Back from Palma for less than 12 hours and I was in the car, off to visit family who have just moved to the South East of England. To break up the journey, my boyfriend and I were stopping off in Canterbury to have a look around and see the cathedral that we’d heard so many good things about.
After paying our entry fee of £12.50 each, we opted to pay gift aid on our ticket purchase which gave us an annual ticket. We’ll be visiting far more frequently now, just to make sure we get the most out of the entry fee! Although there are works currently taking place, we were still able to get a feel for the cathedral and see some of the amazing features.
I’ve said it many times before, but I love churches. Not for reasons related to religion, but because I love the detail in the architecture, the big open spaces and the fact that the buildings mean so much to so many people. I enjoy walking around and seeing the stained glass windows, the artwork and the ceilings. I’ll always take a moment to sit – if allowed – because you can guarantee that when you sit and look up, you notice so much more than you do as you move around.
Canterbury Cathedral was no different. After entering and being greeted by a couple of lovely ladies who work at the cathedral, we were given a map and made our way down the aisle toward the altar area. Nearing the front, I took a seat and just looked up. Even though the scaffolding covers part of the cathedral, it’s still really impressive with the differing heights in the nave. While I was busy having a nose at the architecture, I didn’t notice that a church official has stepped up and was readying himself to start talking. I may love churches, but I’ve accidentally been caught in long church services before and it’s not really my thing. As I was one of four people sat in the nave and the only one sat dead centre in the front, it would have been very obvious if I’d got up mid-service and left. To try and not be rude, I quickly moved to a seat at the side before he started talking, so I could leave if the service went on for a long time, but still admire the church.
What actually happened was that the church official gave a small talk welcoming everyone to the church and letting us know that he’d be available for any questions or for a chat if anyone felt the need. So lovely!
Wandering around Canterbury Cathedral, we got to see the spot where Thomas Beckett was famously murdered inside the cathedral, the area where the choir sits, the crypt, the private prayer area and Thomas Beckett’s burial site. The architecture is stunning, and even the tombs that line the walkways are interesting to look at.
After exploring the inside of the cathedral, we took a short walk around the outside, popped our head into a well-kept garden before ending up near a school. It looked like there were some cool remains, but with all the school children walking around we weren’t sure whether we’d accidentally wandered onto school grounds so quickly left.
This was a great introduction to Canterbury Cathedral, and as we now have family living in the area I look forward to coming back and exploring more of the city!