The medieval spiritual mecca and center of learning of England, Canterbury ♥♥ has a town center that is compact, car-free and eminently walkable. Central streets are well-commercialized, but full of architectural gems, and some of the side streets provide very pleasant strolling opportunities.
Canterbury Cathedral
The chief attraction is the tremendous Cathedral ♥♥♥, dating from 11th century, – a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. Its interior is surprisingly airy, with some stunning ornamentation throughout. The cathedral is surrounded by pleasant gardens and outbuildings, all within medieval walls and ruins.

Beyond exploring the Cathedral “precincts”, we spent time aimlessly wandering the medieval streets. There are a few other attractions potentially worth exploring: The West Gate with an access to battlements for a panoramic view of the city; Eastbridge Hospital, founded in 12th century; ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey; Roman Museum; animatronic recreations of scenes from Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

You can also take a boat trip on the River Stour (which is, in reality, a narrow and shallow canal), but we did not go for that on account of mildly inclement weather.

Places to Eat

We lunched at Carmen’s of Canterbury ♥♥, near the Castle Gate entrance to the cathedral grounds. A fairly small place with all the ambiance of a local pizzeria, it serves very good selection of tapas and raciones. The quality of the food was better than some of our favorite places in more touristy places. Tapas at £4-5; we ordered eight in total, the damage totaling £44, including drinks. Last visit: Summer 2008.

Other notes for UK