Admiring the flowers in The Garden of England
Having never been over to the East of England when invited to a wedding over there we thought we'd make the most of the opportunity and explore Kent.
First stop was the beautiful city of Canterbury. It is an extremely picturesque place steeped in history, most famously in its honey-coloured Cathedral. We had a great lunch at the funky Boho Cafe and then set off for a River Boat tour.
Although our guide on the tour was very good the tour did seem a bit of a con. Basically Canterbury city centre doesn't have much of a river so they milk it by slowly going up and down the bit that there is and charge you £6 for the pleasure.
The main attraction in Canterbury is the cathedral in which Thomas Becket was famously murdered. During working hours however they wish to charge you £6 just to enter the grounds let alone the building. Head back after closing time however and you can walk there for free.
Canterbury is home to a great shopping centre that is smart and clean and seems to have been completed very recently. This combined with the oldy-worldy nature of the city centre make it a great place for a day out.
Later on we headed 20 odd miles south to Dover to see if the cliffs really were white. After we discovered that they were we sat and watched the ferries dock, taking it all in, in preparation for our trip to France.
We then made the foolish mistake of ruining the illusion with a trip into Dover town itself. How sad it is that the first town seen by many visitors to Britain see this washed out retirement town. What makes things even sadder is the fact that with a lick of paint and some seafront shops it could be much better.
It is just a collection of gi-huge charity shops, kebab sops and pubs advertising Friday Night karaoke and Bar Footsies. Surely we can welcome our visitors with something better than this.
"The Garden of England" is certainly a fitting nickname for this beautiful county. Every turn along its roads seems to reveal another beautiful landscape or another fairytale farm. The pace of life seems to be much calmer in Kent too, which given its proximity to London is an impressive quality.
One of the highlights of the countryside is Bewl Water a reservoir created by flooding a valley, totally submerging a collection of houses. 13 miles of walkways perfect for walking, running or cycling surround the glass-smooth lake but if you would rather just observe take a picnic and watch the boats and ducks floating by.
The George at Cranbrook
The night of the wedding we stayed in The George and were mainly impressed. The room was furnished with squishy white bedding and black leather-bound furniture. The Medieval style dinning room felt luxurious and the food was great quality and came in generous servings. The highlight has to be the bathroom though.
With a shower to die for, a tapless bath perfect for sharing, pebble walling and a glass bowl-style sink, there was an overpowering natural feeling. Oh for a bathroom like that. The one criticism was that the waterflow tended to be a little sporadic.
We really enjoyed our time in Kent and will definitely be heading back there soon. That beautiful county seems to have many jewels and I certainly haven't explored them all yet.