The Canterbury Tales

1032 Reviews

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3/5

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Things to do

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Date of travel

June, 2018

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If visiting Canterbury for the first time, “The Canterbury Tales”:https://www.canterburytales.org.uk is a must and our tickets were booked in advance to avoid any queues. We arrived 10 minutes early as advised, only to discover our booking was for the previous day. Hats off to them for not blinking an eye and saying it was no problem.

We were very fortunate that we were only a group of four as we’d seen huge groups of school children of all nationalities, milling around in the street waiting to go in. Whilst being given the opportunity to use the loo, we were told how to use the handsets which simply involved altering the sound for personal preferences. Many languages are available.

Megan, dressed in traditional costume of the day, took us into the first room, the Tabard Inn at Southwark, where we started our pilgrimage of 70 miles to Canterbury Cathedral with the journey taking 4 days. She explained how the tales had started before leading us into another odour-enhanced room with a tableau of the pilgrims, where we were introduced to those who would tell us their tales.

We then began our pilgrimage with the handset telling us when to move between the five rooms, which all had some animation.

Knight’s Tale – where two men fell in love with the same beautiful woman.
Miller’s Tale – a deceitful man tried to have his wicked way with the wife of a carpenter and gets a red-hot poker up his bum!
Wife of Bath’s Tale – who had five husbands but asks a man condemned to death, ‘what do women most desire?’ The answer apparently as all women know, is to wear the trousers!
Nun’s Priest’s Tale – where a farmyard cock tries to outwit a sly fox.
Pardoner’s Tale – the greed of three brothers who try to outwit each other when they find a pot of gold, and all end up dead.

Megan joined us at our journey’s end, Canterbury Cathedral, with a model of the Black Prince where we learned about Thomas Beckett. Our final stop was described as the merchant’s room, more commonly known as the gift shop, where we sampled mead.

Whilst it was all a bit of hokum, we really enjoyed our experience and it’s a ‘must do’ for first time visitors – £10.95 (£9.95 for senior citizens) with the experience lasting about 40 minutes.

There are some steps involved and it is quite dark inside, so you need to be relatively sure-footed.

Helen Jackson

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