After the premiere cruise on the Norwegian Escape in Hamburg we go by plane to London. We are taking a short road trip along the coast of South England, and then, in four days, in Southampton we board the Norwegian Escape again. On our list are the seaside resorts of Brighton and Eastbourne; other than that we want to also visit Beachy Head (the highest chalk cliffs of Great Britain) and Stonehenge. We’ll start in the city of Canterbury in Kent. It is located southeast of London and can be reached on a 90-minute drive.
For our South England tour, we have picked out some really special accommodations. In Canterbury our choice has fallen to the ABode Hotel in the medieval old city. A beautiful 4-star boutique hotel centrally located directly in the pedestrian zone. The drive through the narrow streets and then also in left-hand traffic is somewhat of an adventure. With this however, we already get a first impression of the beautiful old town with its small British town houses.
At the hotel, we are very warmly welcomed and directed to the car park, while our luggage is brought to our room. ABode is housed in an old half-timbered house, which has been preserved beautifully, while a modern facility has been integrated. A great mix!
This is carried throughout to our room on the 3rd floor. Since our bags are already up, we walk up. Small winding paths and stairs lead us up and it pops in our minds that you can play hide and seek well here. Under us the steps of the old wooden stairs creak. The room is very spacious, which I had not expected at the sight of the hotel’s facade. In the middle a large bed dominates, infront of it a beautiful leather sofa. Again, the charm of the old building, with its wood planks, has been preserved. On the desk, a gift basket is waiting, with products from the region. The open-plan bathroom, with freestanding bath, is separated only by a glass wall. Only to the toilet and the shower is there a door.
It is getting late. We follow one of the hotels recommendations, we eat in The Old Brewery Tavern, an old established restaurant just around the corner. We opt for a mixed starter platter with British specialties. There is Scotch eggs, shrimp and crab salad, mackerel, pork knuckle terrine and goat cheese, served with fresh bread. Everything tastes excellent, making the start to our South England stay perfect.
For the main course, we have duck and lamb. My roast duck is tender and crispy!
We are actually stuffed, but we still need to try a dessert. So we have coconut panna cotta and Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert. A mixture of strawberries, cream and meringue. Divine! Already because of the food, the stop in Canterbury is worthwhile!
Good Mooooooorning! It is October in England and the sun tickles us out of bed; how untypical. Absolutely British, however, is our breakfast. With a full English breakfast, we start the day.
Then we start to explore the city. ABode Hotel is located right in the pedestrianized High Street. We are quickly charmed by the medieval old town, with its narrow, crooked houses.
First we head to the Cathedral of Canterbury. The World Heritage-listed Cathedral, in Gothic style, with its 75 m high tower Bell Harry, however, is only really visible when you pay 10.50 pounds’ entry. The money is well invested, because the grounds are generous and next to the Cathedral is the adjoining monastery to view. We opt for an additional 5 pounds per person guided tour. In 90 minutes Barbara takes us with great enthusiasm through the Church, the Chapter Room, explains the details of the numerous window pictures and with that we get an idea of how the monks formerly lived here. When we reach the Martyrdom, where the Archbishop Thomas Becket was killed in 1170, she is visibly moved. An interesting tour where you can learn an awful lot about the history of the cathedral and the area.
The unexpectedly long Cathedral visit costs us time. We wanted to take a boat tour along the Stour to see the weavers’ houses and go to the Canterbury Tales. Writer Geoffrey Chaucer wrote tales about pilgrims on their way to Canterbury, which are visually reproduced here. Instead of this, we stroll a little through the streets of the Old Town, eat fresh candied peanuts and realize that we have to come to Canterbury again.
For now, however, the coast is calling: We continue to Eastbourne.
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