In Canterbury, in nearby country villages, and in lively coastal resort towns, you can stay in boutique townhouses, village inns, and seaside hotels. You'll also find a range of guesthouses and bed and breakfasts offering friendly Kentish hospitality.
The Canterbury shopping scene is a great mix of past and present. The bulk of the action is found downtown, where charming narrow walkways, brick-paved streets, and historic relics may add a touch of reverence to your window shopping. You’ll also find charming storefronts housing a blend of contemporary boutique shops and popular modern stores featuring the hottest fashions and the coolest trends.
You should start your pilgrimage through Canterbury at its magnificent cathedral, the oldest in England. You'll find Canterbury's top attractions clustered within a few blocks of the cathedral. Above all, the city celebrates its medieval heritage. You'll also find venues that focus on Canterbury's ancient and modern history, from the pre-Roman period to the present day.
Many visitors know Canterbury through Geoffrey Chaucer's tales of medieval pilgrims, telling stories en route to the city's great cathedral. Chaucer remains a heritage attraction here, but it's still the cathedral that draws most people to Canterbury, and there are plenty more historic sights nearby. For a break from the Middle Ages, you can visit sandy beaches and explore pretty countryside around the Kentish hinterland.
Famed in the 1960s as the birthplace of bands like Soft Machine and Caravan, the small city of Canterbury is still a big deal among rock and pop performers. You can hear them at top venues like the Spitfire Ground, which also hosts cricket. Canterbury has more intimate venues too, presenting comedy, live jazz, and folk music. You'll also hear live bands at pubs and bars in places like Whitstable.
Canterbury’s quaint narrow streets and historic buildings provide plenty of opportunities for family fun. The city makes a point of bringing its rich medieval past to life in ways that engage children and grown-ups, with most of the main sights and attractions within walking distance of downtown.
There's a flourishing visual and performing arts scene in and around Canterbury. You can enjoy drama at acclaimed theatres in the city centre, while Canterbury Cathedral is a grand venue for performances of classical and sacred music. If you're passionate about English literature, you'll find attractions in Canterbury and Rochester dedicated to Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles Dickens, 2 great writers closely associated with Kent.
Seafood from the Thames Estuary and English Channel finds its way onto many menus in and around Canterbury. Whitstable oysters and Dover sole are regional favorites. But there's also plenty of room for mutton grazed on salty estuarine meadows. Look out for sweet pastries plumped with plums, pears, and cherries from Kent orchards.
Less than an hour from London by car or train, Canterbury is a gateway to the county of Kent. Close to the shores of the Thames Estuary and the English Channel, it's surrounded by lush countryside. Historic castles and charming seaside towns are on your doorstep when you stay here.
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