A beautiful day, Autumn and sunny, more or less with a touch perhaps of clouds and some rain. We decided a walk around Canterbury from the Park and Ride at Wincheap along the waterside to Canterbury.
A treat was to take the pathway down to the river and, crossing it to walk on the path around the marshes where the Angus cattle were grazing. A nice, pleasant rural sight, and augmented by a print on the sign of a Thomas Cooper painting. More of that later.
You takes your ticket and walks. Is there something strange about getting the ticket for the parking, at a cost of £2.50 and save money by not traveling on the free bus? In effect the walk into Canterbury is a delight when you do not intend to go shopping, and again, as with the walk to Chartham, the afternoon is a walk and return along the river, or on this day because we were distracted, and walked further into the city, ate a lunch, and generally messed around. We rode back on the bus.
The walk along the stour was wonderful, and to approach Canterbury this way is a delight. The city is slowly revealed and you feel good about taking a further excursion once you reach the West Gate. This day was so pleasant that we even dived into a Wetherspoons for a lunch and coffee. Poor fare with reconstituted potatoes masquerading as chips, but cheap, filling and moderately tasty. What more could you ask for.
I make a note that the Council (Gawd bless ’em) are right to control the traffic at the West Gate as they have. Other than prats who decide to wear blinkers and ignore the rules, the new idea seems excellent for pedestrians. What seems needed is a railed barrier on the sidewalks and controlled crossings for pedestrians – and drivers obeying the rules.
We walked along to the walkway along the river as far as the leisure centre and Sainsbury’s where we had a chat with a pleasant young woman who worked at the store. In contrast we passed three men on a bench seat with cans of beer who looked shifty, suspiciously interested in my camera and my sister’s handbag. We shifted off the path to the road where it was clear and went back to the city.
We walked a through the butterfly gardens, to the riverside again and up to the Marlowe theatre. What a crappy building! It looks like the Shed in Margate, and smacks of the Saga building – not good. Post modern stuff with too much open glassed area below, steps that if iced up would be slides in winter, and a dull appearance of the whole building that is uninspiring. Not only that but out back there was a cable dangling from a window that appeared to be leading to the security lamps. Eh? However, I liked the mask and the wonderful surface close to the river.
Then it was on to the High Street and a visit to The Beaney where we saw the Thomas Cooper collection. Now, there was an artist! You don’t have to take my word for it, but if you want to see good paintings, go see for yourself. Visit the Beaney and have a Gander.
We spent too long in there really, as I discovered that my Sister and her husband were due out that evening, and she needed to supply the household with dinner. We wobbled into M&S and the secret of her cuisine was revealed. Boxes of ready-made dinners! Shame! I had a home-made stew to go home to.
Aside from that, the walk was a treat and just right for this time of the year. It is a good way of exploring a city, getting to know the place from the river, extending a little into the environs without that confusion of a busy shopping high street.
Arrive perhaps in the morning and walk to the city, have lunch at one of the myriad cafes or pubs and explore the gardens and the streets before returning by bus to the park and ride. We like that.