Tale of a Canterbury Day Trip

That’s right, folks! We have completed another day trip in our London Bucket List FINAL COUNTDOWN.

So what brought us to Canterbury, you might ask? Well, I’m not really sure, to be totally honest! It was one of those towns where I recognised the name and it came up on lists of day trips from London, so I figured, why the heck not – let’s go for it.

When we got there, we headed straight for the tourist information office and asked what’s up. I don’t think the staff were expecting someone so unaware of the Canterbury attractions; I legit went to the desk and said, “hey there, we’re here for the day and have no idea what to do, guide us, kind sir.”

But before we knew it, we were toting the perfect little map, had a plan of action, and were ready to explore.

Here are a few starter pictures of things we came across through random stumblings:

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The first notable thing about Canterbury was just how old the city was, and how old some of the buildings were. The typical white houses with the black outer woodworkings, the stained glass windows, the charm of the pubs decked out in flowers – it was all so wonderfully old and British – a true delight. I forget that a lot of London burned down, and that you have to get to places like Canterbury to really appreciate the age.

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Now – before I get into the serious and important things about Canterbury, can I talk about Punting and Food ?

Punting …?

Punting is this thing where long, flat-bottomed passenger-carrying boats have a man/woman standing up on the back, pushing the boat along with a long skinny pole. It’s basically like paddleboarding, but instead of paddling, you’re shoving the stick on the bottom of the canal to thrust the boat forwards. It’s actually quite elegant and peaceful, and they do it on the canals in Canterbury.

Here are some pleasant punting & canal pictures ::

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Food & Bev in Canterbury

Given we went on this little trip on a Sunday, we needed to stop somewhere to get the most important meal of the week – a Sunday Roast.

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We opted for the oldest pub in Canterbury, which dates back to the early 1300s. This pub is called The Parrot, and I’d like to think it was inspired by a pirate’s friendly pet. It is super cool and super old, and such a great atmosphere. They also served beer from Shepherd Neame brewery, which is the oldest brewery in England, and local to Kent.

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The inside of The Parrot with the old wooden beams ::

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The other totally British feast activity we partook in was a visit to Tiny Tim’s Tea Room, where we indulged ourselves with pots of delicious tea with scones, jam and clotted cream. This combo is known as a “cream tea” and it is absolutely delightful.

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Churches & Religious Significance

Now for the historical / important stuff (with some pictures at the end 🙂 )

It was throughout the day that we realised the significance of our pilgrimage to Canterbury, as this route has been taken by many a traveller, especially after the death of Sir Thomas Becket in 1170.  Essentially people thought his remains, stored in the Canterbury Cathedral, could perform miracles – and people would travel from all over to pray for miracles at Sir Thomas Becket’s shrine. The tales that people told on the pilgrimage from London to Canterbury was the premise of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Also, random factoid – the horseback riding term “to canter” stems from the pace people would wish to ride their horses on the journey from London to Canterbury.

However, before all of this, Christianity was brought to England by Augustine in 597AD (by orders of the Pope), who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury.  I have a hard time understanding which church was first, but the 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are 1) St. Martin’s (claimed to be the oldest functioning church in all of England), and it’s got a great graveyard, 2) St. Augustine’s Abbey, and 3) The Canterbury Cathedral, known as “the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion.”

Without further ado, here are some holy pictures.

First, the Canterbury Cathedral.

If you can’t tell, I love the ceilings and the stained glass —

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Next, St. Martin’s Church & Graveyard ::

This first picture looks like Dorothy Jane is trying to escape from the grave ….!!! can you see the eyes peering out at you? SUPER CREEP!

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That’s it!! Thank you 🙂

 

xx

Bergen

Park Cinema :: La La Land

In our search for fun London things to do, we came across a company that shows films in major London parks, and yesterday we set out to see La La Land in one of our favorites green spaces close to home – Battersea Park.

There was so much promise, so much potential for a truly magical date night; a romantic, cute, fun film under the stars (…that is if the stars actually existed in London).  Viewers bring along camping chairs, blankets to share, a picnic, some tinnies (British for beer cans), and all your hopes & expectations for great memories.

Look at this venue pre-show, and how excited Arnie looks!  That is true excitement, brought on by the anticipation of an enchanting evening, and NOT just because there is a vintage donut truck (though donuts didn’t hurt the cause either).

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However, events soon turned sour when huge gusts of wind foretold of the impending rain. Go figure – you go to a nice outdoor cinema in early September in London, and it immediately gets freezing cold and starts pissing it down on you *right before* the movie starts. Thank goodness they had these trash bags… I mean “ponchos…” to keep us some-what dry.  Arnie kept calling them condoms because, well, we pretty much all looked like dicks ha!

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By the end of the film, we were soaking wet and shivering, and my butt was totally numb. Here’s me looking like a babushka taking cover in front of a random house while we waited desperately for uber.

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I will say though – THANK GOODNESS the film took place in LA and was showing a sunny & warm climate. Had we gone to see something like Revenant, then mentally I think it would have forced us to find a bear carcass and take cover!!

Moral of the story – this was definitely a memorable night, with a concept that is super cool… but I don’t know if I’d do it again unless it happened to be on 1 of the 5 hot summer days we get here each year – OR if this was in LA LA Land itself.  So who wants to give it a go again tonight?? 😛

 

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thanks for stopping by 😉

xx Bergen

Royal Parks :: Regent’s Park

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As mentioned in The London Park Series home page, there are 8 Royal Parks in the Greater London area. The first one we are crossing off today is ….. (drumroll …)

….Regent’s Park!

Regent’s Park is in North West London, around Baker Street (read: Sherlock Holmes!!) and also around Camden (read: cool & strange hipsterville, music, markets and eccentrics).

Regent’s Park has a few bits that truly make her stand out from the (crow)d.

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First of all, it is huge, and there is plenty to eat & drink. There are at least 3 cafes and one big restaurant that bursts with BBQ smoke, enticing diners with grilled hotdogs, hamburgers, pork sandwiches, and probably some veggie options… though those were ignored after being smoked out with the aroma of BBQd meats.

Second, there are THOUSANDS OF ROSES!!!! So many flowers. The smell is enchanting, and all of the roses are just absolutely gorgeous. The colours of the roses – some of the colours I didn’t realise could actually exist in flower form. It reminded me of Alice & Wonderland when the cards go around and paint the roses red. Seriously, I am shocked some of the colours were real and not some sort of icing coating. Nothing is typical about these roses; after all, they do belong to the queen, don’t they?? (The real queen, not that b*tch the queen of hearts).

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Third – the Freize Sculpture Park. Here are a few of my favorites. I think the upside down elephant or the zombie-esque Micky Mouse are my top two ! Arnie also likes that guy with the horns.

 

What else do we love about Regent’s Park? Well let’s not forget that it is quintessentially English. And by that, I mean there are those green & white striped lawn chairs everywhere, that beg to be sat in with a jar of Pimms and perhaps some scones & tea (queue pinky raise)!

 

And of course we cannot forget the WATER FEATURES ooOOOOoOOOoO !! Within this category I am also lumping in ponds and bridges, because they are all wonderful.

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And I almost forgot (how could I forget this??) – there is a huge open air theatre in the middle of the park that shows plays during the summer. We missed the shows the day we visited, and all are now over until next summer. So I will not consider this bucket list task complete until one of the shows has been seen! I am already looking forward to part 2 🙂

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Thanks for reading to the end! For the end of my next post, I think I will post a joke. Any good jokes? I am not funny 😛