Canterbury is a historic city in Kent, most famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canterbury Cathedral. The city is around 1.5 hours away from London makes a lovely day trip if you wish to explore more of England. Canterbury is home to many historical sites including a city wall that was created during Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century.

Most of the tourists visit the city because of the Canterbury Cathedral which is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cathedral was founded in 597 and entirely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077 due a fire in 1067 that had destroyed the cathedral. Over the following 900 years there have been various additions and alterations to the cathedral but parts of the Quire and some windows and their stained glass date back to the 12th century. A staircase and parts of the North Wall remain from the cathedral as it was in 1077.

Canterbury became one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage centres after the murder of its most famous Archbishop, Thomas Becket, in 1170. It is said that the Archbishop was murdered by four knights in response to Henry II reclamation “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”. The murder took place in the Martyrdom. Shortly after the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket miracles were said to take place making the city a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.

Apart from the famous Canterbury Cathedral there are lots of things to do and visit in Canterbury including the Buttermarket, the Westgate Towers, the city walls, St. Augustine Abbey, Lady Wootton’s Green, the Christ Church Gate (photo below), and of course the cosy little restaurants and pubs that you see everywhere in the historic centre of Canterbury.

If you are looking for some alternative things to do in London, visit the Highgate Cemetery in North London. The cemetery is said to have some of the finest funerary architecture in the country and is a must-see of lovers of the history of London. The Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839 and was the authorities’ response to London’s growing population. Before being buried in official cemeteries, graveyards and burial grounds were scattered throughout the city wherever was space. Often this meant that bodies were buried between taverns, shops and houses.

In early 1800 London’s population had grown to around one million which caused an ever increasing lack of burial space. By 1830 health reasons caused the authorities to find a solution and to create space for the dead. Subsequently a number of private cemeteries were opened in the countryside around London. Overlooking London, the location of the Highgate Cemetery and its distinct architecture attracted investments of wealthy individuals. The first person buried in Highgate Cemetery was Elizabeth Jackson, a 36 year old spinster of Golden Square in Soho on 26 May 1839.

In 1854 the eastern part of the cemetery was opened. There are now more than 170,000 people buried in 53,000 graves. The most notable person buried in the Highgate Cemetery is probably Karl Marx. Both, the West and the East Cemetery can be visited.

East Cemetery

The East Cemetery can be visited daily for an admission fee of £4 for adults. The East Cemetery is home to Karl Marx’s grave which you cannot miss due to its large size.

West Cemetery

Admission to the Highgate West Cemetery is by guided tour only. Don’t leave Highgate Cemetery without having visited the West Cemetery which is home to the most impressive architecture of the Highgate Cemetery. The tour lasts around 70min and is £12 for adults. Tours run several times per day. Check out Highgate Cemetery’s homepage for more information.  I love this part of the cemetery as it has some really spooky atmosphere. Too bad you can only visit by guided tour. Would be the ideal location for telling scary ghost stories :)

Some Architectural Beauty in North London..

On the way to Highgate Cemetery you will come across this beautiful building just on the corner of Chester Road and Swain’s Lane. Beautiful North London :)

Valle De La Luna La Paz

Valle de la Luna La Paz Boliva

Ever wanted to fly to the moon? Nah, totally overrated, just fly to La Paz in Bolivia and head to their Moon Valley. The Valle de la Luna, or Moon Valley, has gotten its name because of the rocks’ distinctive formations that look similar to the moon’s surface. It doesn’t entirely make you feel like you are on the moon but it looks very cool and is a must-see if you are in La Paz. The Moon Valley is located at the outskirts of the city of La Paz and can be reached easily via taxi or as part of an organised sightseeing tour.

The distinctive shape of the area is due to erosion that has worn away the majority of a mountain leaving tall and odd spikes and formations. If you manage to visit the Valle de la Luna without lots of other tourists present the area feels quite mystical. But once you start hearing tourist groups, this feeling is gone immediately haha. There are several walks to explore the Moon Valley that take around 20 – 60 mins. The rocks are perfect for pictures, so make sure you take your camera with you. And don’t slip or let anything fall down because it will be gone forever. It’s fairly safe to walk around though as the way is fenced.

Valle de la Luna In 7 Pictures

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Just a heads up: The Lonely Planet travel guide says that the Moon Valley is slightly overrated. This is true if you expect a life-changing experience.. But I would definitely recommend visiting the Moon Valley while in La Paz. It is not a huge effort to get to and it does look stunning.

If you are not visiting as part of an organised sightseeing tour, plan around 3h for your Valle de la Luna trip. This gives you enough time to explore the sight and you still have lots of time for other activities on that day. Ideally come in the morning as a number of tourist groups that go to the mountains in the morning visit Valle de la Luna on their way back. So mornings should be a bit more quiet. Click here to read more about things to do in Bolivia & La Paz.