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Destinations > UK > South East > Canterbury guide

Canterbury is a famous and renowned city for many reasons, one of these being "The Canterbury Tales" by the famous author Geoffrey Chaucer. However Canterbury has been a significant city in England's history since its early beginnings as the Roman settlement of Durovernum. In AD 597 St Augustine came to Canterbury to re-establish Christianity. Today the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury Cathedral, and England's oldest parish church St Martin, make up the city's amazing World Heritage Site.

Canterbury is without a doubt a beautiful city, with some wonderful architecture and historical buildings and features. There are several beautiful gardens and river side walks, or you can see the city from the sky in a hot-air balloon, or keep your feet on the ground and enjoy a tour from a Victorian horse drawn carriage. What ever you interest weather you wish to discover the culture and the heritage or relax and enjoy this delightful city you will not be disappointed.

Canterbury is also great for shopping, there are famous name stores, exclusive boutiques and specialist shops. With plenty of restaurants and pubs, (many of which also serve good food), there is plenty to keep yourself entertained what ever your age or interests.

The surrounding area of Canterbury is also impressive. You can enjoy the peaceful countryside setting of the quaint villages or head to some of the more renowned seaside towns. Canterbury's near neighbor of Herne Bay, was ones the haunt of smugglers and later became a fashionable holiday destination for the Victorians. Today Herne Bay is a hospitable seaside town with safe beaches and sailing waters.

Seven miles from Canterbury lies the popular harbor town of Whitstable. Known as the 'Pearl of Kent' it is famous for its oysters, as well as a lively contemporary art scene.

Canterbury itself is excellent for finding your way around. There are many well sign posted streets that allow you to find your way quickly, as travelling by foot is the best way to see the city. By foot you can fully appreciate the ancient buildings and narrow cobbled Lanes which are manly in the pedestrianised areas. Canterbury is just waiting to be explored and discovered.

Find a hotel


Royal Museum and Art Gallery
Location: High Street Canterbury
Telephone: 01227 45 27 47

Canterbury Environment Center
This converted medieval church has retained many of its original features and is now host for many shows, events and exhibitions.
Location: St Alphege Lane (Off palace Street)
Telephone: 01227 45 70 09

Marlowe Theater
Telephone: 01227 78 77 87

Gulbenkian Theater
Location: The Friars
Telephone: 01227 76 90 75



The Canterbury Tales
Take yourself back in time to 1396 on this Medieval adventure.
Location: St Margaret Street
Telephone: 01227 47 92 27

Roman Museum
Durovernum Cantiacorum was the name given to Canterbury by the Romans. The Museum itself is built around the remains of a Roman town House with beautiful mosaics. There is a hand on area were, visitors are encouraged to pick up and feel genuine artifacts.
Location: Butchery Lane
Telephone: 01227 78 55 75

Canterbury Castle
Explore the remains of a Norman Castle Keep.
Location: Castle Street
Telephone: 01227 76 65 67

The Chaucer Center
Housed in a 15th century building you can explore and discover the world of the Author of the famous 'Canterbury Tales'.
Location: 22-23 St Peter's Street
Telephone: 01227 47 03 79

Eastbridge Hospital
A Medieval pilgrim's hospital with undercroft, refectory and two chapels, plus a fine 12th century wall painting of Christ still partly visible.
Location: High Street
Telephone: 01227 47 16 88

West Gate Museum
Explore one of England's finest medieval fortified gatehouses with defensive features, including 'murder holes' and battlements, which from the top offer panoramic views of the city.
Location: St Peters Street
Telephone: 01227 45 27 47

Discover this 13th century building that spans the river Stour and is the only surviving part of the original friary.
Location: Stour Street
Telephone: 01227 46 23 95

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and is one of the finest examples of ecclesiastical architecture in England. It is the Country' first Cathedral and was founded in 597AD by St Augustine shortly after he arrived from Rome. The present structure began in 1071 by Archbishop Lanfranc.
Location: The Precincts
Telephone: 01227 76 28 62

St Augustine's Abbey
This Abbey was founded in 598 by St Augustine and is at the very roots of Christianity in England. It has been a monastic site for almost 1000 years.
Location: Longport Road

St Martin's Church
This amassing church has an even more amassing history. It dates from the Roman times and is the oldest parish church in England and still in constant use. There is a rich history of Kings and Queens, it is also were St Augustine came to worship before he was able to establish a monastery of his own.

Canterbury Heritage Museum
Housed in a marvelous building with medieval interiors, this museum offers a fascinating insight the history of the city from the Romans. Plus the amassing story of Rupert the Bear with original illustrations by his creator the local artist Mary Tourtel.
Location: Stour Street
Telephone: 01227 45 27 47



Canterbury is renowned for its ancient buildings and narrow cobbled streets, its history is even more colorful. Canterbury, without a doubt is England most famous Cathedral City and has been welcoming visitors for many centuries long before the present structure of the cathedral itself. St Augustine founded the cathedral in 597AD shortly after he arrived from Rome, it was the country's first cathedral. Archbishop Lanfranc began the present structure that dominates the city's skyline in 1071. Today the cathedral is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and in its Romanesque crypt houses the tombs of Henry IV and The Black Prince, son of Edward III. All over Canterbury from the cathedral, St Augustine Abbey to St Martins Church you will find places of worship brought or greatly influenced by St Augustine himself, who is said to have founded the very roots of Christianity in England.

