Are you looking for an unforgettable travel experience? Look no further than Canterbury, England. This beautiful city offers visitors a wealth of exciting activities and attractions to explore.
From the awe-inspiring architecture of Canterbury Cathedral and its nearby castle to the vibrant shopping scene with unique boutiques, markets, and eateries, there’s something for everyone here.
Enjoy outdoor activities such as walking through lush parks or exploring trails while taking in stunning views along the way. Experience local culture by visiting museums or joining guided tours that will reveal secrets about this ancient city’s history.
No matter what brings you to Canterbury, one thing is certain: You won’t forget your visit. So come discover all that this magical place has to offer – it’s sure to be an unforgettable adventure.
The Early History
For centuries, the Canterbury area has been filled with evidence of its long history. Archaeological findings from Lower Paleolithic axes to Bronze Age pots showcase how this region was settled and inhabited as far back as prehistoric times.
The roots of modern-day Canterbury stem from the Celtic tribe, Cantiaci – a group who lived in what is now known today as Kent.
In the 1st century AD however, due to strategic importance being placed upon it by Romans for its position on Watling Street, they captured the settlement and named it Durovernum Cantiacorum.
To defend against attack, during the late 3rd century their reconstructed city which included new streets laid out according to a grid pattern along with a theatre, temple forum, and public baths a city wall was built which ensured safety for citizens living there at that time.
Roll of the Archbishop of Canterbury
Saint Augustine of Canterbury was the first archbishop. He had originally been sent from Rome to Kent by Pope Gregory I. Saint Augustine was only accepted after King Æthelbert’s conversion to Christianity around 598 AD.
It appears that Pope Gregory had planned for the new appointment but was unaware of recent events in the ancient Roman province, particularly the growth of the Pelagian heresy. For political reasons, Canterbury was ultimately chosen instead of London.
A gospel book believed to be directly associated with St Augustine’s mission still survives to this day in the Parker Library, at the University of Cambridge.
The book is catalogued as Cambridge Manuscript 286, it has been positively dated to 6th-century Italy and this bound book, the St Augustine Gospels, is still used during the swearing-in ceremony of new archbishops of Canterbury.
What to See
Visitors should make a point of checking out Canterbury Cathedral, an incredibly beautiful building with over 1500 years worth of history within its formidable walls.
Canterbury Castle is another popular stop on the itinerary – built in 1066 by William the Conqueror, visitors can explore centuries-old moats and impressive ruins.
There are also several fascinating museums to visit, such as the Canterbury Heritage Museum or Canterbury Roman Museum, depending on your preference for exploring Canterbury’s rich past.
For a more contemporary experience, take a stroll down King Street to browse Canterbury’s collection of independent shops and attractions that won’t disappoint.
Where to Eat
Canterbury has an abundance of restaurants offering traditional fare so visitors can enjoy a range of delicious dishes. Here are just five of the better-known spots for local cuisine:
1. The Crown Inn, a pub where diners can enjoy modern European dishes with wine or beer in relaxed and tasteful surroundings – perfect for that classic Canterbury dining experience!
2. The Curlew GastroPub, is home to an extensive selection of beers and wines and delicious locally sourced British classics. Dungeons’ Seafood Emporium offers succulent fish dishes and great views over Canterbury, while Sals Restaurant prides itself on serving fresh Mediterranean specialties with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients.
3. Fremlin Walk Restaurant & Bar, is a contemporary Italian-inspired eatery with friendly staff ready to serve up sumptuous dishes.
4. The Bistro at Canterbury, Cathedral Lodge. This popular eatery serves up classic British dishes with a modern twist, all made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Enjoy a hearty Sunday lunch or relax with a glass of wine and some light bites in their cosy lounge bar.
5. The Mile Cafe & Bar is located within the grounds of Sibton Park Estate. This charming cafe offers an ever-changing seasonal menu that celebrates regional produce and flavors from around Kent. From indulgent afternoon teas to delicious dinner options, they have something to suit everyone’s taste buds.
Canterbury boasts many parks and trails that are perfect for exploring the outdoors. From nature walks through lush green woods to hill treks with breath-taking panoramic views, Canterbury has plenty to offer outdoor enthusiasts.
Canterbury’s Priory Park offers stunning views over Canterbury Cathedral, as well as wide open grassy areas ideal for long summer days and picnics.
Stodmarsh Nature Reserve is perfect for birdwatchers, with almost 200 different species of birds present in the area, including waterfowl and seabirds.
For visitors seeking history and culture, Canterbury’s Westgate Gardens and Towers are worthy of exploration – here you can also find a selection of public art installations dotted throughout the gardens.
Finally, don’t miss Pound Lane Nature Reserve’s ancient woodland surrounded by wildflower meadows – it’s certainly a sight to behold in the summer.
Great for Hikers
You can enjoy wildflowers, cascading waterfalls, and great rock formations as you explore Canterbury’s picturesque trails. There are many outdoor activities to choose from like camping, cycling, kayaking, rock climbing, and fishing.
Short list of top walks:
- Blean Woods Black Trail (long walk)
- Chilham Castle Loop (long walk)
- The Great Stour Way
- Blean Woods Red Route
- Fordwich Village
Canterbury’s variety of terrains makes it a great place for hikers of all skill levels.
Canterbury is a vibrant city steeped in rich culture and history. It offers visitors an array of exciting cultural experiences, including museums and guided tours.
Canterbury Cathedral has tours that trace the lives and works of medieval monks or Canterbury Tales-themed walks where you can hear stories that inspired Geoffrey Chaucer’s work.
Another great location is the Canterbury Roman Museum. A Roman pavement that is a scheduled monument is located within the Museum. On display are the ruins of a Roman courtyard house, which is also a grade I listed structure. After being bombed during World War II, the pavement was found and has been accessible to the public ever since.
There is also the Canterbury Heritage Museum. The museum houses a wide range of local artefacts that offer insight into the ancient history of the region. Visitors can peruse interactive displays that transport them back in time to see how people lived and worked during earlier periods. The museum also provides educational programs and events throughout the year, such as behind-the-scenes tours, lectures, and art classes specifically tailored to students.
With exclusive access to these unique offerings, it’s no surprise that Canterbury remains a fan favorite among both locals and tourists alike.
Secret Canterbury Locations
Canterbury is one of the most vibrant cities in the UK and it is full of hidden gems for tourists to explore. From hidden workshops along ancient walls to secret gardens tucked away deep in the city.
Be sure to explore the cosy pubs off of Northgate Street or take a walk through Marlowe Arcade with independent shops hidden around every corner.
There are also hidden cafes, with delicious coffee and teas on offer waiting to be discovered by an adventurous tourist. For those looking for historic sites to investigate, The King’s Mile at Watling Street offers a pleasant walk through centuries of English history.
With so many hidden locations and secret spots all over this delightful city, there is much to discover you won’t be disappointed.
No matter what you’re looking for, Canterbury has something to offer. From its stunning outdoor areas like Priory Park and Stodmarsh Nature Reserve to hidden gems like the King’s Mile on Watling Street – there is something here that appeals to everyone.
Whether it be an adventure in nature or a stroll through history, visitors are sure to have an unforgettable visit to this vibrant city.
So don’t hesitate any longer; come explore all of the wonderful things that Canterbury has waiting for you.