I’m so lucky that my host mum is a teacher because that means my summer holidays started a couple of weeks earlier than those of other au pairs. At first, I was going to stay in Aldershot for one last weekend before driving home, but then I decided to drive to Dover on Sunday because that would be easier with the ferry. Then, I found out that Canterbury is only a 30-minute drive from Dover and suddenly I left on Saturday morning so that I could explore another city in England before going to visit my parents.
Now, the only reason I wanted to go to Canterbury, is because of the Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. Yes, I actually read those. Or part of them, at least. Not because I had to for school, but for fun. (I was a huge nerd and wanted to read anything to do with English literature.) I didn’t know anything about the city and – if we’re being honest – I still don’t know a lot about Canterbury. It’s a very typical English city with small, cobbled streets and beautiful architecture. I really enjoyed just walking around there and soaking up the atmosphere. The buildings were incredibly old, and there was a lovely park where you could walk along the river. The perfect place to spend the day and not do much of anything.
One thing that I definitely recommend is strolling along the King’s Mile. This is a street where you can find traditional traders selling jewellery, leather products, antiques and much more. There’s also a .beautiful second-hand bookshop in a building that is incredibly crooked and towers over the street.
On Sunday, I moved on to Dover. Now, the town itself is nothing special. And the beach mostly consists out of rocks. The White Cliffs of Dover are definitely worth a visit, though. Since it was quite a warm day, I went there really early in the morning. I arrived there around 8 am, and that was perfect. There was plenty of space to park my car – I even found a spot in the shade – and there was almost no one else there.
I walked all the way up and around the edge of the cliffs and sat down in the grass for a while to enjoy the view. I was wearing flipflops (which I do not recommend. Wear proper walking shoes!), so my feet were aching by the time I checked into my hostel. I spend the evening relaxing in my room, watching Netflix.
Monday morning, I woke up around 5 in the morning and I decided to go to the docks and check in, even though my ferry wasn’t supposed to leave until 9. A tip for anyone travelling from Dover to Calais: if you arrive at the docks early, you can take an earlier ferry than you booked. And you don’t have to pay anything extra.
So, that was my weekend in Canterbury and Dover. I definitely recommend going to both places. Where Canterbury is an old English town with a lot of architecture, Dover is pure nature. Both sites have a long history, and I loved exploring them.