England’s Southern Coast - Canterbury Rye Sandwich Salisbury Great Britain England

England’s Southern Coast - Canterbury Rye Sandwich Salisbury Great Britain England (5/31-6/2/2016)

Canterbury, England

Buttermarket Canterbury England Great Britain
Buttermarket - Canterbury, England
Canterbury is an absolutely wonderful English medieval town with picture-perfect views every time you turn a corner of the town’s narrow alleyways. We loved walking around this beautifully preserved English cathedral town. It also has quaint shops, fun pubs and bars, and good restaurants - don't miss the Buttermarket (see photo).

Canterbury Cathedral England Great Britain
Beautiful Canterbury 
Cathedral England
The star of the show is the Canterbury Cathedral built in the 11th century with a history dating back 1,400 years ago (see photo). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is amazing – absolutely spectacular! It also the most important church in England with pilgrims visiting for centuries due to ‘miracles’ happening after Archbishop Thomas Becket’s murder in 1170. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the leader of the Anglican Church in England. Guided tours (both by people and audio guides are available).

Canterbury Tales Canterbury England Great Britain
Canterbury Tales
Canterbury, England
If you are young at heart and want to learn a little about Chaucer’s classic tales, the Canterbury Tales down the street from the Cathedral is a fun thing to do.

We stayed at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. Located in the middle of Canterbury’s old town and right in the Cathedral grounds, it is a wonderful place to base your exploration of Canterbury. The staff is lovely and breakfast is one of the best we have had with wonderful made-to-order dishes.

Rye, England

Mermaid Street Rye England Great Britain
Mermaid Street - 
Rye, England
Our visit to Rye was a complete pleasure. It is one of England’s quaintest towns. Rye dates back to the 11th century and many of its buildings were rebuilt in the 15th century due to the town being burnt. 

Mermaid Inn Rye England Great Britain
Mermaid Inn
Rye, England
Don’t miss Mermaid Street. The antique shops at the bottom of Mermaid Street are interesting. High Street is interesting to wander. Stop in one of the old guesthouses (i.e. Mermaid Inn on Mermaid Street, The George in Rye on High Street) to see what guesthouse looked like 500 years ago and have a drink to soak in the atmosphere of this wonderful town – there is so much of it to enjoy.

Sandwich, England

St Clements Church Sandwich England Great Britain
St Clements Church - 
Sandwich, England
The well-preserved medieval town of Sandwich has a proud heritage. We parked and walked around enjoying the unique shops. Yes, this is where the sandwich was born with the Fourth Earl of Sandwich asking for his meat to be placed between two pieces of bread so he could gamble all night without smudging his cards (so they say). It caught on with people asking for meat “like Sandwich” - our fast food industry owes a debt of gratitude to the Earl.

Salisbury, England

River Avon Salisbury England Great Britain
River Avon - Salisbury, England
Although not the most attractive town we visited in England, Salisbury is a nice place to stop for a night. A visit to the grandeur Salisbury Cathedral is very enjoyable and you can see the best preserved of the four original copies of the Magna Carta. Just outside of the Cathedral grounds, for a feel of 700-year-old atmosphere drop into the New Inn on New Street for a drink and/or good pub food. We had a lovely meal at the Indian restaurant Anokaa.

White Cliffs of Dover
White Cliffs of Dover
We drove through Dover hoping to see the famous White Cliffs of Dover (see photo). We did see some of them in town covered by vegetation. To truly see the cliffs in their full glory, you need to take a 2-mile hike just east of downtown Dover or take a boat trip out of Dover. We didn’t have time for that. Seeing the stately mansions along the coast of Dover was interesting.

Royal Palace Brighton England Great Britain
Royal Palace - 
Brighton, England
Wanting to see quainter England, we were disappointed visiting Brighton. Seeing the Royal Palace may be interesting but we continued on.

Important driving tip: Because many of the roads in England are smaller country roads with many confusing roundabouts, getting lost is not hard. In fact, it can be fun if you can get back on track.

Here is a wonderful tip... Make sure you have GPS - if you get it from the car rental company, ask for a lesson. The postal code in Great Britain typically has enough information to direct you to your hotel or destination. So, look up postal codes for your hotels and destinations so you can enter them in as you go through your day of explorations. We used a centrally located church or hotel for the villages. Sometimes the GPS asks to confirm the street name and number, so also having an address helps. Also, often just putting in the town/village name will take you to the right direction and you can follow signs to the town center.

Please see our other 12 travel blog posts on Great Britain:

York, England

Lake District (England's Most Visited National Park)

Highclere Castle (Downton Abby), England

Stonehenge, England

Stratford-Upon-Avon, England (Birthplace of Shakespere)

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