Instagrammers and bloggers looking for photographic inspiration this summer are invited to head to #Canterbury and immerse themselves in culture, colour and captivating scenery. When you are standing beside the 14th century Westgate towers, with its flag fluttering in the wind, the whole world seems to be in bloom. Red and yellow flowers gleaming in Westgate Gardens, river boats sat patiently on the river; in summer, the cobbled streets of Canterbury truly come alive and are a photographer’s dream.
Here are a few suggestions of things to see, do and snap on your trip to Canterbury…
Stay outdoors and enjoy the fresh summer air with bOing! Kent International Family Festival, running from the 27th to the 28th August. With free outdoor performances, activities and art installations, bOing brings a curious wonderland of events to Canterbury, to be enjoyed by both children and adults. With acts from all over the world, it invites you to be enchanted.
While you’re here, stop by at the Franciscan chapel in Greyfriars gardens. One of the prettiest and most secluded spots in the city, it sits along the river Stour and is home to Greyfriars chapel, the only building now remaining of the first English Franciscan Friary.
Don’t worry; if you’re expecting a rainy day, Canterbury has you covered. From now until the 25th of September, The Beaney museum will be exhibiting Only in England: Photographs by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr . This exhibition explores the relationship between the work of two photographers who were absolutely enraptured by the eccentric customs of the English islanders. See the great British seaside in its prime, with its own delightful peculiarities and customs.
Why not linger for a while and challenge yourself to the 3.5-mile walk from the Westgate towers to Chartham, showcasing the city at its finest. Walking along by the Stour can sometimes feel as if you’ve strayed into the Louisiana Bayou, with its dangling willow branches and chorus of birds amongst the quiet constancy of the river. Stroll through the kissing gates and explore the swing parks, the willow maze, and open field upon open field. A home for wildlife, the river Stour is home to a range of plants, fish species, swans, mallards, water voles and American mink.
If you would like to be immersed in its natural beauty, you can even take a boat ride with one of the many river tour companies in Canterbury. Depending on which tour option you decide to take, you can be regaled with stories of this ancient city as you meander through the nooks and crannies Stour — learning about the old witches dunking seat, or the hidden trade routes only accessible by boat. Or, if you prefer it to be a more peaceful experience, ride through the undergrowth of the city —sit back, relax, and enjoy the silence. Grab a bottle of lemonade and lean back on the cushions as you float amongst the reeds and past the moorhens.
Why not follow your curiosity? Choose Canterbury.