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Canterbury

Country
United Kingdom
State
United Kingdom (General)
City
Canterbury
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Trains

The 2 train stations are only about a 10 minute walk from the city centre. For Canterbury East, access is via the ring-road footbridge accessible from the city wall in the Dane John Gardens. Canterbury West is access through the Westgate Towers gateway, turning right at the 2nd mini-roundabout after.

Travel from Canterbury East on to local towns such as Dover, Faversham or Rochester. Travel from Canterbury West on to Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, Ashford, Maidstone & Tonbridge and to Rye and Brighton by changing at Ashford.

By Coaches

National Express coaches arrive and depart from the Bus Station which is at the opposite end of town to the Westgate Towers, near the new Whitefrairs Shopping Centre.  This can often be the easiest and cheapest way to get to and from Heathrow in particular as when you change coaches in London you don't need to cross London, just from one part of the coach station to the other.

By Buses

Local buses also run from the bus station and you can pick up timetables etc from the information kiosk and ticket office.  The bus services are almost all operated by Stagecoach http://www.stagecoachbus.com/localdef... and provide regular services throughout the city and to most nearby towns. Afternoon buses around 4pm are often crowded with school children. An Explorer ticket offers unlimited day travel in Kent, a Megarider Gold unlimited week-long travel. A Canterbury Megarider gives unlimited weekly travel in the Canterbury city limits only.

By Taxis

There are also a number of Taxi ranks around the town.  Taxis can prove quite expensive: Ranks at Canterbury West Railway Station (B1), Canterbury East Railway Station (B5), outside Boots the Chemists on St George's Lane by the bus station, outside Superdrug (Canterbury Lane) and outside the Falstaff Hotel (St Dunstan's Street). If you want to book a taxi to take you to one of the airports you should do this in advance and also agree the fare in advance.  It is worth shopping around for the best price.

Key places to visit
Canterbury Cathedral, St Martin's Church, Timber framed houses, Stained Glass Windows


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Places to Visit

Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral - Christ Church - reflects the changing architectural styles of five centuries.

When the earlier Anglo Saxon episcopal church burned down in 1067, the first Norman archbishop, Lanfranc (1070-77), built a replacement modeled on the Abbey of St Etienne in his home town of Caen. Lanfranc's cathedral quickly proved too small and St Anselm (Archbishop from 1093-1109) embarked upon the enlargement of the choir. This work continued under Priors Ernulf and Conrad, the new church being finally consecrated in 1130.

Less than 50 years later, in 1174, it too was severely damaged by fire, rebuilding commencing in the hands of the French master mason Guillaume de Sens. His soaring three bay arrangement with pointed arches marked the introduction from France into England of the Early Gothic style; his double transept moreover became a distinctive feature of the English Gothic cathedral.

When in 1178 an accident made it impossible for the French William to continue, William the Englishman took over the reins, completing the choir - very much as seen today - in 1184.

At the end of the 14th century the Norman nave was pulled down, being rebuilt (1405) by the royal architect Henry Yevele in the High Gothic style.

St Martin's Church

Situated outside the city center, beyond St Augustine's Abbey, St Martin's Church, the "mother church of England", is one of the oldest surviving English churches, believed to have been built originally for Queen Bertha. Numerous Roman bricks are incorporated into the Anglo Saxon choir. Inside there is a Norman font.

Timber framed houses

In the pedestrianized area of the Old City numerous timber framed buildings survive. An unbroken row of particularly fine houses, with typical overhanging upper floors, can be seen in the narrow and busy Mercery Lane.

Stained Glass Windows

The walls of the choir on both sides of the Corona (the circular chapel at the far east end) are embellished with superb late 12th and 13th century stained glass windows. Known as the Miracle Windows they depict scenes from Becket's life and works.

The Miracle Windows are a part of the larger series which includes Old and New Testament subjects. This is the most important medieval stained glass series in England.

Right Time to Visit

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