Margate, Canterbury, Dover

Aug 11

Margate, Canterbury, Dover

Well today is the end of our second full day in Margate, England! I have to say, the last three days have been splendid! We’ve been staying with some absolutely wonderful friends of my aunt and uncles who live in Margate, Jill and Keith. Yesterday, we spent the morning visiting some of Keith’s lovely family and seeing the English Channel, while Jill did the makeup for a bride in the next town over. After Jill was finished, we met up and headed off to Canterbury.

We found Canterbury to be quite a lovely old English town. We drove in and parked next to a section of the old wall that had surrounded the original town. It was built by the Romans and kept in repair for hundreds of years, protecting the people from invaders. They had a nice plaque of information that we could read because (thank god) it was in English!! Then we meandered off through the small cobblestone streets to Canterbury Cathedral. This old Cathedral was built in the Gothic style by the Normans over an old Roman style church which can still be seen in the crypt. The best known event in the Cathedral’s history was the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. Canterbury, always on the medieval pilgrim route to Rome, became an end in itself, as thousands came to worship at Becket’s tomb, especially after his canonization in 1173. We toured the cathedral and visited the place where Thomas Becket was murdered, marked by a crack in the marble where it is said one of the knights swords was wielded against the unarmed man with enough force to hit the marble and crack it. Unfortunately, the actual grave of Thomas Becket was destroyed by King Henry the VIII, though the spot is now marked with a constantly burning candle.

After our tour, we walked down the beautiful creek that runs through the town and took some great photos. Then we headed back into town for a wonderful Italian meal at a restaurant called Ask. We drove back into Margate after and spent the evening watching some Olympics and the movie Blind Date.

Today, Jill and Keith took us into Dover where we toured Dover Castle, the Keys to England. The castle was quite beautiful situated on a bluff over looking the harbor and the white cliffs of Dover. We went through a really fascinating tour of the secret tunnels under the castle that were used during World War II to evacuate the British and French troops trapped on the shore in Dunkirk, surrounded by the Nazis. This event occurred in 1940 when Vice Admiral Bertram Ramsay, with no technology and pitiful resources, masterminded the rescue of 338,000 troops from his Naval HQ in the tunnels below the castle. Operation Dynamo, as it was called, could not have been so successful without the personal boats and water craft manned by civilians from Britain, used at their own peril, to help rescue the stranded troops. The tour used original news-reels and recordings, testimonies from veterans and dramatic effects, creating one of the best tours I’ve seen in a long time. We walked through the interior of the castle next, decked out as it would have appeared during the reign of King Henry the II or Medieval era. It was very exciting to be inside my first castle and the views from the roof were quite lovely.

After Dover Castle, we headed down a ways to see the white cliffs. Ryder and I took a hike down to get a good look at them, taking some great photos with Keith’s new DSLR Canon camera he let us borrow. Poor Jill had hurt her foot and decided to rest it at the cafe by the cliffs with Keith while Ryder and I went exploring. After, we visited Jill’s son who owns a large farm about 15 min outside of Margate. They breed miniature donkeys for show on the farm and we got to visit with a few of them. The donkeys were very friendly and really rather cute in my opinion đŸ™‚

We met with Jill’s son at a real English pub, had some beer and cider and then headed back to Margate where we enjoyed a real English dinner of fish and chips. It was very tasty. Poor Ryder went to bed early with a nasty headache. I stayed up and skyped with family, watched men’s diving, and am about ready for bed! Night all!!


  1. Don’t give me Stongbow, ’cause Strongbow is TOO strong for ME!!!!

    Ask Ryder.. that’s a little tidbit from our trip to Wales. đŸ™‚

  2. Kathy Hickey /

    I am so lonesome for the U.K. now, as I was for your other visits in Barcelona and Paris. I scan my inbox searching for your emails and open immediately reading and living vicarously off of your trip. The small towns in England are wonderful, the Costswalds, the Lake District etc and London is really quite cool also. Windsor castle is good. Pub food is okay but very heavy. Have a Newcastle beer for me – my favorite!!! Tea and scones are a must and go to the Tate Museums in London – both are really good. Have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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