Southern England’s history has deep continental roots. Early Britons settled the pastoral counties of Kent, Sussex, and Hampshire after crossing the Channel. Later, William the Conqueror left his mark in the form of awe-inspiring cathedrals, many built around settlements begun by Romans. During WWII, German bombings uncovered long-buried evidence of an invasion by Caesar. This historic landscape has in turn had a profound influence on the country’s national identity, inspiring such British literati as Geoffrey Chaucer, Jane Austen, and E.M. Forster. For detailed info on transport options to the Continent, see 48.


Archbishop Thomas a Becket met his demise at iiCanterbury Cathedral in 1170 after an irate Henry II asked, Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest? Later, in his famed Canterbury Tales, Chaucer captured the irony of tourists visiting England’s most famous execution site. ( 762 862. Open M-Sa 9am-5pm, Su 12:30-2:30pm and 4:30-5:30pm. £3, students £2. Audio tour £2.50.) The Canterbury Tales, on St. Margaret’s St. is a museum that simulates the journey of Chaucer’s pilgrims. ( 479 227. Open July-Aug. daily 9am-5:30pm; Mar.-June and Sept.-Oct. 9:30am-5:30pm; Nov.-Feb. Su-F 10am-4:30pm, Sa 9:30am-5:30pm. £6, students £5.50.) On Stour St. the Canterbury Heritage Museum tells the history of Canterbury from medieval times to WWII. ( 452 747. Open June-Oct. M-Sa 10:30am-5pm, Su l:30-5pm; Nov.-May M-Sa 10:30am-5pm. £2.60, students £1.70.) For a quiet break, walk to the riverside gardens of England’s first Franciscan friary, Greyfriars, Stour St. (Open in summer M-F 2-4pm. Free.)

Trains from London Victoria arrive at Canterbury’s East Station (l%hr. 2 per hr. day return £17), while trains from London Charing Cross and Waterloo arrive at West Station (lV&ir. every hr. day return £17). National Express buses ( (08705) 808 080) arrive from London at St. George’s Ln. (2hr. 2 per hr. £11). The tourist office is in the Buttermarket, 12-13 Sun St. and books rooms for a £2.50 fee and 10% deposit. (378 100. Open M-Sa 9:30am-5pm, Su 10am-4pm.) B&Bs cluster near West Station, around High Street, and on New Dover Road. For a relaxing stay, try GIKipps, A Place to Sleep 0, 40 Nunnery Fields, home to a social, yet not overbearing, atmosphere. The friendly management offers a kitchen, comfortable lounge, and a great movie selection. ( 786 121. Laundry S3. Key deposit £10. Internet £1 per 30min. Dorms £11-13; singles £18; doubles £30.) The YHA Canterbury 0, 54 New Dover Rd. is in a beautiful old house. ( 462 911. Kitchen available. Bureau de change. Breakfast included. Internet £2.50 per 30min. Reception 7:30-10am and 1-11pm. Book at least 2 weeks ahead in summer. Dorms £15, under-18 £12.) The Camping and Caravaning Club Site O, on Bekesboume Ln. has good facilities, (463 216. Electricity and showers. £4-5.50 per person. £5 per tent.) ilMarlowe’s 0, 55 St. Peter’s St. serves an eclectic mix of English and Mexican food. (Entrees ‚7-10. Open M-Sa 9am-10:30pm, Su 10am-10:30pm.) There’s a Safeway supermarket on St. George’s PI. I 769 335. Open M-F 8am-8pm, Su 10am-4pm.) Postal Code: CT1 2BA.


Leave a Reply

three + seven =