Canterbury apart from the cathedral

So like the pilgrims in Chaucer’s tales we went to Canterbury. The difference being that we travelled in comfort and ease. In addition we were not expecting to earn salvation through our visit and we didn’t tell stories on the way.



The only day of our holiday that was wet was our day in Canterbury.  The heavens opened as we walked along the high street and we dived into the first building we came to which was a museum come art gallery and library with a tourist information inside as well.

canterbury museum

I was rather pleased to wander around looking at the pictures and the interactive displays in the museum. It was free an important consideration if you have a family. However we did treat ourselves to coffee and cake in the tea shop.

art gallery

My favourite geek was with me and he enjoyed himself identifying all the wildlife specimens and looking through all the military memorabilia. The place was full of families and we found that rather heartening. There were young children everywhere and whilst it was noisy it was also bustling with life.

We went as far as the cathedral but found a huge queue of tourists. I also have to confess to feeling quite upset about the commercialism of christianity and despite an interest in historical sights I really couldn’t stomach queuing to pay to visit the cathedral.  It really did make me feel quite ill and reminded me of the money changers in the temple.

We therefore sought for alternatives and found a Roman museum instead.


Inside the museum were mock ups of Roman shops and rooms with dummies set up dressed as romans. A whole street of these shops had been created.

Here is the weaver


The sandal maker


The bone pin maker


The  fast food shop with bowls of food sunk into the counter. An ingenious idea


The   veg shop


Dining room with reclining modern man. We played with the board game in the table a bit like draughts or checkers if you are American.


Here are the rules should you feel inspired to have a go.


The kitchen



The lady having her hair done. The issue of slaves was glossed over as they were described as servants.



There were some lovely Roman glass and mosaics.

canterbury mosaic roman

Here is a close up of the central motif.

roman mosaic Children were dressing up as Romans, making their own mosaics from tesserae, drawing colouring. It was very well attended and inspirational.

We finished our afternoon with a walk on the walls. Along the walls were defensive structures.


These were labelled with the location and some information. Again this was all well set out and clear



This provided me with the opportunity of seeing into other people’s gardens and finding ideas for my own. We walked back through a park.


There was a huge statue of a chalice at one corner and a shady garden with benches.




All in all we had a very interesting day and were very pleased with the choices we had made.

I will tell you more about our stay tomorrow



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