The changing of the Guard (Picture: City of London)
Starting on The Mall, it then goes through Admiralty Arch and along the Thames to the Houses of Parliament. The riders cross the Thames, pass the London Eye and head back to take in Blackfriars Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, Mansion House, the Bank of England, Pudding Lane, Tower Bridge, passed the Tower of London and the Greenwich Royal Observatory (both World Heritage sites), the famous Greenwich Meridian Line, the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich, before it makes its way to Kent, via Gravesend, Medway, Maidstone, Tonbridge, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tenterden and Ashford, finally reaching the finish line at Canterbury, with the World Heritage site Cathedral as a backdrop.
Canterbury Cathedral (Picture: City of Canterbury)
Pilgrims have flocked to Canterbury ever since the martyrdom of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170, and across the centuries this pilgrimage has continued, as people from far and wide fill ancient thoroughfares in their search for inspiration. The magnificence of the cathedral is the essence of Canterbury, but the city is multi-faceted, containing all the elements of a modern and vibrant cultural centre. Restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and live music venues underpin the city’s endless appeal. Theatregoers have the choice of the city centre’s renowned Marlowe Theatre or the Gulbenkian Theatre at the University of Kent at Canterbury, while every October, the Canterbury Festival invigorates the city with music and arts rarely seen out of London. The city is best explored on foot, and visitors who take the time to walk the maze of intriguing side streets will find a rich variety of specialist shops, welcoming cafés and pubs in which to relax. Alternatively take a stroll along the banks of the River Stour as it passes through the city.