An hour from London by high-speed train, in a spot that’s within striking distance of the coast, Canterbury’s got daytrip written all over it. But the city was pulling in visitors way before history-hungry Londoners arrived. A place of pilgrimage since the Middle Ages, its phenomenal cathedral is where the martyr Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered by Henry II’s knights. Then Geoffrey Chaucer shunted it further into the spotlight with ‘The Canterbury Tales’, whose characters were en route to Saint Thomas’s shrine. These days, an altogether less pious pilgrimage includes river punts, antiques shops and half-timbered pubs – but it always starts with that epic cathedral.
RECOMMENDED: Visit nearby Whitstable, Margate and Sandwich