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Tourist Profile n White Cliffs


On a clear day, you can see out to France – and that has plenty of romantic connotations itself – but the White Cliffs of Dover provide a great setting to spend some quality time with your loved one.


What better feeling is there than to walk, high above the sea level, arm in arm on what is undoubtedly the most iconic natural structure in Kent? Take a flask full of your favourite hot beverage and enjoy the stunning views. Wrap up warm and cosy and enjoy the peace of looking out to sea while being with the one you love, before heading back home to a cosy night in. That ticks every box, surely?


If you time your visit right as well you can even visit a hidden gem along the cliffs – the South Foreland Lighthouse. During February and for most of March, it is only open at the weekends, but it can take your trip to the next level. A guided tour will take you around the ancient lighthouse, telling you how it all worked and its history, and then, at the very end, you get to go out of the top. And if you thought the views before you went in were great, then these are even better.


There is no vehicular access to the lighthouse, so you will have to park at the White Cliffs visitor centre and walk along the cliffs – around two miles – to visit, but there are far, far worse places for a windswept stroll.


Punting on the Stour


You’ve probably wandered up and down Canterbury High Street several times and never even considered the idea of


actually going on one of the punt boats that goes along the river. But as far as romance goes, in the city of Canterbury it cannot be topped.


The Canterbury Punting Company, based – appropriately – on Water Lane, can offer a tour for just the two of you. It can either be a private tour, or an extra- special romantic one. On the latter, you can even add a violinist or a bunch of roses to make it a trip to remember. The trip lasts around 45 minutes, and if it’s a bit chilly, organisers will provide you with a hot water bottle and blankets too. It goes up and down the river, from the start point to the Miller’s Arms and back, and you will receive your own commentary as you go along. To be on the boat, going underneath buildings you’ve walked past numerous times, is an unmatchable feeling. Despite the hustle and bustle – the trip takes you under the High Street twice – it is as tranquil as they come. You can take your own bubbly and have a tour you won’t forget.


If you choose the super-romantic option of the violinist too, he will play as the boat goes under the bridge, and, frankly, if you’re thinking of popping the question on your trip, there can be no better time or place.


It’s recommended that you book your tour after 5pm to get the most of the quieter times on the river, and full details and pricing are available at http://www.canterburypunting.co.uk/


Deal Pier


As the famous song goes, the cost of real love is no charge. And there is also no charge to visit Deal Pier, and stroll out to sea.


The present pier in the seaside resort celebrated its 60th anniversary in November 2017, and in the months before that it had been in the national spotlight for its regular appearances in ITV drama Liar. Now, of course, how that turned out was far from romantic, but those lovely early scenes in a restaurant on the pier showed it off nicely. That restaurant is Jasin’s, and there you can enjoy a range of meals at any time of the day, and, of course, you are able to look out to sea.


The wooden pier provides a fine setting to walk along, to gaze across the Channel and back to the shore, where Deal has one of the most aesthetically pleasing seafronts in the county. The pebble beach was once named as the best place to lay your towel in the UK by the Daily Telegraph, and you can really see why.


Once you’ve finished on the pier and on the beach, there are plenty of lovely pubs in Deal to finish your trip off – some even with open fires – and you can reflect on the uncluttered views


of a historic Kent seaside town that you will have enjoyed so much over a romantic glass of wine.


Leeds Castle


Where better place to start than a castle whose own website describes it as the “Loveliest Castle in the World?” It is obviously a deeply romantic spot, set in 500 acres of beautiful park and woodland, and with its star feature – the Castle itself – built on islands in the lake. Henry VIII even used it as a home for his first wife, no doubt when he was still a starry-eyed romantic – their 24-year marriage was by far the longest of his famous six.


Take a stroll around the grounds and enjoy the fabulous scenery and wildlife together – and when you’ve had enough of each other, why not get lost in the maze? It all adds up to a gloriously romantic setting to spend some quality time with your loved one at this time of year. And if you’re after something really special, Leeds Castle has an offer of a Valentine’s Night that you’ll never forget. On arrival, a private tour of the grounds – once the public have gone – is on offer, and once that has finished, chilled sparkling wine awaits in the library, before the butler calls you for a delicious three- course candle-lit dinner in the Henry VIII Banqueting Hall. A harpist will accompany the meal, which includes a bottle of wine and luxurious ingredients.


It will be an evening you might never forget. Details at www.leeds-castle.com.


Mid Kent Living 21 Canterbury


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