The Canterbury Tales

Forever Amber: The Canterbury Tales

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury, Kent

Canterbury Catherdral, Kent

On our last day in Kent, Terry and I decided to make a pilgrimage to Canterbury, with a knight, a monk, a prioress, a miller and  man of law. Oh no, wait: that’s Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, isn’t it? MY Canterbury Tales will be almost as long (and probably just as boring, let’s be honest) (Er, forced to study Chaucer at university: not a huge fan), but at least it was just me and Terry who went. And it wasn’t so much a “pilgrimage” as it was that we were in the area, with a bit of time to kill, and Canterbury seemed like an interesting place to visit, so we figured, “Why not?”

As it happened, our visit was so far removed from being a “pilgrimage” that we didn’t actually go into the cathedral, which is one of the city’s main tourist attractions. We only had a short amount of time there before we had to catch our flight home, and it was £10.50 each to get in we decided that time would be better spent wandering around and getting a feel for the place as a whole, rather than just getting to see one part of it. I think we made the right decision, too, because Canterbury is a beautiful little city, and probably one of the most historically interesting  places I’ve been, along with Edinburgh and London. The cobbled streets are filled with the most wonderful selection of old buildings, some of which are so buckled and bowed with age it’s amazing they’re still standing. Pretty much every corner we walked round presented us with something else to wonder at, and I spent a lot of time gazing up at the old windows and saying, “Imagine the STORIES, Terry! The stories they could tell!”

I was particularly interested in the stories THIS building could tell:

Leaning building, Canterbury
A very old house, Canterbury, England

leaning house, Canterbury
The quote above the door is from Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, and reads:

“A  very old house bulging out over the road… leaning forward, trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below.”

The doorway has been built to exaggerate the lean of the building, but the house itself is, indeed, very old, and the leaning is entirely natural. The people working in the bookshop it now houses were kind enough to not only tolerate my posing in their doorway (I was actually one of a queue of people, all doing exactly the same thing. I was probably a BIT more posey than most, though…), but to also answer our questions about the building. They didn’t know exactly what had caused it to tilt to the side like that (drink, maybe?), but assured us it’s not about to fall down anytime soon, which was good to hear, because it’s quite a sight.

The rest of the buildings in the city weren’t quite as exaggerated as this one, but many of them were much older, and just as fascinating in their own, unique ways. It really was an incredible place to walk round, and if you had the time, it’s the kind of city you could probably spend days exploring without seeing even half of what’s there.

As for us, unfortunately we DIDN’T have time to see nearly as much as we’d have liked to (I did manage to see the local Primark, though, in a bid to find shoes that wouldn’t aggravate my blister. Priorities, people!), and all too soon we were heading back to Terry’s brother’s house to pack our bags and prepare for our flight home that evening. There was one more adventure in store for us, however, but I hardly need tell you that it’s a long, LONG story, and will require a whole other post in order for me to tell it. Just be grateful I’m not going to do it in the form of an epic poem, in Middle English, OK? Don’t think I haven’t considered it…

Canterbury street

Wearing:  ♥  H&M Skirt (last year’s)   ♥  River Island bardot top ♥  Hell Bunny cardigan  ♥  Next flats  ♥  House of Harlow sunglasses  ♥  Marc by Marc Jacobs handbag

Outfit Not-Really-Remixed:

20 Comments

  • Lovely post Amber, I actually studied and worked at the University in Canterbury. I lived there for thee years, wonderful memories, many parties, many endless afternoons in the local Caffe St Pierre, and I did go to the Cathedral…only once :P

    I hope your feet have recovered xx

  • Fran says:

    The cost of visiting monuments can really be forbidding sometimes. When I went to Windsor I was all set on seeing the castle…until I discovered it was 14£. WITH student discount! :P Anyway, delightful pictures!

  • Tess says:

    The cardigan fits you very well, aren’t you UK6? The cardigan only available from UK8 and onwards.

  • CiCi Marie says:

    I’ve been waiting for this top to pop up ;) Like how you’ve paired it with bright red… *note to self: don’t accidentally copy*

  • CiCi Marie says:

    Darn it, I left a comment and it disappeared! I was trying to say: was waiting for this top to pop up on your blog ;) I like the pairing with the red skirt – have made a note to self not to shamelessly copy..!

    • Amber says:

      Oh, copy away! I’ve been drawing tons of “inspiration” from your looks, so I would have absolutely no right to complain ;)

      I was actually disappointed with these photos because the cardigan clung to the top a bit and made it look like it has a cowl neck or something: I’d planned to wear the top on its own, which looks much better, but it was chillier than anticipated that day, so the cardigan had to come out yet again!

  • Marie says:

    I love Cantebury. It somehow manages to be interesting and modern and yet full of history at the same time. It’s a great place. :)

    Wonderful photos! Love the outfit. I wish I could pull off red skirts. :)

  • Wow, Canterbury looked beautiful, I will need to go and take a look myself

  • Mariana says:

    Have you been to Prague? I have a feeling you would love the Old Town :) It does require blister proof shoes tho, I unfortunately made that mistake too…

    • Amber says:

      Nope, never been to Prague! I’m thinking most cities probably fall into that blister-proof shoes category – I never seem to quite get it right!

  • Suze says:

    Ooooh I love Canterbury! Been lots of times but never visited the Cathedral either – the lure of the shops, cafes and pretty views around the rest of the city wins every time.

    Have you been to Whitstable? If not, you two should definitely visit next time you’re in the area as it’s just a few miles down the road from Canters. Your photos and styling are always so gorgeous, I think Whitstable would be a great setting (although you could make a lovely photo out of any old place, I’m sure!)

  • Canterbury is lovely. The other week I met a Greek girl on a 4 year Pharmacology course. She thought she was coming to England to live in Canterbury, but a week before her start date she found out that the course was being run in Chatham instead!

  • Roisin says:

    I’m adding my voice to the chorus of people who have been to Canterbury many times but never to the cathedral! It’s such a pretty city. Nic and I haven’t been for ages – must make sure to get back there the next time we’re in Kent. I love the photo of you in the doorway of the bookshop: it’s perfect! x

  • Bex Miller says:

    I studied in Canterbury for university (and read the Canterbury Tales, which I agree are not that thrilling!) I live up in Yorkshire though so I haven’t been back properly in a couple of years, I do really miss it seeing your pictures! xx

  • char says:

    Love this outfit and your wonderful Canterbury photos. I enjoyed reading the Canterbury Tales but I guess that’s because I did it by choice and not through being forced to study at school.

  • Beautiful post Amber! This post brings back memories from my own visit last year. I took a ferry from France to the UK for one day, and ended up spending only around 6 hours in Canterbury. I went everywhere I could! Like you, I preferred wandering around over going to all the tourist hotspots. Canterbury is an amazing little town, and the buildings and alleys are all SO beautiful. I most enjoyed the gorgeous gardens, and did a little bit of shopping too. I actually did go into the cathedral at the end, of the day, because I could get a student discount and got in for half the price. There was a wedding going on inside, so a part of it was inaccessible which was a bit of a bummer. But I truely enjoyed my visit, and have been trying to convince my boyfriend to go back all summer :-) xo

    If you are interested, I wrote about my day in Canterbury too! Didn’t spot that cute bookstore you’re posing in front of though ^_^

    http://chroniclesofagingergirl.blogspot.be/2013/08/a-day-in-canterbury-my-favorite-spots.html

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