Canterbury Travel Tips

There's an awful lot to see and do in Canterbury. We think we've done a pretty though job of covering the historic attractions of this wonderful city, now its time for some highly personal tips and observations that I hope will help you to get the most out of your visit.

The first observation that has to made is that Canterbury can get very crowded! There's just no getting away from it; the historic core of the city can look like rush-hour on the Tokyo underground system at times. It's as well to be prepared for this from the very start.

The major crowds congregate outside the entrance to Canterbury Cathedral at Christ Church Gateway, off Butter Market. If you are planning to visit the cathedral, give yourself extra time, especially on a summer afternoon.

Canterbury Cathedral cloisters
Canterbury Cathedral cloisters

Now, the good news. After the cathedral building closes for the day, you can attend choral evensong and afterwards, explore the cathedral precinct, including the exterior of the building, the cloisters, and the rest of the cathedral precincts, without the crowds that throng here during the day. The cloisters can be particularly lovely on a long summer evening. And if you want to photograph the cathedral without the crowds, that's the time to do it.

In fact, I highly recommend walking Canterbury in the evening. The crowds disappear, and you can see more of the historic buildings than you might during the day, without bumping and barging into other people all the time.

Westgate Gardens and the River Stour
Westgate Gardens and the River Stour

Another evening activity to consider is a ghost tour, which run most evenings, when the streets are less crowded. The same company offers daytime history walking tours.

Speaking of walking, the core of historic Canterbury is really quite small, so with a good pair of comfortable shoes you can easily enjoy a walking tour of the entire city in a day. If you fancy something a bit more energetic, I recommend a very attractive walk along the Stour Valley Walk, a signposted long distance trail which follows the course of the Stour river.

Follow the trail only a couple of miles to Fordwich, the ancient port for Canterbury, and see the smallest town hall in Britain, and the mysterious Fordwich Stone, a historical enigma which may be part of the medieval shrine of St Augustine.

Canterbury Historic River Tours leave from the Old Weavers House
Canterbury Historic River Tours leave from the Old Weavers House

As for the River Stour, there are a couple of options for enjoying the city by water. During the summer mobths you can take trips in punts from a mooring at West Gate.

Alternatively, the Canterbury Historic River Tour company operates guided river boat tours from the Old Weaver's House Restaurant on St Peter's Street. Its a very entertaining and enjoyable way to see the historic sights of Canterbury from a different perspective.

Hopefully this will give you some inspiration for your own visit to Canterbury. Its well worth an extended visit to get the most out of this wonderful historic city.

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UK Framed Prints and Canvas Prints

Stunning UK prints for sale by award-winning photographer David Ross, editor of Britain Express, the UK Travel and Heritage Guide.

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Gingerbread Cottage, Canterbury

Gingerbread Cottage

This contemporary cottage rests in Canterbury, Kent and can sleep four people in two bedrooms.
Sleeps 4

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