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Canterbury

Travel Guide Europe United Kingdom England Kent Canterbury

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Introduction

Touring-Canterbury Cathedral

Touring-Canterbury Cathedral

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The city of Canterbury in the heart of the county of Kent is best known for being the seat of the Church of England. The impressive cathedral sees over a million visitors each year and dominates the city. The Canterbury area has been inhabited since prehistoric times and the Romans had a settlement here. The death of Thomas a Becket in 1170 at the Cathedral made Canterbury a notable town and pilgrims visited from all parts of Europe. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales were inspired by the pilgrimages.

Today Canterbury is a destination for visitors keen to see the cathedral and other historic sites in the area. The city is home to the University of Kent, who have their main campus a mile from the centre.

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Neighbourhoods

The area managed by Canterbury City Council includes:

  • Herne Bay
  • Whitstable

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Sights and Activities

  • Canterbury Cathedral - Mother church of the Anglican Communion
  • Canterbury Roman Museum - Underground at the level of the Roman town
  • Canterbury Tales - The story of the pilgrimage from London to Canterbury
  • Ghost Tour - A 75 minute mix of entertainment, history and haunting
  • Rupert Museum - Meet Rupert and his chums
  • Westgate Gardens - Landscaped gardens close to the River Stour

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Events and Festivals

The Canterbury Festival takes place every October, featuring music, art, theatre, dance, films and lectures.

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Getting There

By Plane

Kent International Airport at Manston is about 20 kilometres from Canterbury. London Gatwick Airport and London Heathrow Airport are a two-hour drive.

By Train

There are two mainline stations, Canterbury East and Canterbury West. These serve London Victoria and London Charing Cross, as well as Dover Priory and Ramsgate.

By Car

The M2 and M20 motorways both pass close to Canterbury. The A28 from Ashford runs to the centre and on to Dover. There is a Park and Ride facility, with busses to the city centre, with all day parking at £2.00, which includes the bus to the city. There are 1,800 parking spaces in the city, all of which attract a fee.

By Bus

Stagecoach East Kent Busses run to the Canterbury bus station from local towns and villages. Regular services operate to and from Herne Bay and Whitstable. National Express coaches from London and Dover arrive at the bus station.

By Boat

The port of Dover sees cross channel ferries from France and Belgium. The rail station at Dover Priory connects directly to Canterbury West. The Channel Tunnel facility at Folkestone takes cars to and from Calais, France.

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Getting Around

By Car

The best option is to park the car either at the Park and Ride facility, or in a city centre car park.

By Public Transport

Local bus services serve the city centre and residential neighbourhoods.

By Foot

Much of the city centre is a pedestrian precinct, making access easy and safe to most areas and attractions.

By Bike

Bicycle hire is available from Cycles UK, which is based at the Canterbury bus station.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Kipps Hostel Canterbury40 Nunnery FieldsHostel89
YHA CanterburyEllerslie, 54 New Dover Road Kent, CT1 3DTHostel86
Holiday Inn Express CanterburyUpper HarbledownHotel90
University of KentTanglewood Giles LaneHOSTEL-
University of Kent Park Wood VillageTanglewood Giles LaneAPARTMENT-

Mid-Range

Upscale

  • Thannington Hotel - Family run, with a four-poster room available
  • Ebury Hotel - A family owned hotel a short walk from the city centre. Facilities include an indoor heated pool, restaurant, wifi and garden. Self-catering cottages are also available.

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Learn

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafés can be found in many cities and towns. All UK public libraries provide access, often branded as "People's Network", usually at no or little charge, though there is usually a time limit. Some hotels/hostels also offer internet access, including wifi, but most times at a cost. Using the internet on your personal phone can become expensive very quickly, with carriers charging 100's of times the local rate for data. To avoid these expensive roaming charges, you can hunt for wifi at a local cafe or hotel, or rent a mobile hotspot via several providers including DATAPiXY, and XCOM Global.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to the United Kingdom is: 44. To make an international call from the United Kingdom, the code is: 00

In case of emergency, call 999 or 112 from any phone. Such calls are free and will be answered by an emergency services operator who will ask you for your location, and the service(s) you need (police, fire, ambulance, coastguard or mountain rescue). You can call this number from any mobile telephone as well, even if you do not have roaming.

Although the number is declining, you can still find payphones in many public areas, especially stations, airports etc. You can usually pay with cash and sometimes by creditcard or, for international calls, special phonecards are still available.

Mobile phones are heavily used. The main networks are T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and O2. 3G data services are available, usually priced per megabyte and coverage is usually very good in the UK, however it may lack in rural areas. Roaming on your personal phone plan can be expensive. To manage costs, consider purchasing a local UK SIM card for your phone. Several companies offer local SIM cards including Telestial, and CellularAbroad.

Post

The Royal Mail provides postal services in the United Kingdom. The Royal Mail's store fronts are called Post Office and offer services ranging from sending letters and packages to foreign currency exchange. Use the branch locator to find the nearest Post Office branch. There will be at least one post office in any town/city and there are quite often post offices in larger villages. It's common for a post office to be incorporated into a grocery store, where there will be a small counter located at the back of the store for dealing with post related matters. All post offices are marked with signs that say 'post office' in red lettering. Post boxes can be found at any post office and standalone large red post boxes on the streets or red boxes in the sides of public buildings.
For sending packages overseas, it might be a good idea to check prices and services with international companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.

Quick Facts

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County
Kent
Population
43,432
Dial Code
01227
Postcode
CT1 to CT4
Coordinates
  • Latitude: 51.275 N
  • Longitude: 1.087 E

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This is version 22. Last edited at 8:25 on Aug 27, 13 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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