With a history stretching back before Roman times, this small but cosmopolitan city of 40,000 residents is worth an extended visit – not least to appreciate the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion.
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- Canterbury Cathedral
- A UNESCO World Heritage Site – consisting of the cathedral, the ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church (the oldest church in England)
- City walls – founded in Roman times but rebuilt in the 14th century. You can walk along a section of the walls to the Dane John Gardens, the city’s most popular park
- Canterbury Castle, of Norman origin
- Roman museum
- The Canterbury Tales – “a stunningly accurate recreation of medieval life”
- Sir John Boys House – an amazingly crooked 17th century building
- A guided river tour along the Stour
- Ghost tour – by day or by night
- Shopping in the King’s Mile district
- The seaside towns of Herne Bay and Whitstable, the latter famous for its annual oyster festival
- Howletts Wild Animal Park, in nearby Bekesbourne
Location and getting there
Canterbury lies on the River Stour, in East Kent, to the south-east of London (see our interactive map).
The city has two railway stations, Canterbury East and Canterbury West, both of which are an easy walk from the city centre. High-speed trains fun from London St Pancras to Canterbury West in less than an hour, while slower trains run from London Charing Cross to Canterbury East (around 90 minutes).
Alternatively take a National Express coach from London Victoria Coach Station for a potentially cheaper journey (from one hour 45 minutes).
The nearest airport to Canterbury is Manston, ‘Kent’s international airport’, 14 miles from the city centre. It offers flights to European destinations including Holland, Italy, Portugal and the French Riviera.
Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170 by knights of King Henry II. As a result the cathedral became a place of Christian pilgrimage – the pilgrims in Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century classic The Canterbury Tales were travelling to Becket’s shrine.
Canterbury was also the birthplace of the famous poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593), who was killed at the age of 29.
This mini-calendar shows events taking place in and around Canterbury. For events at cathedral cities across the UK, please see our main Cathedral City Calendar.
Using an iPhone? Please hold your phone horizontally for the best results with our calendar.
- Canterbury Tourism Website
- Canterbury on Google Maps
- Photos of Canterbury on Flickr
- Canterbury hotels with Booking.com
- Canterbury restaurants with Restaurant-Guide.com
- Twitter list for Canterbury by Cathedral City Guide
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