December 3

Day 7 Canterbury - Dover – Canterbury

The day started with an early morning walk around the town of Canterbury including walking along the old Norman Walls which still surround the heart of the city. We then jumped on the bus and made our way to Dover Castle. This historic site has a bit of history for everybody. It includes a Roman Pharos or lighthouse, an Anglo Saxon church, a Norman castle and series of underground tunnels that were originally used during the Napoleonic wars, then were extended and used in the First World War. In the Second World War these tunnels housed personnel who played a significant role in the planning Operation Dynamo; the operation to bring as many British and French soldiers back from Dunkirk where they were surrounded by German forces. This was recently the focus of the movie, “Dunkirk” released in 2017. The tunnels were also used during the Cold War and in the case of a nuclear war, were to be used as a centre of government, safe from the effects of radiation. The group took a tour highlighting Operation Dynamo, which is well worth the time, should you find yourself in Dover. We then made our way to the other areas, including the castle. There were a number of interactive demonstrations of life as it would have been during the Middle Ages and some of the more intrepid members climbed to the top for a breathtaking view.

We then made our way further south along the coast to Capel-le-Ferne, which is the site of the Battle of Britain memorial. This memorial remembers “The Few”; those fighter pilots who saw off the Luftwaffe as it tried to destroy the RAF in preparation for the invasion of England by the Wehrmacht. Due to their incredible bravery, skill and sacrifice, Hitler was never able to enact his plan and England remained a threat to his overall goals.

We then returned to Canterbury with time for a bit more of a walk and some shopping, before heading out for tea at the “Parrot”, a pub in one of the oldest remaining buildings in Canterbury. The floors were a bit uneven, but the food was superb and the atmosphere amazing. A great way to finish our time in this beautiful city.