Things to do in
Canterbury, UK

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White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury: Day-Trip from London

1. White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury: Day-Trip from London

Depart London on a full-day tour to explore the southern county of Kent, known as the garden of England.  Continue to the White Cliffs of Dover, with time to enjoy a coastal breathtaking walk or simply take in the coastal views. On a clear day, see magnificent views of the English Channel and even France. Enjoy an hour of free-time to marvel at the beauty of the White Cliffs. The visitor center offers an opportunity to get refreshments and souvenirs. Then choose to spend longer at the Cliffs, or visit Dover Castle, one of the most impressive castles in England. Continue to the historic city of Canterbury, where your guide will introduce you to the city with an informative walking tour. Wander among the ancient buildings and charming streets of this picturesque city. Take some free time to visit Canterbury Cathedral if you wish, or spend longer exploring this magnificent historic city. Spend 2.5 hours in Canterbury, with time for lunch, a walking tour, cathedral visit and time to explore. Arrive back in London by around 6:30 PM.

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London: Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, and White Cliffs

2. London: Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, and White Cliffs

On this full-day excursion from London, your first stop will be the historic cathedral city of Canterbury. There’s plenty to see in Canterbury, including the Cathedral, St. Martin’s Church and St. Augustine’s Abbey. Pilgrims have made their way to Canterbury Cathedral since the Middle Ages, and it remains popular today with visitors from around the world. You’ll travel on to the coast to see the White Cliffs of Dover, one of the country’s most spectacular natural features. An icon of Britain, the White Cliffs have been a sign of hope and freedom for centuries. Take a walk along the clifftops and look out over the busy English Channel. On a clear day you’ll be able to see across to France. Just a short drive up the road from the White Cliffs of Dover is Dover Castle, one of the largest castles in the country, strategically placed at the shortest crossing point to continental Europe. The castle has played a prominent role in Britain’s history, and dates back to the Iron Age. A Roman lighthouse and Anglo-Saxon church still stand within the grounds. Admission to the castle is included in the tour and you’ll also have some free time to explore the grounds.

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From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

3. From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

Escape the bustle of London on a full-day sightseeing tour of the English countryside. You will head to the Garden of England, with visits to Kent’s Leeds Castle, the White Cliffs of Dover, and Canterbury Cathedral. The journey takes you over the Greenwich Meridian and past the London district that is home to the famous Cutty Sark tea clipper, and the Royal Observatory. Then see Leeds Castle, described by Lord Conway as “the loveliest castle in the world.” Set in the middle of a natural lake, and surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, you will enter the castle before the doors open to the public, and experience its magic in an atmosphere of still tranquility. There will also be time to explore the castle grounds, where you will find the Lady Baillie Garden, with views over the lake. Next, make your way to Canterbury and visit the historic Canterbury Cathedral. The most important Anglican church in the world, the central Bell Harry Tower dates back to 1498, and the crypt is from the 11th-Century. Your guide will tell the story of the shocking murder of Archbishop Thomas Beckett in 1170, and there will also be time to explore the narrow streets of Canterbury, with an opportunity to stop for lunch. Continue your tour through the picturesque landscape of Kent, dotted with unusual buildings and quaint little villages. Arrive at Dover, where you will see the famous White Cliffs, standing 400 feet above sea level. Brooding above the White Cliffs is the sprawling Dover Castle, still watching over the town after 800 years.

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From London: Kent Countryside Christmas Service & Lunch

4. From London: Kent Countryside Christmas Service & Lunch

Travel through the stunning countryside of Kent on a guided bus tour to Canterbury Cathedral to attend the Christmas “Sung Eucharist” service. Savor a traditional Christmas lunch, view the famous White Cliffs of Dover, and visit Greenwich. Arrive at the Canterbury Cathedral, where you will attend the Christmas “Sung Eucharist” service – often graced by the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The line of succession from Augustine has seen 105 Archbishops uphold this prestigious title. After the church service, sit down and enjoy a festive traditional Christmas dinner. Soak up the festive atmosphere and enjoy a hearty three-course lunch with an alcoholic beverage or soft drink. Next, continue for a photo stop by the famous White Cliffs of Dover, the gateway to England You’ll also catch a glimpse of Dover Castle, a key filming location for The Other Boleyn Girl. On your way back to London, drive past the historic London borough of Greenwich, famous for its maritime past. Admire outstanding example of 17th-century Baroque architecture including the stunning Old Royal Naval College.

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Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

5. Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

You’ll depart from London in the morning on a drive to Leeds Castle, the former royal residence of 6 of England's medieval queens. The palace was transformed by Henry VIII, and became a retreat for the rich and powerful. Begin with a private viewing prior to the castle opening to the public. Explore the chapel, galleries, courtyards, and the banqueting hall. Afterwards, you’ll see the grounds that are home to wildfowl, black swans, and birds in the aviary. Next on your full-day tour is a scenic drive along the old coastal road to the famous white cliffs of Dover. Admire the historic port and its magnificent 12th-century castle. On a clear day there are views of France across the English Channel. After your Dover visit, experience the ancient city of Canterbury, the center of Christian worship for almost 1,700 years. Tour its greatest treasure, the Canterbury Cathedral, probably best known as the site of the brutal murder of Thomas Becket in 1170. After touring the cathedral you’ll have free time to explore Canterbury. Take a walking tour through Greenwich, which boasts exquisite parks and gardens. See the famous Cutty Sark, the fastest sailing ship of its time. As evening approaches, you’ll enjoy an exclusive Thames River cruise. Cruise back to the center of London, sailing past historic sites, including the Tower of London, Big Ben, and the Houses of Parliament.

