Our best spots in the City


Kent’s only city, Canterbury, boasts hundreds of years of character-forming history. Its ecclesiastical heritage alone is made up of legendary tales, from Chaucer’s Pilgrims that travelled thousands of miles to the shrine of St Thomas á Becket to St Augustine who became the first Archbishop of Canterbury, inciting the rebirth of Christianity in England.

Modern-day pilgrims to Canterbury can delve into the city’s history at two of its oldest monuments: Canterbury Cathedral and St Augustine’s Abbey. Sitting resplendently in the city centre, before you enter the cathedral itself, marvel at the newly restored Christ Church Gate. This Grade I-listed main entrance to the Cathedral Precincts and Scheduled Ancient Monument has stood for over five centuries and still glitters with intricate carvings. As well as enthralling tours, the Cathedral itself holds many services and concerts throughout the year which are another great way to experience this landmark in all its glory – including the shrine of Saint Thomas á Becket himself. 

Just outside Canterbury City Wall, you will find St Augustine’s Abbey. Founded shortly after AD 597 by St Augustine, this is now part of Canterbury’s World Heritage Site, with the incredible ruins of this ancient and sacred building still remaining. It was St Augustine who reintroduced Christianity to England after the departure of the Romans, who themselves left a much older physical mark on the city that can still be admired today. In the centre of town, explorers and history buffs can travel down to subterranean depths at The Roman Museum on Butchery Lane. Here you can marvel at an in-situ Roman under-floor heating system and a dazzling mosaic corridor; one of the UK’s only remaining in-situ Roman pavement mosaics. 

Not quite as ancient but still with a great history is Plumcot Halt, a converted railway carriage set in a quiet private garden located on the outskirts of the city. This unique dog-friendly holiday home has an open-plan living room, a cosy wood burner and even a roll-top bath. It’s a delightful romantic retreat for couples and one four-legged companions.

Another great way to see Canterbury is with Canterbury Historic River Tours or Canterbury Punting Company. Take to the waters in a punt on the River Stour and let the experts give you a brilliant tour full of facts, or simply sit back and enjoy all the romance of the river. From the mystical Greyfriars Island and chilling witches’ ducking stool, to the beautiful Westgate Gardens, you’re sure to see many exciting sights from a different angle. 

Canterbury’s heritage extends into more recent history, with many creatives and artists calling the city home and taking inspiration from it. This includes the creator of Rupert The Bear, Mary Tourtel. Mary’s family were artists who worked at the cathedral on the restoration of stained-glass windows, and today the Rupert The Bear Museum can be visited as part of The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge. The Beaney houses a host of other collections, antiques, exhibitions and artworks and is free to visit.

Canterbury’s cultural hotspots don’t stop there. As the birthplace of Shakespeare’s contemporary, Christopher Marlowe, the city has naturally become a place for theatre and live performances. Boasting no less than three theatres: The Marlowe Theatre, The Malthouse and The Gulbenkian at The University of Kent. All three show an extensive and varied array of different acts and shows throughout the year from comedy and live music to poetry readings and plays.

For a modern and contemporary place to rest after a busy day exploring Canterbury, check into Pitch Perfect. A stylishly decorated holiday home with simple luxury and classic lines, a fabulous bathroom with a hotel chic appeal. Sleeping up to four guests this is the ideal city pad for small families or couples. 

As well as theatre and movie night entertainment, Canterbury has a  brilliant sporting pedigree too. The Spitfire Ground at St Lawrence is the official home of Kent County Cricket Club, and for selected months of the year, both fans and those simply looking for a fun day out can spectate at games here. A great day out for families with children of all ages comes in the form of Howletts Wild Animal Park & Conservation Charity in Bekesbourne. From animal experiences that include being ‘a keeper for the day’ to ‘after-hours guided tours’ there are plenty of ways to explore this incredible park with its famous herd of elephants, jumping lemurs, big cats and much more.

The countryside surrounding Canterbury is lovely at any time of the year. Popular walking routes such as The Pilgrim’s Way traverse gentle hills and take ramblers through woodlands, enchanting orchards and rural farmland that famously make Kent ‘The Garden of England’. Thanks to its perfect climate and conditions for growing produce, Kent is now also known as ‘The Wine Garden of England’. Here you can enjoy trips, tours and tastings to some of Kent’s award-winning vineyards and wineries in the countryside that surrounds Canterbury. Our tip is to visit Simpsons in Barham with its glass tasting room overlooking the winery, (complete with an adult-sized slide that goes down into it!) or visit Chartham Vineyard for dog-friendly walks through the vines. Want to see more than just one vineyard and don’t want to drive? Look no further than Wine Tours of Kent, who provide an expert chauffeur service around Kent’s vineyards.

If you like the thought of being in the countryside as well as the city, then Honeywood Lodge is the perfect balance. This wonderfully private holiday home has two acres of landscaped gardens, a games area and an indoor pool. It sleeps up to 6 guests, it’s perfect for families looking to get away from it all but still close to the entertainment of the city centre.

It will come as no surprise that thanks to Kent’s incredible local fresh produce, Canterbury is awash with fabulous places to eat. Sister restaurants The Bridge Arms and The Fordwich Arms both hold coveted Michelin Stars. Back in town, even more award-winning restaurants can be found making use of local produce. This includes The Corner House with all its Kentish comfort and style, and the renowned independent restaurant and farmers market sited just outside Canterbury West station, The Goods Shed. The Goods Shed boasts a compact, seasonal menu which changes twice a day, using the best local ingredients the market has to offer. The market itself is the perfect place for shopping for foodie gifts and the best of Kent’s artisan produce to take away with you.

Renowned for its marvellous shopping, Canterbury has even more independent shops in its centre, particularly in the independent quarter known as The Kings Mile. Here you will find quirky gift shops such as Siesta, the famous Fudge Kitchen, Cheran’s Bakery for all your sweet treats, plenty of talented jewellers, The Lilford art gallery and many more boutique treasures. For those looking for more retail therapy with the help of high-street favourites, head over to Whitefriars, which is also home to the department store, Fenwicks.

Shop till you drop or rest and repeat at The Loft at Emperor Court, situated a minute’s walk from the high street. The loft has two private car park spaces (a rare find in Canterbury!) and it sleeps up to 5 guests across two bedrooms and a spacious open-plan living space.

Canterbury also has a vibrant atmosphere in the evening. Its stylish bars and cosy pubs mean that Canterbury has plenty to choose from. With over 100 different gins behind the bar, Pegasus Tap Room in St Dunstans is a must for any G&T lover, whereas traditional pubs with all their quirky interiors call for those who prefer an ale. These include the likes of The Shakespeare and The Buttermarket, which both sit in the shadow of the cathedral. Fancy something ultra stylish? Whizz up to the rooftop bar at Socialite Canterbury on St Margaret’s Street and enjoy an Aperol spritz and espresso martinis as you look towards the Westgate Towers and beyond.

Carry on the party at Canterbury Barn which hosts all the traditional Kentish features including oak beams, oak flooring and high ceilings, and not to forget the most dramatic of panoramic views across the countryside. Canterbury Barn sleeps up to twenty people and four dogs – so plenty of room for everyone to join your gatherings or mark those special occasions. 

Socialite Canterbury


Westgate Towers

Westgate Towers

Canterbury Barn, Holiday Home in Kent

Canterbury Barn