The county of Kent in south east England is home to 2 of the the UK’s oldest cathedrals, including Canterbury Cathedral, England’s oldest. The cathedral has been the seat of the archbishops of Canterbury since the 6th century. Canterbury Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was founded in 597 but was completely rebuilt between 1070 and 1077.
Southwest of Canterbury is the medieval village of Chilham. Thomas Becket is said to have been buried in the church yard here. Becket was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is said to have been murdered by 4 knights after he fell out with King Henry II. After his death he was canonised by Pope Alexander III and his remains were then moved to Canterbury Cathedral.
The second oldest cathedral in England is Rochester Cathedral in Kent which was founded and consecrated in 604 and is a grade 1 listed building.
The county of Kent, as you can imagine, is full of history and heritage. Deal Castle was built between 1539 and 1540 by Henry VIII. He built it to protect England against invasion from France and the Roman Empire.
The rich history of Kent has at times been synonymous with smuggling on the coast. The area was rife with illicit gangs such as Joss Snelling’s, the Callis Court Gang, associated with the ‘Battle of Botany Bay’ in spring 1769.
Not only does this county have a deep heritage, it has a vast amount of stunning coastal walks. The White Cliffs of Dover and Dover Castle beckon, as do stunning, inland countryside areas, such as Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve near Sandwich.
Kent offers plenty of tourist attractions, opportunities for walks and excellent places to stay.