- See & Do
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- Canterbury District
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Queen Bertha's walk links together the three parts of Canterbury's World Heritage Sites - the Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church. The walk is named in memory of Bertha, Queen of Kent, who kept alive the flame of Christianity in a pagan country through her daily worship at St Martin's Church, and who, with her husband King Ethelbert, welcomed St Augustine to Canterbury in 597. St Augustine also worshipped at St Martin's until his monastery, dedicated to St Peter and St Paul in 615, had been built. The Abbey was rededicated St Augustine's by Archbishop Dunstan in 978. The first Cathedral in England was founded by St Augustine shortly after 597 on the site of an earlier church were the present Cathedral now stands.
Queen Bertha's walk starts within the Cathedral precincts and follows the route possibly taken by Queen Bertha during her 30 years of worship, past St Augustine's Abbey to the church of St Martin. The return to the city is by the same route, but in reverse, and in terms of the development of Christian worship in Canterbury chronologically correct. The route of Queen Bertha's walk is marked by 14 plaques in the pavement, and to give you an outline of the sights you will see on your way. The Walk is an easy half hour stroll from the Christ Church Gate, but you should allow two hours to visit the Cathedral, an hour or more for St Augustine's Abbey and half an hour for St Martin's Church.
A short detour can be taken on the return journey to view the Conduit House or St Augustine's water chamber, the water source for the Abbey.
A free information sheet on Queen Bertha's Walk is available from Canterbury Visitor Information Centre, situated in the Beaney Art Museum and Library, High Street. More detailed guidebooks are available at the Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church.