Europe, Tours

The historic city of Canterbury, in Kent, is only 60 miles from London by road. With a direct route, making use of the M2 motorway, this ensures that it’s the perfect location for a day trip, or for a longer stay.

Old and new attractions

Canterbury boasts the oldest cathedral in England, with the building having originally been completed in the 6th century. As might be expected, the cathedral still dominates the skyline of the city and is the most-visited attraction. There is a small charge for entering the building, which is put towards the upkeep of the church and surrounding grounds.

Despite the long history that’s associated with the city, Canterbury is also a location that feels modern and contemporary. The Marlowe Theatre hosts a wide variety of shows, while food enthusiasts will be delighted to find an impressive range of restaurants and bistros.

Unlike some other cities in the UK, Canterbury has managed to retain a sense of individuality. Although many large chain store are located here, for example, you will also discover numerous small, independent shops.

If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, then you can undertake a river tour after dark. The guided tour will also enable you to find out more about the city and some interesting local traditions.

Canterbury Heritage Museum

For those looking to learn about the history of Canterbury, the popular Heritage Museum tells the story of the city through the ages. The museum is hosted in a fantastic medieval building, with exhibits and displays covering a wide range of subjects. This is the perfect place to discover the details of Thomas Becket’s murder and the identities of Chaucer’s pilgrims.

Children are able to enjoy a range of hands-on activities, ensuring that the Canterbury Heritage Museum will be a hit with the whole family.  Prices are £8 for Adults and £6 for children.

Art enthusiasts will naturally be drawn to the Lilford
Gallery, which is located on Palace Street. Over the years, the gallery has attracted pieces of contemporary art from a significant number of internationally renowned artists.

Canterbury Castle

The Norman Castle always interests children, providing an exceptional opportunity for history to come alive. Construction of this great castle commenced during the reign of William the Conqueror, although significant additions were made by subsequent monarchs. Canterbury Castle became a prison,
once it had been superseded by Dover Castle in the 14th century.

By the 17th century, the castle was in ruins. Today, visitors are able to clamber through gaps in the stonework and to explore. A model has also been provided, so that you can see how the castle would have looked at its peak.

Go wine tasting

In recent years, farmland in Kent has increasingly been bought by those looking to grow grapes. There are a number of vineyards in the countryside around the city, including Barnsole Vineyard, which is found in the village of Staple.

Free wine tastings are provided at the vineyard and the welcoming owners are always happy to take the time to explain the production techniques that they are using. English wines have a burgeoning reputation and you’ll discover that a number of bars in the city offer a considerable selection of local wines.

Canterbury is a city that simply demands a visit. Whether you like the idea of travelling on the river in the middle of summer, or planning a Christmas shopping expedition, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

You can research opportunities for car hire with Avis
in London online and select a vehicle that’s suited to your family. You’ll find that Canterbury is well sign-posted from London, allowing you to reach the city with ease. Access to a car will also enable you to visit surrounding attractions, including the local vineyards and parks.