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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Canterbury
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The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Canterbury

Picture of Kelly Bradshaw
Updated: 9 February 2017
An ancient city in the UK offering an astonishing amount of history and culture, Canterbury proudly boasts a variety of popular tourist attractions. Below is a list of the ten best things to see and do in the scenic city of Canterbury, England.
Canterbury Roman Museum | © Linda Spashett/Wikicommons
Canterbury Roman Museum | © Linda Spashett/Wikicommons
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Canterbury Roman Museum

Described as providing a fascinating and family friendly insight into Roman Canterbury, Canterbury Roman Museum is built around the remains of an original Roman town house. Proudly displaying significant Roman finds, this magnificent building allows visitors to explore the era of the Romans in a truly illuminating way. Giving tourists the opportunity to discover rare objects, the marketplace, and an array of information on how the Roman town was built, Canterbury Roman Museum is a must-see attraction for those visiting the historical city.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: 10am-5pm

Watch out for: the remains of the under-floor heating system

Longmarket, 11A Butchery Lane, Canterbury, +44 1227 785 575

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Marlowe Theatre

Opened before World War I, this historic building is home to a diverse range of entertainment including comedy, drama, children’s pantomimes, and so much more. One of the country’s landmark theatres, Marlowe Theatre has an impressive seating capacity and sophisticated décor with comfortable red seating. Also offering a café and terrace, this spectacular establishment is a top must-see tourist attraction.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm

Watch out for: the Marlowe studio, which offers a range of creative workshops, performances, gigs and events

The Friars, Canterbury, +44 1227 787 787

Marlowe Theatre | © Jacqueline Poggi/Flickr
Marlowe Theatre | © Jacqueline Poggi/Flickr
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Westgate Parks

With four different landscape areas offering a beautiful stretch of recreational land, Westgate Parks follows the River Stout into the wonderful countryside of Canterbury. Offering riverside walks, scenic gardens, a children’s play area and picnic sites, Westgate Parks has something for all tourists hoping to experience the true beauty of the historic city. Also providing an array of wildlife and water meadows, Westgate Parks is the ideal place to visit for an afternoon of relaxation in a tranquil setting.

Price: admission is free

Opening hours: open at all hours

Watch out for: Bingley Island, which offers evidence of men and women from the Stone Age

Westgate Parks, Canterbury

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Canterbury Historic River Tours

With the aim intriguing and relaxing visitors, Canterbury Historic River Tours gives tourists the opportunity to discover the wonderful views that the city has to offer through boat trips, which also educate visitors on the rich and exciting history of the city. Having received several awards, such as the Quality Assured Tour by Visit England, this highly renowned tour maintains an impressive reputation, and is an opportunity not to be missed.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: 10am-5pm

Watch out for: the Welcome to the City Tour which offers tourists a fascinating insight

The Kings Bridge, Canterbury, +44 7790 534 744

Canterbury Historic River Tours | © Michael Pead/Wikicommons
Canterbury Historic River Tours | © Michael Pead/Wikicommons
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Canterbury Cathedral

Described as the home of a community of people seeking to make the cathedral a welcoming place comprised of beauty and holiness, Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. With spectacular views of the city, this magnificent building is also part of a world heritage site. With an incredible choir and a long stretch of history, Canterbury Cathedral creates a peaceful and harmonious environment.

Price: admission is free

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 12:30am-2:30pm

Watch out for: a collection of manuscripts, such as the Dean and Chapter dating back to the 8th century

Cathedral House, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury, +44 1227 762 862

Canterbury Cathedral | © Matthew Black/Flickr
Canterbury Cathedral | © Matthew Black/Flickr
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Howletts Wild Animal Park

With the largest elephant herd in the UK, Howletts Wild Animal Park is an incredibly popular tourist attraction for families seeking to have an exciting day out. With a large variety of wildlife including the Sumatran tiger, the snow leopard, and the gorilla, the park makes for an unforgettable experience. As well as providing a home to an array of animals, the park also offers a treetop challenge, an animal adventure challenge for children, and much more.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: 9:30am-5pm

Watch out for: The Keeper Academy, which gives young people the educational opportunity to become a trainee keeper for the day

Bekesbourne Lane, Canterbury, +44 1227 721 286

Howletts Wild Animal Park | © Christopher T Cooper/Wikicommons
Howletts Wild Animal Park | © Christopher T Cooper/Wikicommons
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The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge

Situated in the heart of the cultured city, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge has much to offer visitors with a museum, an art gallery, a library and café. Also providing a range of learning facilities and exhibition galleries, which have been described as state-of-the-art, this arts establishment has undergone a huge refurbishment. Also offering a rich amount of history, having been built during the late 1800s, The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge is guaranteed to impress its visitors.

Price: budget

Opening hours: Mon-Wed 9am-5pm, Thurs 9am-7pm, Fri-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Watch out for: the voyage of discovery treasure map challenge

18 High Street, Canterbury, +44 1227 452 747

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Cultural Tour of Canterbury

Taking visitors on a journey of discovery, the Cultural Tour of Canterbury gives tourists the opportunity to learn a great deal more about the history and culture of the ancient city. Allowing visitors to discover numerous tombs and monuments, as well as the River Stour, the stained cathedral glass windows (dating back to the 12th and 13th century), and much more, the Cultural Tour of Canterbury is ideal for tourists hoping to envision what life used to be like in the bustling city during earlier centuries.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: the visitor centre is open Mon-Wed 9am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Fri-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Watch out for: discover the hidden secrets of the River Stour, which has often been regarded as a focal point of the city’s heritage

The Precincts, Canterbury, +44 1227 762 862

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Wildwood Discovery Park

Offering an impressive range of British wildlife such as wolves, wild boar, deer, foxes and beavers, Wildwood Discovery Park is home to over 200 native animals, located in 40 acres of stunning ancient woodland. With a spectacular adventure playground and a variety of educational trails for children, as well as picnic areas, a shop and café, Wildwood Discovery Park is incredibly popular with tourists visiting Canterbury, and is highly recommended for those who love nature.

Price: mid-range

Opening hours: 10am-5pm

Watch out for: an enticing selection of toasted paninis and soups from the café

Herne Common, Herne Bay, Canterbury, +44 1227 712 111

Wildwood Discovery Park | © Lamiot/Wikicommons
Wildwood Discovery Park | © Lamiot/Wikicommons
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Canterbury Norman Castle

The most ancient castle in Britain, Canterbury Norman Castle was begun by William the Conqueror in 1070, and therefore offers an incredibly rich history. A spectacular landmark, the castle offers beautiful views of the city. With a roofless shell surrounded by a quiet garden, Canterbury Norman Castle has wonderful greenery, and is perfect for tourists hoping to experience a quiet retreat from the bustling city life.

Price: admission is free

Opening hours: open at all hours

Watch out for: visitors have the exciting opportunity to climb part way up one of the towers

Castle Street, Canterbury, +44 1227 378 100

Canterbury Norman Castle | © Hideyuki KAMON/Flickr
Canterbury Norman Castle | © Hideyuki KAMON/Flickr