Canterbury Cathedral in Kent is the premier cathedral in the Anglican Church. It is located approximately 60 miles southeast of London and 14 miles north of Dover and within easy access of communications within Britain and Europe. There has been a cathedral on this site since the 6th century when King Ethelbert was baptised by St. Augustine. The church was a major destination for pilgrimages during the Middle Ages, especially after the murder of its archbishop, Thomas a Beckett, in 1170. Becket was buried in the cathedral’s Trinity Chapel but his remains were destroyed on the orders of King Henry VIII. The central tower, the Bell Harry Tower, is 235 feet high and a glorious example of medieval architecture.
York Minister, the Gothic cathedral in central York, is the second most important Anglican cathedral in Britain after Canterbury. The Minster is the largest Gothic cathedral in northern Europe and took over 250 years to build. The Great East Window, which is above the Lady Chapel at the east end of the church, is the largest expanse of stained glass in the world. A Christian church has existed on the present site, which is walking distance from many York hotels, since the 2nd century. The Minster suffered a major fire in 1984 but the damage was repaired after speeding up a scheduled restoration. Fitness enthusiasts can climb the 235 steps to the top of the 15th century central tower known as the Lantern Tower and enjoy magnificent views over the city and surrounding countryside.
Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire has the tallest tower of any British cathedral. The cathedral was built in just 38 years during the 13th century and is a fine example of early English Gothic style. Its 14th century clock is the oldest working church clock in Europe. Tourists can climb 335 steps to the base of the spire and see a network of medieval scaffolding rising through its interior. One of the oldest tombs in the cathedral is William Longspee’s, an illegitimate son of Henry II who brought the Magna Carta to Salisbury. The cathedral is just six miles from the Neolithic remains at Stonehenge.
Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire has the longest nave of any Gothic cathedral in Europe. The cathedral dates from the 11th century and has the tombs of St. Swithin, Winchester’s 9th century patron saint and Jane Austen, the celebrated writer. It has been rebuilt and remodelled over the years, notably in the early 20th century when cracks in the south and east sides raised fears that the entire building may collapse. Winchester is the only British cathedral that features in 20th century popular music. The park surrounding the cathedral hosts regular markets.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of the most recognisable landmarks in London. It is located on the City of London’s highest point, Ludgate Hill and is the fifth church on the site. The present cathedral was designed in the 17th century by Sir Christopher Wren. A photograph of the cathedral dome surrounded by smoke during the Blitz has become an iconic postcard image. St Paul’s is the main church for national events including state funerals, such as those of Lord Nelson and Winston Churchill. The body of the cathedral is