Canterbury: what to visit in this medieval city? - Good Deals London

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Ideal for a romantic getaway, Canterbury is a charming medieval town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest towns in the United Kingdom.



In the heart of Kent and less than 100km from London, Canterbury is considered one of the top 20 destinations to visit in the United Kingdom which deserves a detour of a day or more if only to admire its cathedral, seat of the Anglican Church, visited by more than 900 visitors per year.


 

Religious heritage in Canterbury

Canterbury Cathedral or Christ Church Cathedral

The seat of the Anglican Church for nearly five centuries, Canterbury Cathedral is one of the oldest and most famous Christian churches in England. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, this architectural gem is one of England's most famous religious buildings, along with theWestminster Abbey and the St Paul's Cathedral.


Built between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the cathedral presents a rich panorama of Romanesque, early Gothic and late Gothic architecture as well as magnificent stained glass windows which constitute one of the finest examples of early Gothic.


It is the resting place of Edward of Woodstock known by the nickname "Black Prince", Thomas Becket as well as Henry IV and Joan of Navarre.

The cathedral can be visited from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 17:30 p.m. (summer), and until 17:12 p.m. in winter; on Sunday the monument is open from 30:14 p.m. to 30:XNUMX p.m. Paid entry.

Address : Cathedral House, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury CT1 2EH

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St Dunstan’s Church


St. Dunstan's is an Anglican church founded in the 1174th century which welcomed Henry II in XNUMX when he did penance for having been behind the murder of St Thomas Becket.

In the crypt of the Roper Chapel, rests the head of St Thomas More while his torso is buried at the Tower of London . This humanist had refused to recognize Henry VIII as supreme head of the Church of England and opposed the annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon. After refusing to take the oath of supremacy, More is convicted of treason and beheaded.

Address : 80 London Road, Canterbury CT2 8LS

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St Martin's Church: the oldest church in England



Built in the XNUMXth century, the Church of St. Martin of Canterbury which is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List is said to be the oldest church in England. Modified and enlarged in the XNUMXth, XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, the south wall is from Roman times and also has an imposing perpendicular Gothic-style tower.

Open to the public Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 15:00 p.m.


Address : 1 N Holmes Road, Canterbury CT1 1QJ

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Saint-Augustin de Canterbury Abbey

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saint Augustine Abbey of Canterbury is a monastery founded by Saint Augustine of Canterbury in 597 to celebrate the success of the evangelization of the South of England.

Like all the other monasteries, the abbey was dissolved in 1538 by Henry VIII then converted into a royal palace to accommodate the kings during their travels.

Today only the main gate of the 14th century remains, where there is a museum which traces the history of the abbey and its inhabitants.

Address : Longport, Canterbury CT1 1PF


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Eastbridge Hospital

Built in the XNUMXth century, Eastbridge Hospital provided overnight accommodation for poor pilgrims at the Sanctuary of Saint Thomas Becket. It is now one of ten almshouses still providing housing for the elderly citizens of Canterbury.

The building is open to the public who can discover three rooms.

Address : 25 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2BD

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Canterbury Castle

Built from 1070 by the Normans under William the Conqueror, the castle was enlarged during the reign of Henry I. In the XNUMXth century the castle became the county prison and served as a warehouse for a XNUMXth century gas company.

From the top of its stairs there is a beautiful view of the surroundings.

Address : Canterbury CT1 2PW

 

Westgate Gardens and its huge plane tree


Westgate is a pleasant public garden that stretches between the River Stour and Westgate Towers and is home to a 200 year old oriental plane tree. This strange specimen with a significant distortion of its trunk has a circumference of about 7,70 m for a height of 16 m. Impressive!

Address : St Peter’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2BQ

 

Westgate Towers: England's largest medieval gate

These towers were built in the XNUMXth century during the Hundred Years War, on the orders of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Their role was to defend Canterbury from foreign incursions but also to demonstrate the wealth and importance of the city. They were then converted into a prison before becoming a museum at the beginning of the XNUMXth century.

Completely restored and rehabilitated, these towers now welcome the public who can enjoy many facilities such as a designer bar offering original cocktails made from Kentish spirits, an Escape Room located in the former cells, considered by The Guardian as the one of the UK's best escape rooms. As well as a cinema and a museum.

Address : 1 Pound Lane, Canterbury CT1 2BZ

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Great Stour boat ride

Like a Cambridge, guided punt tours are offered on the River Stour. This trip along the water, aboard a long, flat-bottomed boat, offers a different perspective on the charming gardens of Westgate and the historic center of Canterbury.

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Charles Dickens et Canterbury

Recognized as one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens visited Canterbury on several occasions, the city which inspired him to write his eighth novel David Copperfield.


Crooked House: one of Canterbury's most unique buildings

This strange house known as Sir John Boys House, was built in 1617. The ground floor is the narrowest part of the building which widens over the floors. This quirky architecture at the time made it possible to pay less tax.

Above the door is a quote from Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield "A very old house bulging over the road ... leaning forward, trying to see who was walking on the narrow sidewalk below." "

Today, Crooked House is home to a bookstore that sells used books to raise funds for the homeless.

Address : 28 Palace Street, Canterbury CT1 2DZ

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The House of Agnes

The House of Agnes is a charming XNUMXth century hotel, cited as the home of Agnes Wickfield, in Charles Dickens' novel: David Copperfield.

Located 200 meters from West Canterbury station, the hotel has eight comfortable rooms with a different decoration to each of them.

Address : 71 Street Dunstans Street, Canterbury CT2 8BN

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Sun Hotel: Charles Dickens' hotel

Built in 1480 - not in 1503 as shown on the exterior plaque - the Sun Hotel was formerly known as the Little Inn and was made famous by Charles Dickens who stayed there.

