1 hour in Canterbury

Canterbury Travel Blog

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On my way back to France (for 5 short days to see family), I stopped at Canterbury (Kent) before taking the ferryboat in Dover. Unfortunately, I only had one hour. I planned just to sit at a terrace watching the place with the cathedral as a quiet break. It did not go like that at all!

I have to admit that Canterbury was a bit disappointing.
I don't write that at all for the cathedral, which is remarkable and even more. I visited it 10 years ago and I wanted to see it again, being older.
But I really did not like the atmosphere. Maybe I was tired and a bit anxious because of the drive back to France (I couldn't miss the ferry!) so I might not be in a good mood for visiting. I don't really know, but I did not feel at ease in this town.


The place in front of the cathedral and the main street were really busy. It was even not possible to walk, just a kind of slalom between the numerous French classes to go to the astonishing entry of the Cathedral. I was a bit ashamed to see their behavior which was so disrespectful.

They were so noisy and impolite that I would have preferred not to understand French! Even later inside the cathedral, they did not behave well… My father told me when he went there decades ago, it was written in some shops something like “no dogs and no young French”… Now I can understand better what they meant… I wouldn’t like to see 4O exited pupils running in and out of my shop!


It is not possible to see the cathedral without paying because it is surrounded by buildings. So I paid 5£  (student price) and I have to admit that it is worth the price.

The guy at the till was French, I started to wonder if I was already in France by hearing and seeing French everywhere… It was closer than I thought!


The Cathedral is really impressive. It is huge, outside and inside. The stained-glass windows are amazing, the architecture is just splendid. One hour is, of course, not enough to visit it well (I love to take my time...), but I was enough to be really impressed.

I would have loved to have more time to watch and take pictures of the tiny details which are so extraordinary.


However, I was really chocked to see a souvenir shop inside the cathedral. I don't visit cathedrals very often, I like just to watch them from outside, so maybe having shops inside is something that happens quite often... But I don’t like when places like that are so much about making money. Well, so I should stop to visit very touristic places I guess!
Moreover I can imagine that it costs a lot to preserve it, but still… I think it should be everyone’s right to see, at least from outside, historic monuments without having to pay. It is our heritage. It makes me thinking how I love walking near Notre Dame in Paris and how disappointed I would be if I had to pay just to see it!


My summary in figures

·       Time spent there : 1 hour 

·       Things to do: 7/10 (the Cathedral is impressive but I did not like the atmosphere in town)

·       How I get there : by car, I parked near the castle in a short-stay car park, 80p for 1 hour

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photo by: Koralifix