What to See and Do in Canterbury - Walks and Tours Through a Medieval City

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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.

Canterbury's historic churches


The parent church of Anglicanism dominates Canterbury's city centre. While Canterbury Cathedral was founded in the early 7th century, the church you see today was begun in 1070, and its high campanile, Bell Harry, wasn't completed until 1505. The Altar of Sword's Point, a modern steel sculpture, marks the spot where 4 knights murdered Archbishop Thomas Becket in 1170. Stained glass and delicate masonry add to the cathedral's serene charm. A couple of blocks west, Greyfriars Chapel is the last, quaint relic of England's first Franciscan friary, founded in 1224.


Walking tours in Canterbury


You can hear tales of real and imagined characters while strolling around the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral with Canterbury Guided Tours. Then you can follow in the footsteps of devout medieval visitors to old pilgrim inns in the historic centre of town. For a spine-chilling experience, join a Canterbury Ghost Tour to explore darker corners of the city's past.


  • Canterbury Guided Tours, 12-13 Bow Street, Canterbury CT1 2HX; Tel: +44 1227 459 779; Website: Canterbury Guided Tours

  • Canterbury Ghost Tour, 38 St Margarets Street, Canterbury CT1 2TY; Tel: +44 845 519 0267; Website: Canterbury Ghost Tour


Boat trips in Canterbury


The waterways of the River Stour flow through Canterbury's historic centre. You can find out how the Stour has shaped the city since Roman times by taking a narrated river trip with Canterbury Historic River Tours. Or you can pole your own punt and paddle your own canoe around town with Westgate Punts. You'll find both companies in the town centre.



Cycling around Canterbury


Canterbury and its surrounds are ideal for the idle cyclist. Most of Kent is flat as a pancake, so even on a summer day you won't break a sweat riding around the city and into the countryside. Companies like Kent Cycle Hire rent bikes in Canterbury and nearby seaside resorts like Whitstable. For an even easier ride around Canterbury's Kentish hinterland, you can rent bikes with electric booster motors from UK Electric Bike Tours.


  • Kent Cycle Hire, House of St. Agnes Hotel, 71 St. Dunstan's Street, Canterbury CT2 8BN; Tel: +44 1227 388 058; Website: Kent Cycle Hire

  • UK Electric Bike Tours, Bloomsbury Retreat, Sissinghurst Road, Biddenden TN 27 8DQ; Tel: +44 1580 892 259; Website: UK Electric Bike Tours


Canterbury's Museums


Canterbury's medieval heritage occupies a central place in the city's story, though deeper, older history is also recorded within local landmarks like Canterbury Heritage Museum. Inside one of England's finest medieval buildings, you'll find displays on Kentish prehistory, industrial heritage, and creative talent. A few short blocks away, Canterbury Roman Museum exposes the remains of Durovernum, an early outposts of the Roman Empire in Britain.


  • Canterbury Heritage, Stour Street, Canterbury CT1 2NR; Tel: +44 1227 475 202; Website: Canterbury Heritage

  • Canterbury Roman Museum, 11A Butchery Lane Canterbury CT1 2JR; Tel: +44 1227 785 575; Website: Canterbury Roman Museum