Cassandra Kennedy is a student at Doane College and an ISA Featured Photo Blogger. She studied abroad with ISA in Reading, England.
My friends and I missed ISA’s excursion to see the cities of Canterbury and Dover, but we managed to recreate our own trip! We got the list of places ISA visited on their trip, and were able to follow in their footsteps. We visited the Canterbury Cathedral along with the Dover Castle and the White Cliffs of Dover.
1. Inside Canterbury Cathedral
After a nice stroll through the adorable town of Canterbury, we made our way into the Canterbury Cathedral. The Cathedral is the oldest active church in England, and its history begins in 597 A.D. when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Canterbury. While the church has seen a lot of construction, especially after a fire in the 11th century, its historical value can be seen in the amazing architecture. The entrance strikes the viewer with its impressive Nave, where this picture was taken. The rest of the cathedral is even more breathtaking.
2. Stories to be told by stained glass
Canterbury Cathedral especially stands out with its use of stained glass. The original reason stained glass was used in churches was for the illiterate to still be able to understand the biblical stories without having to read the bible. The Canterbury Cathedral is full of stained glass that does just this, as well as to show other stories or prominent figures. The diversity of glass that is still amazingly preserved from the 12th and 13th centuries, as well as new glass pieces that were just installed in 2014! Needless to say, the glass and the cathedral are things not to miss when visiting Canterbury!
3. Walking the back streets
We arrived into Canterbury early and were immediately taken aback by the picturesque town. We came toward the end of a craft festival, which meant the streets were decorated with colourful flags and street vendors. We went to a cafe as well as a local restaurant, which were both great! And of course, the Canterbury Cathedral is looming just behind the back streets. It really is something out of the Canterbury Tales…
4. Seeing the town from the king’s view
Climbing the daunting hill to get up to the Dover Castle was well worth this view. The castle is a famous historic landmark of England. Built in the 12th century by King Henry II, the castle has seen many wars and monarchs. Its great tower in the middle of the castle (where this photo was taken from) served as a lookout, and the castle kept its defensive mechanisms up to date until the end of World War II. The castle is a fun, interactive exhibit and it allows you to see an amazing view of the rest of coastal Dover.
5. White Cliffs of Dover
There are many songs written about the White Cliffs of Dover, and after visiting I can now understand why. There is a great walk to a light house where you can get the best view of the cliffs, however wherever you walk along the cliffs you will get a breathtaking view. On a clear day, you can see France in the distance and if you want, you can even take a ferry from Dover to France! The landmark is beautiful in design and tranquility, and is obviously a place you can’t miss if you visit England.
6. A Castle at Sunset
As we turned our backs to the white cliffs, we were met with this stunning view. The sun was setting over the Dover Castle with a flock of birds flying off into the distance. A taxi driver told us on our way to a pub afterwards that it is said that Shakespeare wrote some of his works in Dover, and I can understand why. The town with its history and beautiful scenery is very poetic in nature. My friends and I are very glad we took the opportunity to visit Canterbury and Dover on a Saturday trip, and I would definitely say they are places you cannot miss when taking a visit to England!
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