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The new mother’s tale: a Kent walk in Chaucer’s footsteps

The new mother’s tale: a Kent walk in Chaucer’s footsteps Some of the pilgrims’ routes are now roads but Mary-Ann Ochota finds a short bucolic stretch in the Kent Downs perfect for a first hike with her infant son In 1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his cathedral. In the centuries that followed, hundreds of thousands of people made the pilgrimage through the Kentish countryside to pray at his shrine. As Geoffrey Chaucer famously describes: From every shire’s end/Of England, to Canterbury they wend/The holy blissful martyr for to seek/That him hath helped when that they were sick”. Continue reading… Go to Source Author: Mary-Ann Ochota Tweet

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The Bay Tree, Broadstairs, Kent: hotel review

The Bay Tree, Broadstairs, Kent: hotel review Is the Margate effect spreading? An impressive new boutique hotel has just opened in neighbouring Broadstairs, which is pretty radical for this attractive but resolutely old-fashioned seaside town Much has been written about Margate’s transformation from seaside has-been to hip, arty hangout. Even nearby Ramsgate was reckoned to be reinventing itself a few years ago, with a boutique hotel and a fancy chef at its Royal Harbour Brasserie. But Broadstairs, sitting primly between the two, has never gone in for that sort of thing, thank you very much. Why would it need regenerating when it has cute fishermen’s cottages, sandy bays – one within a sheltering harbour arm, another a popular surf…

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Asleep in Albion: The Libertines reveal name of their Margate hotel

Asleep in Albion: The Libertines reveal name of their Margate hotel The Albion Rooms hotel and studio on the north Kent coast is set to open this summer. Rumours Pete Doherty will be manning reception are unconfirmed The Libertines (pictured) have revealed the name of their new hotel, due to open in Margate this summer. The Albion Rooms – the same nickname given to the Bethnal Green flat where the band held gigs in their early years – will also feature a bar, restaurant and recording studio. The hotel occupies a five-storey, 10-room Victorian building with a view over the town’s bandstand and was bought by the group last year, while on a tour of British seaside towns. The…

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Walk the North Kent Marshes – while the solitude lasts

Walk the North Kent Marshes – while the solitude lasts The Hoo peninsula between the Thames and Medway estuaries has a rough-edged beauty, a landscape rich in history and a thriving bird reserve – but this sanctuary near London is under threat from development Hope and loss have begun to bleed into each other, for me, out here on the North Kent Marshes. I spent a year walking this landscape for my book, On the Marshes, rediscovering its beauty and learning about its fragility. So now I take people out walking and just hope they get it. The marshes are not an obvious beauty: it is a rough-edged love, full of derelict industry, broken barges, wide bays of mud;…

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The Five Bells Inn, Brabourne (near Ashford), Kent: hotel review

The Five Bells Inn, Brabourne (near Ashford), Kent: hotel review Cosy and slightly bonkers rooms (in a good way), a welcoming bar and scrumptious food make this pub with rooms an ideal base for exploring Romney Marsh and the North Downs This must be the most eccentric room I’ve slept in: everything’s oversized, slightly mad or both. One side of the fireplace is taken up by a framed floor-to-ceiling black-and-white photo of sculpted Renaissance bottoms, while on the other a leopard-print chair almost reaches the ceiling. There are toiletries on a huge brass tray by the freestanding bath, a sunburst mirror, some modern wallpaper and lots of exposed brick, all reflected in another mirror – gilt-framed and two metres…

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Dover soul: a new walking trail on the Kent coast

Dover soul: a new walking trail on the Kent coast There’s more to the world’s busiest passenger port than ferries and military history – it is looking forward with a new architectural walking trail along the Kent coast. We get a preview On a hazy summer morning, Dover harbour appears to be in a state of perpetual motion. Beneath the white cliffs, cross-Channel ferries glide in and out while, closer to shore, a fleet of dinghies skims across the water. A group of swimmers make their way along the shingle beach, watched over by a sculpture of two bathers ploughing through the waves – a reminder that this has been the starting point for countless attempts to swim the…

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A Canterbury trail: exploring the city’s medieval streets on foot

A Canterbury trail: exploring the city’s medieval streets on foot With its extraordinary history and ecclesiastical grandeur, Kent’s murder mystery capital has much for the walker to savour on a day’s stroll• More UK city walks by Alan Franks The place is, in a word, cryptic. This is not just because of the cathedral’s vast undercroft and the tales its stones could tell about the strange murder of an archbishop in the late 12th century. There’s a sense of the city’s riddlesome quality even before arriving. One of the two railway stations, Canterbury West, is no further to the west than the other one, Canterbury East. What’s more, Canterbury West is situated right at the north of the town,…

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