TOP 5 : Things To Do In Canterbury

Canterbury is a historical city based in the district of Kent. The city has thrived with its medieval culture. Today, it is one of England’s most visited tourist spots. Canterbury is small, but you can easily spend a day or two visiting the best sites. Here are Top 5 Things To Do In Canterbury.

 1. Canterbury Castle

History
Canterbury Castle was built by William the Conqueror around 1070, who also established three other castles at Rochester and Dover. The castle fell into ruins by the 17th century and was used to store coal and coke in 1825. As the years went on, the castle slowly deteriorated. Thankfully it was purchased by the Canterbury City Council who restored its condition.

The Visit
There is not much interior left of the castle, although the floored timbers help guide your way on the grounds. One of the towers still remains to this day so you can climb the stairs to get a more wider picture of the castle.

Top Tips
➳ If you’re planning to stay the weekend in Canterbury why not book a hotel opposite the castle? Castle House Hotel is a 3* metro hotel that has an easy access to two railway stations and is a short walk away to the main town. I’ve been fortunate to have stayed at this lovely hotel, I will soon do a review on it.

Visiting Details
Prices: Free Entry
Opening: From dawn until dusk
Address: Canterbury Cathedral, Cathedral House, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2PR

 2. Westgate Tower & Gardens

History
Westgate Gardens is situated alongside the Westgate Towers. The gardens follow a trail where the city walls were build, but was destroyed by Cromwell’s army in 1641. In 1936, Tower House was presented to Catherine Williamson, the first female mayor. After her death, the house was presented to the city council.

The Visit
The garden is alongside the River Stour where you can enjoy a picturesque view of the park. In the summer you can enjoy a boat trip along the river.

Fun Fact
➳ There is a 200 year old 25 feet wide Oriental Plane Tree located in the gardens. It was rumoured that the tree engulfed a metal bench.

Visiting Details
Prices: Free Entry
Opening: From dawn until dusk
Address: Westgate Grove, Canterbury CT1 2BQ

3. Canterbury Cathedral

History
Canterbury Cathedral 
was first build around 597 by St Augustine who become the first Archbishop of Canterbury. It was attracted by many pilgrims after the death of Thomas Becket by Henry II’s four knights in 1170. Two years later, the cathedral was destroyed by a huge fire in 1172. William of Sens and his successor rebuild the cathedral to a more gothic structure. This is what we see today.

The Visit
Follow the footsteps of the pilgrims under this stunning old interior. The stairs and floors have been worn out by the feet and knees of the pilgrims, but you can still detect the markings to this day. The stained windows dates back from 1180 where you can get a nice glimpse of the medieval history as well its rich colours.

Fun Fact
➳ The cathedral costs £12k a day to run without government funds.

Visiting Details
Prices: Adult £12 | Children (under 18) £8.00 | Concessions (65+) £10.50
Opening: Summer – 9am – 5pm | Winter 9am – 5.30pm
Address: Cathedral House, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury CT1 2EH

4. Christ Church Gate

History
The main entrance to Canterbury Cathedral was built by Prior Goldstone between 1504 and 1521. It was originally built to celebrate the marriage of Price Arthur and Catherine of Aragon in 1501. The prince sadly passed away months after, delaying the construction of the gate. It was completed 20 years later. The gates was destroyed in 1643, but Archbishop Juxon restored them in 1660. However the Christ statue did not get replaced until 1990.

The Visit
The stone structure has a variety of beautifully carved heraldic symbols and coat of arms. Can you recognise them?

Fun Fact
➳ The inscription reads “Hoc Opus constructum est anno Domini  millesimo Quingentesimo decimo septimo”

Visiting Details
Prices: Free Entry (The ticket office is inside the gates. This is the section where you need a ticket to enter the cathedral)
Opening: It’s free to go through the gates in the evening.
Address: Buttermarket (North Side)

5. The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

History
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge
 is an art museum and library, which was designed and built by A.H. Campbell in 1897. It officially opened in 1899. It is homed to one of Canterbury’s famous artists including Thomas Sidney Cooper who was a Victorian animal painter.

The Visit
The museum holds over 1000 objects which is showcased in the permanent and temporary exhibitions. When I arrived to Canterbury I was lucky enough to see their Star Wars exhibition. The display ranged from the original toys (1970s) to old movie posters.

Fun Fact
➳ The museum took its name from Dr James George Beaney who gave most of his will money to the city of Canterbury. The money helped fund and build the museum.

Visiting Details
Prices: Free Entry
Opening: 9am – 5pm (Sun 10am – 5pm)
Address: 18 High Street, Canterbury, Kent, England, CT1 2RA

Honourable Mentions

➳ Howletts Wild Animal Park
➳ Chilham Village
➳ St. Augustine’s Abbey
➳ The Canterbury Tales
➳ Canterbury City Walls

 

 

 

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