• Sarah Thompson

My Favourite Walks and Virtual Tours to Keep you Engaged During COVID-19 Staying In

Due to my auto-immune condition, I tend to stay away from large gatherings. I know that this is not the same for most people as they struggle to find activities and things to do to entertain themselves and their family. Interestingly for me, my condition means that I do a lot of self-isolating and activities.

As you all know I love Canterbury, so the first thing on my list is walks I like doing most in Canterbury. I have a few main walks that I go on either early in the morning or late in the evening. My all-time favourite is Hambrook Marshes (you can read about this in one of my blogs about the marshes). Second on my list is the walk from Westgate Towers to the University of Kent. I love this walk because it allows space for me to keep social distancing and for the breathtaking view I see when I get to the top of the hill beside Keynes College bus stop and look down at the beauty of the city and the cathedral.

My next best place to see Canterbury from is by the riverside walk that starts from a tiny hidden garden called Solly’s Orchard...

This place is a secret garden. It’s right behind the Marlowe Theatre, I bet you had no idea it was there? To get there, you walk pass the statue of the comedian Dave Lee on your right and go straight ahead for a few metres. This is not a long walk, but it is breathtaking on a beautiful day. You will find beautiful flowers and a fantastic view of the cathedral. I love this place, so I made a video of the water flowing in the mill.

My final walk is from the Pilgrim’s Hospice to Dane John Gardens. To avoid walking into town, after passing the hospice I use the underpass close to Canterbury High School. This gives a lovely view of the boulevard and greenery on both sides of the road. This is usually a very busy road, but it is very quiet during COVID-19 stay-at-home time.

Follow the bend in the road and you will pass ALDI on the right. Stay above-ground and cross the road to Castle Street (be careful here as there is no place for pedestrians to cross). If walking or cycling with children, for safety you can enter Westgate Gardens beside the iron bull statue, veer left and follow the narrow path that backs onto the Tannery by the river. This will take you past two of Canterbury’s historic sites: Saint Mildreds Church which is an Anglo-Saxon stone church which is said to be dated from 11th century, and the Norman Castle. The castle is currently closed but you can still see its beautiful stone structure from behind the gates.

If you stay on the main road, walk straight ahead towards Canterbury East train station. Then turn left towards Castle Street car park. This will also lead you to the entrance of Dane John Gardens. Follow the steep path with the station on your right, this will lead to a beautiful overhead view of the Dane John Gardens. Enjoy!

Things to do on wet days in Canterbury

It’s May and some days are wet and gloomy outside. If you are stuck inside, take a look at this beautiful two-minute river tour from Canterbury Punting Company. I have watched it over and over again! Enjoy.

I have seen Shakespeare plays at the Abbey, but since it is closed, why not go back in time with this virtual visit to St Augustine's Abbey from the comfort of your home?

Are you after that perfect gift for someone special? Why not shop for some locally-made items? At Blightys they have a good selection of British-made items for you to choose from: cards, arts and crafts, candles, fragrances and hats.

Are you looking for information about unique wine and unusual food from all over the world? Take a look at New Era Wines. Send them a message on their Facebook page to place your order.

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