Bryan's friends Jo and Craig live in a small town near Canterbury. We visited them before flying up to Scotland for Christmas.

Canterbury is a small and charming city. It's a great place to spend a few days. There's a lot of shopping - actually, it's like a giant outdoor mall - and the restaurants and pubs are not as expensive as they are in, say, London and Cambridge. Some of the original city wall, including the west gate (which used to be a prison) is still intact. The downtown seems to have evolved naturally over the centuries, and the view of the approaching cathedral gate through the narrow, uneven streets is very striking.

When we visited on December 21 and 22, the downtown was crowded with shoppers, but the cathedral and other tourist attractions weren't busy at all. Actually, I get the distinct impression that it's uncool to be a camera wielding tourist in the UK. But, I'm ready to imbrace that identity anyway.