Follow in the footsteps of Kings, Saints & Scholars
In the heart of the "Garden of England", Canterbury encases so much rich history that even the local King's School can boast of being the oldest in the world.
The historic City of Canterbury is just under a one-hour journey on a train from London and an enjoyable day out for the family.
In no time at all, you’ll be immersing yourselves in all that is quintessentially English in the picturesque county of Kent.
Where is Canterbury
How to get there
- By Train
You can catch a train from London St Pancras to Canterbury West Station, which takes around 1 hour.
- By Car
Canterbury is around 8 miles (12.8km) off Junction 7 of the M2 motorway. Parking: there are a few car parks in and around the city; however, they can be expensive. You may wish to choose ‘Park and Ride’.
Chaucer's Canterbury TalesOn pilgrimage to Thomas Becket's shrine
The collection comprises of 24 tales, each from an individual's perspective of their pilgrimage. Amongst the 24 were a Friar, a Shipman and a Physician.
Chaucer produced fascinating stories of the pilgrim’s lives and their journeys to Thomas Becket's shrine in Canterbury Cathedral.
Geoffrey Chaucer is interred in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey, London.
Arriving at Canterbury CathedralChristchurch Gate at The Buttermarket
Visit some of Kent’s Historic Towns, Villages & Cities
There’s been a murder at Canterbury CathedralThomas Becket was slain by King Henry II’s Knights
Canterbury Cathedral was founded in AD 597; it was unfortunately destroyed by a fire in 1067, a year after the Norman Conquest. The cathedral was rebuilt entirely by 1077 to a design based closely on that of the Abbey of Saint-Étienne in Caen.
Canterbury Cathedral is not only the seat of the leader of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but it is also renowned for the shrine of Thomas Becket.
Did you know?
The King's School, CanterburyThe oldest school in the world
If you're intrigued by Kent's weird and wonderful history, or all unusual stories around the county, then take a peek at "Kent's Strangest Tales".
You won't be able to put it down, you can pick it up for your Kindle or in good old paperback.
The King's Mile, CanterburyExplore the ancient picturesque lanes
Another notable building in the King's Mile is the unique Sun Hotel, a Grade II listed building once visited by Charles Dickens.
The Sun Hotel was formerly The Little Inn, built-in 1503 and featured in the novel ‘David Copperfield’ by Charles Dickens; it became Micawber's ‘Little Inn’.
Escape for a few days
Are you looking for that ‘perfick’ holiday hideaway to relax in while you discover the Garden of England?
After a day exploring the Kent coast and its many historic castles enjoy one of the handpicked properties and unique retreats at Holiday Cottages.
Then came the French Huguenots to CanterburyDiscover the Old Weavers' House by the Great Stour river
During the 17th century, the French-speaking Protestant Huguenots arrived in the UK fleeing persecution. They introduced silk weaving to the City and soon made up 2,000 of Canterbury’s 5,000 population.
There is still a service, in French, held at the Huguenots chapel in Canterbury Cathedral every Sunday at 3:00pm.
If you look further down the High Street, you will see the Westgate
Our Kent road trips
Enter through Canterbury's city gatehouseTo The Tower
The medieval Westgate is the largest surviving city gatehouse in England. It is the last one of Canterbury's seven city gates remaining.
Westgate was constructed in 1380 of Kentish ragstone and still remains in use today as traffic passes through its ancient drum towers.
The original city wall was built around AD 300, while the remaining wall, which is in place today, dates from the 14th-century.
Adjacent to the Westgate Tower is Westgate Gardens, with the Guildhall, the Tower House and a 200-year-old Plane tree within it.
Canterbury has a wide selection of places to eat & drink, from the heartwarming and traditional to the stylish and eclectic.
The Corner House – Set within a 16th Century Coach House in the heart of Canterbury, serving beautiful dishes using delicious Kent sourced produce.
Azouma Restaurant – An independent restaurant creating delectable Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
The Korean Cowgirl – Located just a short stroll from Canterbury Cathedral is a great smokehouse, serving delicious Texan cuisine and Korean fried chicken.
Where to stay in Canterbury
- Canterbury Cathedral Lodge – Fancy something a little different. Why not stay in the heart of the city, within the peaceful and private grounds of Canterbury Cathedral.
- The Hugo - Hotel Concept Canterbury - This central hotel in Canterbury offers room-only accommodation so that you can enjoy a delicious breakfast at a local street-side café.
Canterbury Castle RuinsWilliam the Conqueror's Legacy
Canterbury Castle was then later rebuilt in the early 12th-century of stone. Canterbury Castle was one of three Royal Castles built in Kent during the reign of Henry I. The other two famous fortresses are Rochester Castle and Dover Castle.
Unfortunately, Canterbury Castle has been closed to the public since 2018 due to deteriorating masonry.
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Inspirational and informative post. I expect that a lot more Britons will be exploring British cities over the coming months, due to concerns about travelling abroad in the wake of the coronavirus. Your site has beautiful photos.
Thanks Stuart, there’s some fascinating history in Canterbury and the countryside all around it is beautiful. I think you’re right about home tourism, it’s certainly where will be venturing to in the short term.
The credit goes to Gary for the lovely photos.