Escorted Rail Tours to Canterbury
A centuries-old centre of English Christianity
Boasting a rich history, a beautifully preserved centre and a clutch of UNESCO World Heritage sites, Canterbury is one of England's best-loved cities. Originally settled by the Romans, the city's destiny changed forever in 597 AD, when St Augustine founded the famous cathedral. As Christianity took hold in England, Canterbury became a major centre of wealth and trade.
Following the death of Thomas Beckett in 1170, the number of pilgrimages soared; these inspired Geoffrey Chaucer's 'Canterbury Tales', as well as works from the celebrated playwright Christopher Marlowe. By the 14th century, the city was one of England's largest and richest. Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 15th century hit the city hard. Whilst the cathedral was unharmed, many of the religious buildings were either badly damaged or completely levelled in this time.
Yet the city rose from the ashes of these turbulent times to become a world-famous tourist attraction; today this delightful walled city has much to recommend it, including the charming weaver's cottages and a number of timber-framed houses lining narrow, cobbled streets.