Canterbury is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in England, just a few miles from London and one of the most recommended daytrips! From its magnificent cathedral, declared a World Heritage Site, castles, historic streets with curious buildings to infinity of green places; the city is small, but with much to see.
The easiest (and cheapest) way to get there is by bus, National Express and Easy buss are the most recommended companies with direct service every half an hour approximately; buying tickets in advance can get you a 6£ fare /way. The trip lasts a little less than 2 hours and leaves you in the very center of the city.
On the other hand, if you prefer taking the train you can get tickets around 24£ per way (off peak times) so… as you can see, this option is more expensive! They depart from London Victoria, Charing Cross or St Pancras Station every 20/30 minutes and the journey will take between an hour and an hour and a half to arrive, depending on the number of stops on the train.
The origins of Canterbury date back to Roman times, but it was not until the 7th century when the Pope sent St. Augustine for the conversion of the Anglo-Saxons to Christianity, which became renamed and became the most important religious center in England!
That’s why one of its highlights is an impressive Cathedral of English-Gothic style, where the Archbishop of Canterbury resides, head of the church in England and spiritual leader of the Anglican community in the world.
But like all, the Cathedral has its ‘cons’… to be able to appreciate it as closely as you would like to, you must pay the entrance! The place is walled! Little can be seen from outside The entrance fee is quite significant: 12£! The Cathedral is one of the stars of Canterbury and totally worth paying.
But not everything is limited to the catedral! The true charm of this city you will show up by walking through the main streets, immersing you in its medieval spirit. A good place to start is St Peter’s Street, where you will find the Westgate Tower and Westgate Gardens, one of the most beautiful places in the city… Lovely! I also recommend Mercery Lane! There you will see places like Christ Church Gate, which whorths a stop, as well as very picturesque tiny houses.
Another great attraction very close to the cathedral is the Abbey of St. Augustine! Built around the year 600AC when the Pope sent him as emissary. Although it’s only open to the public on the weekends, you can appreciate it from the outside.
A curious place, a bit left over to visit… is Canterbury Castle, there are only a few stone walls standing, stairs and bars, but… the entrance is free! Why not? You can walk it at your own will, it’s a quick stop to take some nice photos.
Something that will undoubtedly draw your attention is the amount of flowers and plants that are throughout the city, which end up rounding the magical landscape!
I recommend walking all along the canal that crosses the city on foot or by those lovely boats you will see around! You can hire your boat trip next to the Westgate Towers!