Things to do if you’re at Canterbury

Welcome to the Canterbury campus! If you’re new to the area take a look at some ideas below on some of our ideas of places you can visit and activities you can do. Please remember to follow the Government coronavirus advice and that certain attractions or services may be closed or operating differently due to the pandemic. Make sure to check in advance.

Canterbury Cathedral

One of the most iconic buildings of Canterbury is the Cathedral. Dating back to 597, it is the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. Guided tours are currently unavailable due to COVID-19 but you can download a free guide to your phone to use to enjoy and understand the spaces within the Cathedral and it’ll take a few hours to explore. There is a small entry charge, but if you bring your Kent-One card along you’ll get in free. If you’re going with a group you need to pre-book online. 

You’ll enter through the doorway to enter the Nave, a truly stunning experience. Further in you have to chance to explore the Crypt, the oldest part of the Cathedral, containing smaller Chapels. As you come back up the stairs it will lead you to the Martyrdom where the exact spot the archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170, is marked. As you go further up the stairs, turn around to admire the view of the Nave (and don’t forget to look up!) Take the moment to enjoy the beautiful stained glass depicting inspirational stories of men and women. It is one of England’s largest collections of early medieval stained glass. There is also an Archives and Library, which holds an impressive collection of manuscripts, historic records, photographs, maps, and printed books all dating back to the late 8th century. If you choose to visit this area, you’ll need to pre-book your visit and pre-order your study materials ahead of time.

Make sure to check out outdoor spaces in the Precincts as you leave and there are also ruins of St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s Church to explore too!

Westgate Gardens

The Gardens are part of Westgate Park which includes lots of outdoor open spaces including Toddlers Cove and Bingley Island. It’s a lovely area for a walk, cycling and there is a children’s play area. In the Spring and Summer months, there are hundreds of bright tulips in full bloom on the flowerbeds alongside the river where you can watch passing boats, ducks, moorhens, and pigeons. Just take a right when you are at Westgate Towers (you won’t be able to miss the entrance) for a peaceful escape!

Cycle Ride

If you’re looking for a challenge you can undertake your own Pilgrim’s Progress on a 50-mile circular ride that links Canterbury, Dover, and Folkestone. The route passes along leafy lanes and bridleways amid rolling hills, wide skies, woodland, country villages, and hamlets.

For those who are looking for a more casual cycle route take a look at the Crab and Winkle Way which links Canterbury to Whitstable. It’s suitable for beginners and families. The route goes from Canterbury West, but you can easily join the route if you’re on campus. It takes you all the way into Whitstable, which in itself is a great day out. Enjoy some fish and chips on the beach and explore the restaurants and shops along the Harbour.

Unfortunately, the Cycle Hub on campus is currently closed, once it is reopened you can hire a bike for the day if you don’t have one yourself. It’s located at the Pavilion in Parkwood.

Brogdale Farm Orchard Walks

For anyone seeking to escape the house or office for some fresh air and gorgeous countryside, the Orchard Walks at Brogdale Collections are an ideal option. Brogdale Collections, based near Faversham, hosts the country’s National Fruit Collections and is home to the largest collection of temperate fruit in the world.  The charity has opened its beautiful orchards and operating self-guided walks so visitors can enjoy the hundreds of fruit trees.

Walking on the White Cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover are perhaps most famous as an iconic landmark, the white chalk face a symbol of home and wartime defence, but they have so much more to offer; stunning views, a serene walk, a wealth of wildlife, an abundance of history and, most importantly, two tea rooms offering delicious treats. It’s a short train or bus journey away.