For a city so weighty with history, Canterbury is surprising­ly compact, with a web of cobbled side-streets encircling its fabled cathedral. Founded in 597 and now the headquarte­rs of the Church of England, immense Canterbury Cathedral runs the gamut from Norman to Romanesque and Gothic architectu­re and is the obvious starting point for a visit. But it’s just one of a trio of important religious buildings that make up the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site – St Martin’s Church, originally the private chapel of the 6th-century Queen Bertha of Kent, is the oldest church in the English-speaking world, while St Augustine’s Abbey, now in ruins, dates back to when the eponymous saint arrived from Rome to re-establish Christiani­ty in southern England. Balance your visit with some shopping among the timber-framed Tudor houses sprinkled throughout the medieval old town and a stroll along the languid Great Stour river that runs through its centre.

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