The appearance of Canterbury, from whatever part approached, is exquisitely beautiful, and as we enter, symbols of its antiquity stare us in the face everywhere.
A place at once remarkable for its extreme genility and dullness. It has been said that the aspect of this “exceedingly select” place of residence is so imposingly quiet as to make one involuntarily walk about on ‘tip-toe for fear of violating the solemn sanctity of the place. The bold innovation of railway enterprise may, however, be not unreasonably expected soon to remove a state of things so repuglant to modern refinement.
The old arch of York gate, built by the Culmeramily in the reign of Henry VIII., is the solevestige of the once-extensive fortifications that bristled up at the back of the old quay. There was a pier, too, swept away by the terrific storm in 1808, winch destroyed that of Margate, but the rough wooden substitute is not the less picturesque, and there is a fine wholesome odour of sea-weed about the old rugged rafters, enough to make one willing to forego the fashionable for the fragrant. About a mile to the north is the North Foreland lighthouse, 63 feet in height, may be reached, and entered too, if the curious visitor will disburse a small gratuity to the keeper. It is well worthy of inspection. A little beyond is Kingsgate, where Charles II. landed, and furnished a pretext for endowing it with a regal title.
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This town stands close to the sea shore, which is a bold and open beach, being defended from the violence of the waves by an extensive wall of stones and pebbles which the sea has thrown up.
This much frequented point of continental embarkation has of late years occupied a prominent position among the watering-places of our island.