It’s really hard to believe that after four years, my time in Canterbury is over. Whilst I’m lucky in that it’s easy enough to get to over the next few years (though I’d like to think I’ve spent enough time on the High Speed line!), I can’t imagine myself visiting all too often. With that in mind, I spent some of my last days in city exploring, finding hidden gems I had no clue were there.
I’ve already written about our trip on the river, one of Canterbury’s Historic Riverboat Tours, and that was the perfect was to start finding some of the hidden gems. It introduced us to a gorgeous, completed secluded area of the city that I won’t share on here (for fear of spoiling the secret – and my camera battery ran out!), however there are some easier to find, just as lovely areas of Canterbury.
Though of course, I couldn’t not get a few shots of my favourite view. Looking over the cathedral from the university campus was (perhaps a little shamefully!) one of the reasons why I chose Kent University – it’s a stunning view over the city. For students at UKC, the best view is from a stair window inside Rutherford College, but there are so many. It always irked me that sunset was the other side of the hill – could you imagine it behind the cathedral?!
Abbotts Mill in the city centre quickly became one of my favourite spots – quiet, yet just a two-minute walk away from the crammed main street. Plenty of green space to sit and listen to the crashing water, it felt like a millon miles away from the busy shopping area.
Around the corner is a few statues and sculptures, there’s gorgeous little cottages and terraced houses. Part of me wishes I’d lived closer to the city centre in one of my later years at university; some of these houses are student lets. How lovely do they look?!
Then there’s Westgate Gardens. Stunning flower beds, punting boats bobbing in the river, historical buildings popping up seemingly out of nowhere. Again, it’s hard to imagine you are pretty much in the middle of a (admittedly very small) city.
If I am at all honest, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Canterbury City in general. I hated how busy it always was, how I was always having to dodge groups of tourists. I found the shops to be a weird mix – with no Primark up until a couple of years ago, and perhaps the smallest New Look in existence. But I did love the little hidden gems I found. I loved the Cathedral adding something special. I loved the little side streets filled with independent shops. And I know that, despite its frustrating popularity, I will miss Canterbury.
Have you ever been to Canterbury? What’s your favourite UK city?