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10 Best things to see & do in Canterbury

  • Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Last updated: 15 June, 2024
Expert travel writer: Annabelle Thorpe
  • Canterbury , Kent , United Kingdom (UK)

Exterior of the large cathedral on sunny day

Bucket List Experience

Canterbury Cathedral

The home of the Church of England, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in England. Even non-church lovers can’t fail to be impressed by the sheer scale and ambition of the building, from the 11th-century crypt to the beautiful stained glass in the 12th-century choir.

The site dates back to 597AD and the cathedral, along with the tranquil precincts that surround the medieval buildings, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today it attracts more than 1 million visitors per year.

Adult price: £14

Good for age: 18+

Walk Canterbury’s Roman city walls

  • Canterbury, Kent , United Kingdom (UK)

Defensive Roman city walls with grass field below

Experience

Discover Canterbury’s Roman history with a walk along a stretch of the ancient defensive wall, dating back to the 3rd century AD. The most complete stretch is accessible from Dane John Park, and leads round to the ruins of Canterbury Castle – around half an hour’s walk there and back.

Good for age: 6+

Duration: 30 minutes

Punting on the River Stour

  • Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Tourists punting down narrow stretch of the River Stour lined with Tudor buildings

Experience

Get a different perspective on Canterbury’s historic houses and quiet back streets with a trip along the River Stour; book a guide to do the punting, and sit back and enjoy the views.

Adult price: £10

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 1+ hours

Parrot Pub

  • Canterbury, Kent , United Kingdom (UK)

Old English pub on narrow street

Experience

Pop in for a pint at Canterbury’s oldest pub; a cosy, firelit haunt that has been serving weary travellers – and construction workers on the nearby cathedral – since the 14th century.

Good for age: 18+

The Goods Shed

  • Canterbury, Kent , United Kingdom (UK)

Shoppers in the large market hall of the Goods Shed with multiple stalls

Experience

The first daily farmers’ market in the country, offering fruit and veg straight from the fields, alongside locally produced meats, cheeses and bread, with an excellent on-site cafe. A must-visit for foodies.

Good for age: 18+

Canterbury Festival

  • Canterbury , Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Festival-goers in traditional clothes walking down street

Experience

A two-weeks arts festival taking place annually in the second half of October, bringing together live music, theatre, spoken-word events and street theatre.

Good for age: 8+

Duration: 2 weeks

When: October

Freq: annually

St Martin’s Church

  • Canterbury , Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Bucolic churchyard on a sunny day

Experience

The oldest church in the English-speaking world, St Martin’s is part Roman, part Saxon and part medieval, and has been a place of worship continuously for over 1,400 years.

Good for age: 18+

Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

  • Canterbury , Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Close up of the roof and window of Tudor-style building

Experience

A museum, gallery, library and visitor centre all housed in an elegant, Grade II-listed building, with exhibits including prehistoric artefacts found in and around Canterbury and works by local artists.

Good for age: 18+

Westgate Towers Museum & Viewpoint

  • Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Two ancient stone towers serving as entrance to a city

Experience

Climb to the top of England’s largest surviving medieval gateway for spectacular views across the city’s rooftops, before delving into two thousand years of history in the museum below.

Adult price: £4

Good for age: 8+

St Augustine’s Abbey

  • Canterbury, Kent, United Kingdom (UK)

Ruined abbey surrounded by grass

Experience

Originally created as a burial site for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent, the ruins are a tranquil spot for a quiet walk or picnic, away from the hubbub of the busy High Street.

Adult price: £8

Good for age: 18+