Before this the Romans knew Canterbury as Durovernum Cantiacorum.Little remains of what was a large Roman town, but at the Roman Museum in Canterbury you can learn about Durovernum Cantiacorum. The museum itself is built around the ruins of a Roman Town house that still has some beautiful mosaics.

Canterbury also has a Norman Castle and one of England's finest medieval fortified gatehouses.



There are ample sporting facilities in Canterbury, from leisure centers to cycling along the river. In the coastal towns you will find watersports and water activities available. The surrounding area of Canterbury is simply stunning both in its scenery and its wildlife. Here you can enjoy a picnic in the country and a leisurely stroll, a good walk or bike ride, or simply tour the quaint picture postcard villages. There is also plenty to discover on the coast from the seaside towns to the villages.



There are many delightful Pubs, Bars and Cafes in Canterbury. You will find everything from traditional ale pubs to modern lively bars. There are also a lot of family pubs that serve good food. If you head into the countryside you are sure to find some unique village pubs with there own historical tales. Why not hit the seaside resorts for a lively fun packed time.

Canterbury offers it all from pitchers of cocktails to speckled hen




Canterbury has plenty of places to choice from for restaurants, with different me


Location: 52 Dover Street
Telephone: 01227 764 062

Location: 1-2 Adelaide Place
Telephone: 01227 463 447

Location: 6-7 Upper Bridge Street
Telephone: 01227 788 818

Fish and Chips

Sizzles Fish & Chips
Location: 24 St Peters Street
Telephone: 01227 464 923

Papa's Fish Bar
Location: 33 Wincheap
Telephone: 01227 761 013

Marino Fish Bar
Location: 70 St Dunstan's Street
Telephone: 01227 452 828


Café Rouge
Location: 53 St Peters Street
Telephone: 01227 763 833

La Bonne Cuisine
Location: 71 New Dover Road
Telephone: 01227 450 552

Cate's Brasserie
Location: 4 Church Street St Paul's
Telephone: 01227 456 655


The Tasty Spice
Location: 9 Longport
Telephone: 01227 463 326

Raj Venue
Location: 92 St Dunstan's Street
Telephone: 01227 462 653

Location: 20 Palace Street
Telephone: 01227 462 050

Ghandi Tandoori
Location: 36 Northgate
Telephone: 01227 765 300

Jalsha Tandoori
Location: 74 Wincheap
Telephone: 01227 784 575


II Pozzo
Location: 15 Best Lane
Telephone: 01227 450 154

II Vaticano
Location: 35 St Margaret's Street
Telephone: 01227 765 333

Café Uno
Location: 49A St Peter's Street
Telephone: 01227 479 777

Tuo E Mio's
Location: 16 The Borough
Telephone: 01227 761 471

Café Venezia
Location: Palace Street
Telephone: 01227 787 786

Location: 64 Castle Street
Telephone: 01227 457 538


Chopraya River
Location: 2 Dover Street
Telephone: 01227 462 876Bistro Vietnam
Location: 72 Castle Street
Telephone: 01227 760 022



Canterbury has a large pedestrianised area for shoppers making it safer and more enjoyable in a car free environment. There is also a large amount of shops along the riverside, which are great to amble into and discover their hidden delights. Canterbury is a shopper's paradise, there is everything from high street names to unique boutiques and designer name outlets, all set in wonderful surroundings.




Gatwick and Heathrow Airport are the nearest airports, from there a train ride away from Canterbury.


Canterbury is only 30 minutes drive from the channel ports of Dover and Folkestone. Canterbury is easily accessed by car from the M25, A2, and M20. Ones in the center there are many car parks to choice from in different part of the city, all of which are sign posted. However an easier way to access the city is to use the fast and frequent Park and Ride into the heart of Canterbury. This facilities allows you to park your car for free, then take the short journey right into the heart of the city at a small cost. This is a hassle free way to travel to the center, without the stress of finding places to park. For extra convenience there are two separate park and ride facilities in alternative directions just outside the city. When you drive to Cambridge there are sign post for the park and ride just follow one of these, park and catch one of the frequent buses into the city center, were it stops at various places for your convenience, also picks you up.


Canterbury's bus station is in the center on St George's Lane. Here there are regular services to the local area, and National Express Coach services run all over the U.K. offering a good service from a wide range of pick up points and destinations.
Telephone: National Express - 0990 80 80 80


Canterbury has two train stations, Canterbury East and Canterbury West Station. Both train stations are situated close to the center and there are services to both from all over the U.K. if not direct with good connections. From London by train it is less than 1 1/2 hours to Canterbury and only 2 1/2 hours from Paris via the Ashford International Eurostar Terminal.
Telephone: 0345 48 49 50


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