12 most popular tourist attractions in Canterbury


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With the guide of our site it will be easier for you to deal with the most interesting places in England. The main attractions of Canterbury will not leave you indifferent, many of them are unique historical relics. The connection with the history of the state is reflected in the architectural design of some buildings, so you can feel it just by walking around the surroundings. read more

Of course, it is mandatory to visit the most famous sights of Canterbury, since the saying that it is better to see once than hear a hundred times is fully justified. Do not forget to take beautiful photos and a modern selfie on their background. However, not only historical places deserve attention. You can also visit the new attractions of Canterbury, which reflect the modern culture of the people.

Traveling on your own, without a guide, be sure to schedule your “visits” to the most interesting places in this city. The rating of attractions is available on our website. You can read reviews and get something for yourself. It’s better to think about where you’d like to go in advance. Not all establishments work every day, and some open only for a few hours. Canterbury, whose attractions map is available on our online guide, has made a lasting impression on you. And if you want to leave messages about your impressions after the trip, we will only be happy about it! Supplement our information, write reviews about the attractions of Canterbury, photos of which you will take during a visit to this city. Perhaps they will help other tourists to decide on visiting interesting places in this country.

Where to stay in Canterbury for sightseeing

We recommend these convenient Canterbury hotels near points of interest like Canterbury Cathedral:

    ABode Canterbury: 4-star luxury hotel, central location, professional staff, traditional room decor, modern bathrooms.

  • Canterbury Cathedral Lodge: average price overlooking the cathedral, free English breakfast, lovely garden, library and lounge.
  • Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel: affordable prices, scattered areas, antique style, jacuzzi.
  • Premier Inn Canterbury City Center Hotel: budget hotel, modern decor, comfortable rooms, multilingual staff.


    In ancient times, Canterbury stood at the mouth of the Stour River, which here flowed into the strait separating the island of Thanet from Britain. Subsequently, the strait became clogged, and Canterbury was located far from the sea, 23 km northwest of the port of Dover. Roman Emperor Claudius during the conquest of Britain in 43 on the site of the Celtic settlement laid the Roman city Doververnum Cantiacorum. A road passed through the city from Dover to London, now known as Watling Street.

    In the VI century, Canterbury became the residence of the King of Kent Ethelbert and his wife, Christian Berthe. The latter cordially welcomed to Canterbury the missionary sent by Pope Gregory I, Augustine of Canterbury. He founded the abbey of St. Augustine at the royal court, and later laid the foundation of Canterbury Cathedral, which became the main temple of the Kingdom of Kent, and later of the whole of England. The chapel of Queen Berta, now the church of St. Martin, is still preserved.

    In the Middle Ages, Canterbury remained the main religious center of England. In the 11th century, it served as a target for attacks by the Danes, led by Knud.

    In 1170, in the Canterbury Cathedral, the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket took place, for which four years later, King Henry II Plantagenet repented here. Thomas was counted among the saints, and a continuous stream of pilgrims went to his relics, which required many inns to accommodate. A picture of the life of medieval Canterbury is painted in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

    The English Reformation led to a ban on the veneration of Becket and the dissolution of monasteries. The decline of the city was halted by the emigration of the Huguenots from France, whose main specialization was weaving. The city center suffered from the bombing of World War II. In 1965, the University of Kent was founded. In addition, the city has a private Kings School, established by Henry VIII in 1547 and claiming to be the oldest school in Europe.

    Canterbury has traditionally had 22 parish churches. Three of the objects of worship - Canterbury Cathedral, the Abbey of St. Augustine and the Church of St. Martin - are under the protection of UNESCO, forming together a World Heritage Site. Fragments of the ancient Roman walls, built in the Middle Ages, are also preserved. The Canterbury Castle, erected shortly after the Norman Conquest, now stands in ruins.

    In Canterbury, pilgrims try to visit five Christian attractions. First of all, this is the Canterbury Cathedral of the XII century, the main Anglican temple of Great Britain. It has been one of Britain's most visited buildings for nearly 800 years. More than a million people come here every year. Of the Orthodox shrines here are stored the relics of St. Dunstan - one of the most successful Canterbury bishops who ruled from 959 to 988. Near the cathedral are the ruins of the abbey of St. Augustine, whose monks played a significant role in the religious life of Britain (among them the "Apostle of the English" St. Augustine, who converted to Christianity more than ten thousand people, including the English king Ethelbert, St. Theodore of Tarsus, St. Adrian ) Thirdly, the oldest British church of St. Martin, in which St. Augustine lived while the abbey was being built. Fourth, the Catholic Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, which houses part of the relics of Thomas Becket. And the last - the Anglican Church of St. Dunstan, which contains the relics of the martyr St. Thomas More (canonized by the Catholic Church) - an English statesman, better known in Russia as a philosopher writer, author of Utopia.

