Canterbury St Albans Train
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Canterbury, in the south east of England, can trace its history back to before the Romans in the 1st century AD but grew in importance following the Kingdom of Kent's conversion to Christianity in 597 when St Augustine founded a bishops seat in the city and then became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, a position that now heads the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Thomas Becket's murder at Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 led to the cathedral becoming a place of pilgrimage for Christians worldwide.
The city is on the River Stour or Great Stour, flowing from its source at Lenham north-east through Ashford to the English Channel at Sandwich. The river divides south east of the city, one branch flowing though the city, the other around the position of the former walls. The Stour is navigable on the tidal section to Fordwich, although above this point canoes and other small craft can be used. Punts and rowed river boats are available for hire in Canterbury.
Canterbury is home to many historic structures in addition to its cathedral. These include the city wall built in Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century, the ruins of St Augustine Abbey and a Norman castle. The city is also home to perhaps the oldest school in England, The King's School.
About St Albans
Located in the county of Hertfordshire, the city of St Albans is a historic market town and is now a dormitory town within the London commuter belt being only about 20 miles to the north of London. The St Albans Museum service runs two museums. The Verulamium Museum, which tells the story of everyday life in Roman Britain using objects from the excavations of the important Roman Town and the Museum of St Albans, which focuses on the history of the town and of Saint Alban. The Watercress nature reserve is by the River Ver and is run by the Watercress Wildlife Association.
St Albans is not a large city and it is possible to walk from one edge to the other in about one hour. Most bed and breakfasts, hotels and attractions require a shorter walk. The main railway station is roughly 10 minutes walk from the city centre with the St Albans Abbey railway station located down a steep hill right next to the Verulamium Park and near the Abbey itself, which is around 15 minutes walk. St Albans is well linked to neighbouring towns by bus, although despite the distances, journey times are relatively long. There is also a frequent direct bus service to London Heathrow Airport.