In the heart of the city of Canterbury (famous for the Canterbury Tales), lies Canterbury Cathedral, one of England’s oldest cathedrals. Founded in 597 AD, the history of the monument is intertwined with that of England. In the thirteenth century, Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton played an important role in the discussion preceding the royal charter of rights, Magna Carta (which can currently be found in Salisbury Cathedral, British Library, and Lincoln Cathedral). To this end, Canterbury was named one of the Magna Carta Towns on its 800th anniversary. Just 68 kilometres from London, it also makes for a wonderful day trip from the city.
Visitors can now visit the Canterbury Cathedral and attend services, with new health measures in place to ensure their safety. Travellers are requested to strictly adhere to the given guidelines and preferably book tickets in advance, which can guarantee their visit.
One of the oldest and most famous Christian structures, it is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is the leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The cathedral isn’t just for those with religious interest — those interested in history and architecture will appreciate the impressive interiors and statues of the premises, along with its long and incredible history.
Additionally, Canterbury as a city also holds great historical significance. It was in this city that St. Augustine, the Apostle to the English, founded the Christian Church. His burial place, St. Augustine’s Abbey, together with Canterbury Cathedral and St. Martin’s Church, has been included in the list of UNESCO Heritage Sites.
An informed guide will accompany you on your trip and help uncover the secrets and history of the cathedral, along with some hidden gems within and around it. Your transfers will be arranged for an uncomplicated and stress-free visit.
In a non-guided tour, you can explore the Canterbury Cathedral at your own leisure. This is a flexible option that lets you pick what you want to see and how you want to go; you will have to arrange your own transportation.
As part of a combo tour, you can explore more than just Canterbury Cathedral. Your guide will take you to one or more popular destinations such as Leeds Castle and Dover in your private air-conditioned coach.
Discounted Canterbury Cathedral tickets: Children under the age of 17 can avail discounts on their tickets — they pay about £10 for a ticket as compared to the £13 paid by adults.
For Canterbury Cathedral tickets that won’t burn a hole in your pocket, purchase round-trip coach tickets to Canterbury, and get the regular Canterbury Cathedral admission tickets. While the coach journey may be longer than the other options, it is definitely easy on the wallet.
To deeply explore Canterbury Cathedral, pick a guided tour. Your knowledgeable guide will give you information, facts, and trivia about this ancient cathedral. Additionally, your transportation is included in the trip, ensuring you have a fun and enjoyable experience.
You can explore more than just Canterbury Cathedral by picking a combo tour. Visitors can visit Canterbury alongside other popular destinations like Dover, Greenwich, and Leeds Castle. You will be accompanied by an expert guide and transfers will be arranged as well.
Canterbury Cathedral is known to have some of the oldest medieval stained glass in the country. Look out for ‘Adam Delving’ and the ‘Miracle Windows’, which depict scenes from Thomas Becket's life.
The oldest part of the cathedral, this crypt is built in Norman (Romanesque) style. It features wall paintings and pillars, with capitals featuring the heads of animals.
The cathedral is home to some incredible tombs, such as that of Archbishop Henry Chichele, Cardinal Thomas Bourchier, the first Lancastrian king Henry IV, and his second wife Joanna of Navarre.
Behind The Martyrdom lies the Great Cloister, with its many stone carvings of mythical and real animals, heraldic shields, and medieval heads. It is also the only way to access the Chapter House.
With the original Norman walls and medieval stained glass, the Ambulatory marks where Archbishops are enthroned. Look for the Choir Stalls and the Archbishop's Throne.
Canterbury Cathedral was the site for the murder of its most famous Archbishop, Thomas Becket, in 1170. The Martyrdom is where four knights came and executed him on the orders of King Henry II.
The best time to visit Canterbury is between May and September. The weather is pleasant during these months, making the visit enjoyable. If you visit after mid-August, you can miss the crowds from peak summer months.
If you’re looking to avoid tourists, visit in spring to take advantage of the mild weather and explore the cathedral at your leisure.
Canterbury has a variety of eateries for people to visit such as pubs, cafes, restaurants, and more.
Butchery Lane is one of the city’s most beautiful streets, and is home to some of the best pubs in the city such as The Shakespeare, City Arms, and The Old Buttermarket.
Next to the River Stour is The Old Weavers, which serves up traditional English grub in a picturesque location. As it is close to the river, you can also go punting after.
If you’re looking for a traditional afternoon tea experience, head to The Moat Tea Rooms or Tiny Tim’s Rooms, the latter of which is also known for its mean eggs chaucer.
If visitors prefer to stay close to the Canterbury Cathedral, they can stay at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge, a modern hotel accommodation in the heart of the city. You can also opt to go glamping at Canterbury Reach Lodge Retreat.
Other options in Canterbury include:
If you’re looking for some of the best high street names and other popular brands, Canterbury Whitefriars is the perfect place for you.
If you’re looking for independent shops and boutiques that sell clothing, jewellery, antiques, and art, head to King’s Mile, St Dunstan’s, and Westgate for an impressive collection.
No. In order to reduce the risk of COVID transmission from shared items and keeping in mind visitor safety, audio guides will not be available.
While the cathedral isn't currently offering guided tours, you can book one from third parties which offer guided tours in small groups.
Children under the age of 17 can avail discounts on their tickets.
The best tickets to Canterbury Cathedral are those that involve a guide, as it ensures your experience is an enlightening one. Thus, pick a guided tour or a combo tour that will take you beyond Canterbury.
Yes, and these timed entry tickets can be pre-booked online. If one would prefer a walk-in visit, they will have to wait until other visitors leave, which can take a while.
The best time to visit the cathedral is as soon as it opens when one can visit leisurely and take in the beauty of the stained glass in the natural light.
A guided tour takes approximately two hours. However, if you visit Canterbury along with other locations as part of a combo tour, your tour will take up to 11 hours.
This depends on whether or not there are enough slots available. Due to the timed entry system in place, most people book their tickets in advance, meaning you could have trouble getting a slot if you try to book on the same day. It is recommended you pre-book your tickets to Canterbury Cathedral in advance.
Visitors typically spend up to two hours in the cathedral.