    Canterbury Short Description

    With the collapse of the Roman Empire came the Saxons, who renamed the city Kentuorebirig (Cantwarabyrig). It was the Saxon king Itelbert in 597 who greeted Augustine, sent by the Pope, to convert the inhabitants of the British Isles to Christianity. By the time he died, Augustine had already founded two monasteries of the Benedictine order, one of which was Christ Church (the "Church of Christ"), erected on the site of a Roman church, and later became the first cathedral in England.

    At the beginning of the first millennium, the English city of Canterbury underwent constant raids by the Danes until Canute, recently converted to Christianity, rebuilt the destroyed Church of Christ Church, which then burned down during a fire a year before the Norman invasion. Since Christianity became an instrument of power, a struggle began between the archbishops, the abbots from the nearby Benedictine monastery and King Henry II.

    This struggle culminated in the assassination of Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170 - a sacrifice that helped establish the autonomy of the archbishops and made his tomb one of the main Christian shrines. Jeffrey Chaucer, in his Canterbury Tales, written at the end of the fourteenth century, describes a surprisingly solemn pilgrimage to Becket’s grave, which was later plundered and destroyed by order of King Henry VIII.

    In 1830, the first passenger railway connected Canterbury with the sea, and since then the city has flourished until June 1, 1942, it was heavily bombed during one of the notorious Bedecker raids. It was a Nazi plan to destroy the main historical places in Britain, as it was described by a German author, by whose name these raids began to be called. Today, the cathedral and the compact city center, surrounded on three sides by medieval walls, remain a place of pilgrimage for vacationers from around the world.

    Arrival and sightseeing in Canterbury

    Canterbury has two railway stations: East Canterbury for communications with London Victoria and the Dover Monastery, and West Canterbury for communications with London Charing Cross and Thanet Island. The stations are located south and southeast of the city center, each at a 10-minute walk from the cathedral. Intercity and local buses leave from the bus station for St. George's Lane.

    Those who travel by car should keep in mind that finding a parking space can be difficult, and it is best to use the ones designated by Park-and-Ride, on Wincheap, Sturry Road ) and New Dover Road. A lively tour desk is located on Butter Market, 12-13 Sun Street (January-Easter Monday-Saturday 10.00-16.00, Easter-October Monday-Saturday 9.30-17.00, Sunday 10.00-16.00, November-December daily 10.00- 16.00), opposite the main entrance to the cathedral.

    The Canterbury Center for the Environment (Tuesday-Friday 10.00-17.00, Sunday 10.00-16.00) in the premises of the church adapted for this, next to the cathedral on Alphege’s Lane, publishes, for a small fee, a series of detailed descriptions of walks in historical places. If you intend to visit any local museums, it may be worth buying a museum passport (£ 3.50), which gives you the right to enter the Canterbury Museum, the Roman Museum and the Westgate Museum. It can be bought at the ticket office of each of these museums. You can rent a bike at Downland Cycle Hire or at West Canterbury Rail Station. You can access the Internet at Dot Cafe at 21 Saint Dunstan’s Street (Monday-Saturday 10.00-19.00, Sunday 11.00-19.00).

    The English city of Canterbury is a fairly small city, and you can freely navigate it, but there are various excursions. Sightseeing in England's local attractions includes open bus excursions that start from the West Gate (mid June Saturday and Sunday, July, August and September daily 10.00-16.00, £ 6). Guided tours of the Guild of Guides (April-June, September and October daily at 14.00, July and August also at 11.30, one and a half hours, £ 3.75) are sent from the tourist office.

    The guide will give you detailed and detailed information. The Ghosts of Old Canterbury tour (Friday and Saturday all year round at 8 p.m., 1 a.m., £ 5) is a spicy mix of supernatural and local folklore. Before departure, pick up opposite the Alberry’s Wine Bar in St. Margaret Street. Another alternative is a boat tour of the historic sites along the Staur River (April-October Monday-Saturday 10.00-17.00, Sunday 11.00-16.00, 5 £). Or you can ride in a carriage (April-September, most days 13.00-17.00, 25 minutes, the minimum price for the crew is 10 £), which depart from County Hotel on Stour Street.

    Canterbury nightlife and entertainment

    Canterbury has little nightly entertainment, as you can see from the free magazine What, Where and When, available at the travel agency. Opposite East Canterbury Station, at 15 Station Road East, there are three nightclubs in the same building: Baa Bars, which is also open during the day, Works, which plays pop and rhythm and blues, as well as the more civilized Bizz. At the other end of the city, the University holds good concerts.

    The University also houses the Gulbenkian Theater, which hosts various cultural events, as well as the Marlowe Theater, named after the 16th-century playwright - a native of Canterbury. At Northgate, the Penny Theater presents local and global live music. Finally, there is the Canterbury Festival (Canterbury Festival) - a mixture of music, theater and art, which takes place over two weeks in October.