My favourite quiet corner of Canterbury is Greyfriars. Accessed from an unobtrusive entrance on Stour Street, you slip through past a little house (look for the mysterious faucet fountain) into a place of spiritual calm.
Straddling the River Stour, the small Franciscan chapel and its gardens were built in the early 13th century, during the lifetime of St Francis of Assissi. It was the first friary of this order in England. Although he probably never visited England, it is easy to imagine the animal-and-nature-loving St Francis wandering around in the peaceful garden and maybe communing with some ducks.
It makes a wonderful escape from the shopping crowds, especially at this time of year. Just along Castle Row from Greyfriars is the White Hart pub whose gorgeous pies provide nourishment of another kind. The Lamb and Mint pie is especially delicious, though I’m not sure St Francis would approve!
Image courtesy of Randi Hausken on Flickr