in his honour attracted thousands of pilgrims every year. One of the earliest English novels, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, is set amongst a group of pilgrims travelling to Becket's shrine. Unfortunately the shrine was destroyed during the Reformation, when Henry VIII kicked out the Catholics and declared that all church property was now Crown property instead.

    Also chuffed to learn that one of the 12th century Archbishops was named Baldwin! He only reigned for a short period before he died on the Third Crusade near the city of Acre in modern Syria.

    Finishing off our visit, it started to rain quite heavily, so we retreated to a fancy burger place just across from the exit. And since it was well past lunchtime, we waited out the rain by eating burgers. Good quality too, and Shandos's courgette fries were quite unusual and tasty.

    Final stop for the day was at the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey, just near the cathedral. This was a monastery founded by the first archbishop of Canterbury in the 6th century, St Augustine, who had been sent to the British Isles by Pope Gregory to start converting people to Christianity. It looked semi-interesting, but we didn't actually go in since it was quite expensive and didn't look worth it. Next time perhaps!

    Back in the car where we headed back to Margate, via a pub of course for a quick pint. Also stopped at Tesco on the way home to pick up dinner supplies - more pasta to cook in our flat. Ended up staying in all evening, working on videos and writing. Moving onwards tomorrow!
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  • Day31

    Welcome to Britain. Keep left.

    May 19, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    ... And I do try to keep left in most ways. Ferry load and ride to get here from Calais is just like doing the Spirit of Tassie , just nine hours shorter. It took only a few hundred yards and some adrenaline to unlearn my advanced and seamless European driving skills. We called in on our namesake church this afternoon. Friendly welcome and a personal tour. Good to sense another lively congregation going and growing with the times.
    Tonight is a special treat for me. I bought the tickets months ago when I found the dates worked out. More on this next...
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  • Day17

    Soudough Pizzeria&Bar Canterbury

    October 9, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Vor der Stadtbesichtigung möchten wir uns mal italienisch verwöhnen lassen und finden eine gemütliche Pizzeria wo man sogar die Hunde ins Lokal nehmen darf.

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City of Canterbury

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