A quintessential cathedral city in the heart of Kent, Canterbury is considered a triple threat for its alluring combination of city, country and coastal attractions. Boasting a plethora of historic churches and abbeys, heritage attractions around every corner, peaceful walks and river cruises, and lovely beaches close by, you’re sure to leave Canterbury a little more culturally enriched and a lot more relaxed to boot.
A city steeped in the history of the Church of England, Canterbury is well known for its fascinating heritage and well-preserved religious sites. A visit to this stunning city would not be complete without a tour around Canterbury Cathedral, arguably one of the most famous Christian buildings in England. Also, be sure to stop off at St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church to take in their stunning English architecture, which dates back to the 6th century.
For a taste of Great Britain’s great outdoors, Canterbury caters for beachgoers and adventurers alike. Less than 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre you’ll find the seaside gems of Whitstable and Herne Bay. Whitstable is one of the country’s most picturesque fishing villages, while Herne Bay offers over 3 kilometres of spectacular British seafront. Don’t miss a perfect holiday photo opportunity on the picturesque Herne Bay Pier.
If you fancy being more active on your holiday, Canterbury offers no shortage of outdoor pursuits. Get set to walk, cycle or even canoe around some of the city’s most historic landmarks. Want more? Head to the award-winning walking and cycling route of Crab and Winkle Way, which runs between Canterbury and Whitstable, for a quintessential British countryside experience.
Eat and Drink
If you’re in the market for a diverse range of bars and cuisines, Canterbury will not disappoint. Buzzing with delightful tearooms, charming fish and chips bars and traditional English pubs, there’s a venue to suit all ages, budgets and taste buds in Canterbury.
Sample all the delights the city and surrounds have to offer, with international cuisine in the city centre, pub grub in Whitstable, and a fresh fish supper in Herne Bay. Those seeking to wet the whistle with a beer should make a beeline for the St Dunstan’s area, which is home to some excellent English pubs. Head back into the centre of Canterbury for bigger bars and clubs that are open until late.
Where to Stay
With Canterbury’s abundance of historic buildings, picture-perfect rivers and lush greenery, accommodation in any part of the city will offer good proximity to natural and heritage delights. Classic and cosy British guesthouses and quaint bed and breakfasts are popular choices for couples and small families, while the abundant self-catering properties and hotels will appeal to larger groups. The beauty of the surrounding countryside lures many travellers to the city’s campsites and caravan parks as well.
For a day of retail therapy make a beeline for Canterbury’s Whitefriars Shopping Centre, where you’ll find all your favourite high street brands. The city centre offers a lovely range of independent outlets – but be prepared for your credit card to take a hit. The boho charms of Whitstable are hard to resist, where boutique shopping is at its finest on Harbour Street. Swing by the Herne Bay Pier Retail Village to pick up some quirky curios before browsing the beautiful individual stores that the town centre has to offer. Popular weekly markets operate across Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay, all offering the best in fresh regional fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Canterbury Like a Local
For a quintessentially British experience, pack a picnic and head to St Lawrence Ground for an enjoyable afternoon of cricket on one of the grassy banks. To soak up some local nature head to Hambrook Marshes, a relatively unknown riverside spot, for a quick country escape just outside the city centre. Finish your afternoon with a pot of tea or a pint of beer.