Canterbury Local Information: 10 top things to know... more

  • 1. History

    This historic city marks the start of the Via Francigena: the ancient route from Canterbury to Rome that dates back to AD596. This road to Rome was used by clerics, kings, merchants, and members of the public wanting to make a pilgrimage to the resting places of St Peter and St Paul. Sites of historic significance include the Cathedral, which is the oldest in England, the anci...Read moreent ruins of St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church, and the castle ruins. Read less

  • 2. Now

    Canterbury is a popular tourist destination and offers a great selection of modern facilities and attractions alongside its important heritage sites. It is also close to the holiday destinations of Herne Bay and Whitstable. Canterbury Christchurch Cathedral and Precinct, St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church now all form part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 3. Events

    Worldfest is a four-day event to celebrate the diversity and multiculturalism of the University of Kent and includes interactive workshops, dance classes, language tasters, world market, food, drink, and live music. The Food and Drink Festival takes place in September and includes tasting opportunities, cookery demonstrations by top chefs and much more. The event lasts for thr...Read moreee days and attracts more than 50,000 visitors. The Haymaking Festival, in Canterbury’s Hambrook Marshes, takes place over one day in July and attracts hundreds of people. Events include stalls, entertainment, demonstrations and more. Canterbury Festival is a celebration of arts and culture and takes place over two weeks in October. Events include music, theatre, dance, comedy, exhibitions, walks and talks. Read less

  • 4. Attractions

    Canterbury Cathedral welcomes visitors and offers guided tours, audio tours, behind-the-scenes tours, evening tours and more. Canterbury Heritage Museum includes over 30 hands-on activities, Anglo-Saxon treasures, the real Bagpuss, costumes and much more. The ruins of a Norman castle can be found in Castle Street and visitors can still climb up part of one of its towers. Th...Read moree Canterbury Roman Museum is based underground at Roman street level and includes collections of artefacts, mosaic floors and more. Visitors to The Canterbury Tales take a step back in time inside this reconstruction of 14th century England. Highlights of this attraction include a medieval inn and a reconstruction of the shrine of St Thomas Becket. Howletts Wild Animal Park, on the outskirts of the city, includes a chance to see tigers up close, walk with lemurs, see a herd of elephants, climb through the treetops and more. Wingham Wildlife Park has tigers, lemurs, penguins, reptiles and more. This attraction also has refreshment facilities and a large play area for children. Read less

  • 5. Things To Do

    Visitors to the city can follow part of the Via Francigena ancient trail. This starts beside the south porch of the cathedral and passes through the city and on to Dover. Information leaflets are available. There are a number of different tours and walks available in Canterbury, including guided walks through the city centre, boat trips, ghost tours and a city wall trail.

  • 6. Business

    One of the popular shopping areas in Canterbury is the King’s Mile, which offers many high street brands as well as independent stores. The St Dunstan's, West Gate Towers and Northgate areas are well known for more specialist shops. A general market takes place in St George’s Street in the city centre every Wednesday and Friday. Artisans markets also run every fourth Satur...Read moreday in the month at this location. There are plenty of food and drink outlets in the city to cater for all tastes and budgets. Read less

  • 7. Transport

    Canterbury has easy access to the M20 (M25/M26) and M2 motorways, providing routes to London and its airports. The A2 and A260 connect Canterbury to the port of Dover and the Eurotunnel terminal in Cheriton near Folkestone. The nearest airport is Kent International Airport, which is about 13 miles from the city centre. Canterbury has two main train stations, East and West, of...Read morefering regular services to and from London Charing Cross, London Victoria and the rest of the region. Read less

  • 8. Entertainment

    The Gulbenkian Cinema is an independent film theatre that shows blockbusters as well as independent films and world cinema. The Marlowe theatre offers West End musicals, drama, international opera and ballet, classical music, stand-up comedy, music gigs, children's shows and pantomime. This modern venue was opened in 2011.

  • 9. Famous Landmarks

    Canterbury cathedral is a prominent mark on the city’s skyline and houses a Romanesque crypt from the 11th century, a 12th century Gothic Quire and a 14th Century perpendicular nave, as well as medieval stained glass windows. St Augustine’s Abbey sits outside the city walls and is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site. This was originally created as a burial place fo...Read morer the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent. Read less

  • 10. Interesting Fact

    In 1170, Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in Canterbury Cathedral and this story was famously told in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. Thousands of pilgrims travel to the site every year as a result of this.

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