I wanted a hotel within easy walking distance of the cathedral and the town centre, somewhere which wasn't too expensive and which had its own parking (UK parking is neither cheap nor easy, especially in city centres and especially when that city centre is still based on its Medieval street layout).
The Falstaff fitted the bill, so I booked it via booking.com
The hotel is just outside Westgate Tower, one of the Medieval entrances to the city, about 5 minutes' walk from the cathedral and within easy striking distance of everything else Canterbury has to offer (including numerous places to eat).
The original, main building dates back to 1490 so you could say the hotel has existed for 600 years, because it started life as an inn (an alehouse with rooms). It's a super building with a very pretty little courtyard area, but my room was in one of the two other buildings which are also part of the hotel. One used to be a pub and one a woodmill, where I had my room.
I suppose the walk across the car park to Woodmill might be considered a minor hassle in wet weather, but it's only takes a minute. The building can only be accessed by security code and, being tucked away to the rear, is very quiet indeed.
My single room was the first I have ever encountered with its own staircase! Bed, TV, armchair and ample storage were downstairs, en suite, workdesk and tea/coffee making were upstairs. It felt very spacious. Although the window was level with the upper part it was easy to open (via a magnificent old-fashioned winding mechanism) and gave plenty of light. Both room and ensuite (tub as well as shower) were very clean, with ample very hot water.
Breakfast is served in the older building, with both 'continental' (cold meats, cheese, bread rolls, yoghurts etc) and 'full English' options. On my first morning my English breakfast was cooked to order, but on subsequent mornings the hotel was much busier and hot items were self-served from the breakfast buffet: I imagine that is the norm most of the year.
All staff were friendly, courteous and helpful. I was impressed by the security code needed to access my building and to exit the car park (something which stops random visitors to Canterbury taking up the spaces!). There is parking space for 35 cars, but the hotel has 46 rooms so I suppose there might be a problem in high season. For me it was ideal: ample space to park, including directly outside my own building.
The hotel does not serve any food other than breakfast but there are numerous places to eat within a few minutes' walk including an excellent, very friendly and very popular Wetherspoon's pub almost next door. I ate there every night, because it was easy and because Wetherspoon's pubs always have good, well-kept beer and offer very reasonably-priced and perfectly edible food.
Definitely worth considering if you are travelling by car and want somewhere with easy access to Canterbury's sights and sites. If you have difficulty with stairs it would be a good idea to mention that when booking, because I don't think my room was the only one with its ensuite upstairs.
This hotel has a fantastic location, on the edge of the cities main pedestrian area, it is on St.Dunstans street - a great area with pubs, restaurants, taxis,buses, trains and shops all a stones throw away.
Unique Quality: It is really old building, the rooms fairly small but an amazing atmosphere inside.
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