This charming hotel located a few meters from the main entrance to Canterbury Cathedral was renovated in 2006 when a tunnel leading directly to the cathedral was discovered, which was used by the monks.

Today this building with the Tudor facade accommodates seven rooms including suites, family rooms and double rooms.

Address : 8 Sun Street, Canterbury CT1 2HX

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Theater Royal

On November 4, 1861, Charles Dickens gave a public reading of his novel David Copperfield at the Theater Royal. Now demolished, it has been replaced by the Debenhams department store, where a gray plaque in honor of Charles Dickens' novel can be seen at the entrance.

Address : Guildhall Street, Canterbury CT1 2JG


Museums in Canterbury

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge


In a magnificent building with neo-Tudor architecture, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge brings together the municipal library and an art gallery dedicated to the Victorian animal painter Thomas Sydney Cooper.

A veritable cabinet of curiosities, this museum houses an important collection of Victorian taxidermy where specimens of Chinese pangolin, Brazilian armadillo and Australian marsupials are exhibited. Also on display is a large collection of Greek and Egyptian antiquities and exotic ethnographic objects.

Address : 18 High Street, Canterbury CT1 2RA

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Canterbury Roman Museum

Canterbury Roman Museum is the only Roman museum in Kent. offering a glimpse into life in Britain under the Roman Empire Are on display, one of the UK's few in situ Roman pavement mosaics and replicas of objects.

Address : 11A Longmarket, Butchery Lane, Canterbury CT1 2JR

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Kent Museum of Freemasonry: Freemasonry Museum

Opened in 1933, this museum features one of the UK's finest collections of Masonic artifacts, showcasing the history of Freemasonry in Kent.

Address : 66 St Peter’s Place, Canterbury CT1 2DA

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The most beautiful streets in Canterbury

High Street

Hight Street is a very lively shopping street where there are many half-timbered buildings as well as the tourist office.

 

St Peter’s Street

This charming street sits between the two arms of the Great Stour River. Among the many buildings, one of the most photographed in Canterbury is the Old Weavers House. This half-timbered house, once a Flemish weavers 'shop, is now a traditional English restaurant offering specialties such as fish' n chips, pies, toad in the hole and roast lunch.

Address : 1-3 St Peter’s Street, Canterbury CT1 2AT

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Sun Street

Sun Street is a charming cobbled lane lined with shops and half-timbered houses.


How to get to Canterbury from London?

By train : The journey varies between 50 min and 1h20 depending on the departure station in London. Indeed, to get to Canterbury, you can take the train at St Pancras station, Charing Cross or London Victoria, where departures are regular. For more simplicity, opt for the station which is closest to your accommodation.

The city of Canterbury has two stations namely Canterbury West and Canterbury East. The first is 5 minutes walk from the city center and the second 10 minutes.

Gare London Victoria : trains every 20 to 30 minutes. Arrival in Canterbury East.
Gare London Charing Cross trains every 30 min. Arrival in Canterbury West.
London St. Pancras International : trains every 30 min. Arrival in Canterbury West. Some routes are not direct and a connection in Ashford is expected.

To benefit from the best price, it is best to book your tickets in advance on trainline,

Schedules and information   

 

By bus : National Express connects London Victoria to Canterbury bus station in 1h10 and 3 times a day.

Schedules and information   

En car from London, the journey takes around two hours through Leeds Castle.

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What to visit around Canterbury?

Leeds Castle: the most enchanting castle in the world

40 km from Canterbury and 67 km from London, Leeds Castle is located in the heart of the county of Kent, nicknamed the "Garden of England". Surrounded by a 200 hectare park and formal gardens, Leeds Castle was the royal residence of six queens in the Middle Ages as well as the Palace of Henry VIII and his first wife, Catherine of Aragon.

The building is considered the most beautiful castle in the world and houses the only museum of dog collars known to date.

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How do I get to Leeds Castle?

From Canterbury, the easiest way is to take the train to Bearsted where a coach shuttle service is available from the station from April to September. The journey takes around 1 hour 15 minutes.

For the train ride, information and reservations on the Trainline website.and for the bus trip on the site Spot Travel.

From London, take a train from Victoria Station to Bearstead Station where a coach shuttle service is available from the station from April to September. The journey takes around 1 hour 45 minutes.
For the train ride, information and reservations on the Trainline website.and for the bus trip on the site Spot Travel.

Address : Broomfield, Maidstone ME17 1PL

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Mount Ephraim Gardens

Just 10 km from Canterbury, Mount Ephraim is a 4 hectare Edwardian terraced garden set around a small valley in the early XNUMXth century.

This wonderful green setting, offering a beautiful view of the surrounding countryside, includes a lake on the edge of which you can picnic, rose gardens, a Japanese rock garden, a labyrinth and children's play areas.

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Much more than a garden, Mount Ephraim Gardens is also a vacation resort where one can stay in one of the mansion's six bedrooms with lovely views over the grounds and the countryside beyond. An enchanting setting to discover as a couple.

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Address : Mount Ephraim Gardens, Staple St, Faversham ME13 9TX

 

Sheperd Neame: the oldest brewery in the UK

Established in Faversham since 1698, Sheperd Neame is the oldest brewery in the UK which produces a range of beers with 100% natural ingredients.

The brewery offers guided tours during which all stages of beer production are presented, from brewing to fermentation. The 80-minute tour also includes a visit to the Old Brewery Store which features a collection of old delivery vehicles, a cooper's workshop, and old pub signs. It ends of course with a beer tasting 😉

The Brewery is a 15-minute walk from Faversham Station which is 15 km from Canterbury. The journey is direct and lasts only 15 minutes. Information and reservation on the Trainline site.

Address : 17 Court Street, Faversham ME13 7AX

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