By Brandi N.R. Rhone
Canterbury
United Kingdom
Photo gallery
Canterbury, United Kingdom is located in Kent County, England. Originally an ancient Roman settlement until their departure in 407 AD, scant evidence remains of the Roman occupation but the name Canterbury stuck. Anglo-Saxons would later settle in Canterbury and was home of the Jutish kingdom of Kent until 597 when an exhibition was sent to convert the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity. With the blessing of the Royal family in Canterbury (King Aethelbert and Queen Bertha) the first Cathedral and Abby were built and established Canterbury as the first “English” site for Christianity and are now some of the most visited places in United Kingdom
 
The closest airport for Canterbury is Gatwick Airport (LGW). You can also get there from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) which is about 2 hours away from the city and from Gatwick and Heathrow you can transfer by train, bus or car to Canterbury. EscapeWizard.com invites you to shop for flights to these international hubs, by clicking here (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php).  For hotel accommodations, just click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl) to get started on your search.
 
Whether you are on your own Pilgrimage or just wanted to see what this part of England has to offer, there are a few things EscapeWizard.com suggests you don’t pass up. First, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Canterbury Cathedral has been a very popular location for many years for its historical religious/political significance. Canterbury Cathedral is the most visited church in England. This was where King Henry II’s knights killed Thomas Becket in 1170 inside the cathedral and made him a martyr. Although the official shrine was later destroyed there are still markers that draw modern pilgrims as they did the pilgrims that inspired the book “Canterbury Tales” by Chaucer. St. Augustine’s Abbey and St. Martin’s Church were also damaged during period when they were dissolving the monasteries. You can still visit the ruins of the Abbey today, and it has a garden area attached as well. St. Martin’s is now the oldest functioning church in England.  EscapeWizard.com reminds you to remember to visit the Roman Museum – a subterranean museum that will give you good background on the Roman contributions to this region.  An interesting feature of the Roman Museum is the encased Roman Bathhouse floor.
 
After World War II, there was a push to modernize areas that received heavy damage and this was true in Canterbury. Elements still remain that tell the True age of the city.  Along the River Stour they have the ducking stool a medieval method of punishment. River tours offer a relaxing way to see many of the important locations around the city and get the history of Canterbury with a guide such as , Eastbridge Hospital, The Marlowe Theatre, Kings Mill and  Abbots Mill to name a few. The West Gate Museum and former prison is an often overlooked venue but worth a visit. The even have costumes for guest so consider visiting if are looking for a way to educate and entertain the kids.
 
Just outside of Canterbury in the village Bekesbourne they have a wild life park called Howletts Wild Animal Park that is a great place for family fun.  Howletts is known for is Gorilla enclosure and other endangered species.  Also in Kent is the sister wild animal park called Port Lympne.
 
Also nearby is Lydden Hill Race Circuit, UK, which is the shortest road racing Circuit. They offer individual and family packages for your chance to try your hand at sports car racing and have your photo taken at the finish line to commemorate your experience.  They have events there as well if you just want to watch instead.
 
Canterbury, United Kingdom is a great destination for the modern day pilgrim or traveler. With history that has inspired required readings to racing fast cars you cannot go wrong with Canterbury.