This is the route of the Canterbury Tales/ Canterbury Pilgrims and the audio/ dress code reflects that.
The nation’s maritime history and, in particular the capital’s global influence was resourced in docks at Chatham, Gillingham and Deptford, and in the South at around 1600, only Portsmouth shared Chatham’s significance. Today, Chatham Docks is a major site for navy historians. The Docks come early in my route and really require a long tour, so I will snapshot some highlights and move on.
At Faversham, mile 21, we come to the Shepherd Neame brewery, a beer maker that would have served those Navy boats and which lays claim, alongside The Tree Tuns in Shropshire, to being Britains oldest. Kent is also historically known for its hop growing and it was as hop growers that the landowning Neame family were drawn to the brewery.
At mile 22 are the Edwardian landscaped Mount Ephraim Gardens and its Manor House (with B&B available), including West Wing Tea Rooms.
At the end of the route its Canterbury, the end of any good pilgrimage and with the Cathedral and is practically overwhelmed with history, not least the death Lord Chancellor and then Archbishop Thomas Becket.
Overnight accommodation has been booked at Cliffe, in a holiday camp which means we are taking on the notorious Dover traffic right on the wrong day, as school holidays start, for doing so. But the compensation is a view of the famous welcome to England, the White Cliffs.
Shepherd Neame Brewery
Mount Ephraim Gardens
Canterbury City Centre and Cathedral
The White Cliffs of Dover
Dress Code: Pilgrims, Knights, Minstrels, Soothsayers
Fuel: Two top recipes for Canterbury Tart comes from two illuminaries, Geoffrey Chaucer and Mary Berry. A must try. Shepherd Neame accompanying.
Overnight: St Margaret’s Hotel, St Margaret at Cliffe.