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Canterbury: Guided Walking Tour

6. Canterbury: Guided Walking Tour

From medieval lanes and pilgrim inns to the majestic Cathedral's Precincts, travel back in time as your guide regales you with stories and reveals how the city has evolved over the years on this 90-minute guided walking tour. Meet your Guide in the historic Buttermarket in central Canterbury and begin to explore this historic place. Walk through the narrow cobbled lanes with their timber-framed buildings and see magnificent views toward the Cathedral. Admire the Crooked House, the Old Weavers' House and infamous ducking stool, and Eastbridge Hospital, a place of hospitality for Pilgrims since 1190. You’ll also see more modern architecture such as the Marlowe Theatre and its very own moving statue. You will also journey around the outside of the Cathedral, and where possible see the ruins of the old monastery, the cloisters, and the grounds of the historic King's School.

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Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

7. Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

Described as 'the loveliest castle in the world' by Lord Conway, Leeds Castle sits on 500 acres of landscaped parkland across two idyllic islands, deep in the heart of the magnificent Kent countryside. Early arrival and visit Leeds Castle, where Henry VIII retreated to escape the plague that was raging in London during his reign. Upon arrival at Leeds Castle you will be greeted by your guide. Discover the history behind this magical castle and sample a glass of mead as Henry VIII would have! Next up, embark on a visit to Canterbury Cathedral, the scene of Archbishop Thomas Becket’s gruesome murder in 1170. Learn the intriguing history behind this captivating masterpiece of medieval architecture. Marvel at the cathedral’s spectacular stained glass windows, many of which have survived from the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Then, tantalize your taste buds with a traditional two-course meal. Visit the gateway to England and admire the famous White Cliffs of Dover, with a photo stop on the stunning stretch of coastline that faces continental Europe. You'll also see Dover Castle, a commanding medieval fortress rising over the English Channel and a key film location in 'The Other Boleyn Girl'. Then, head to Greenwich to see the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, as well as the Royal Observatory and world–famous Cutty Sark, a fascinating 19th–century clipper ship. Get a fresh perspective on London’s attractions with a boat ride on the River Thames, from Greenwich to Embankment Pier. You'll pass Tower Bridge and stunning St. Paul’s Cathedral along the way.

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Dover to London & Heathrow via Canterbury and Leeds Castle

8. Dover to London & Heathrow via Canterbury and Leeds Castle

After meeting your friendly guide at Dover Cruise Terminal, board a luxury coach and combine your transfer to London with a wonderful tour of the Garden of England, with visits to historic Canterbury and Leeds Castle. Firstly, come face-to-face with the White Cliffs of Dover, and the magnificent Dover Castle. The fortress dates back to Roman times, and is one of the largest and most impressive castle keeps in Britain. Continuing through this chalk landscape, discover the history of the country, from Celtic Settlers and Roman invaders to the Saxon migration and the Norman conquest. Stop at the city of Canterbury and glimpse into its world famous cathedral on a guided walking tour. Formerly the Roman town of Durovernum Canticorum, the city boasts a wealth of history. After the walking tour, have some free time to walk the narrow streets and admire the historic buildings. In the cathedral, you can see the tomb of King Henry IV, the resting place of The Black Prince and learn of the death in 1170 of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. It is then on past the Oast Houses, hop fields, orchards and vineyards to Leeds Castle, described by Lord Conway as the loveliest castle in the world. Dating back to 880AD, Leeds Castle has been home to many English Queens, from the end of the 12th century to the Tudor reign. Beautiful landscaped gardens are a main feature of the grounds, as is the stunning lake. Explore the castle's historic interior, admire the delightful rooms and get lost in the famous maze. After some free time, the tour departs for central London to begin drop offs, followed by Heathrow drop offs. The drive from Leeds Castle to London takes you through Royal Greenwich, and past Tower Bridge, with a view of the Tower of London. 

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Private Full Day Tour: Kent, Canterbury & Dover from London

9. Private Full Day Tour: Kent, Canterbury & Dover from London

This full-day tour by private chauffeur driven vehicle takes a drive through England’s garden, the bucolic county of Kent. Relax as you drive southeast from central London heading for the coast. Your first destination is the medieval walled city of Canterbury, site of Canterbury Cathedral and scene of the murder of Thomas Becket. The tour is ideal for couples that wish to explore in comfort, but can also accommodate families or groups of up to 8 people. You will be picked up at your central London hotel at a time suitable to you and whisked off to the countryside. Sit back and relax as you travel through rolling hills and lush woodland. Located about 90 minutes outside London, once at Canterbury you can explore on your own. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral or wander the narrow streets to discover the charming weaver’s houses and timbered buildings. You will then move on to Dover, situated on the coast and famous for its white chalk cliffs and medieval castle. Explore at your own pace, before the return journey to central London, a traveling time of approximately 90 minutes.

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Canterbury Cathedral and the Famous Tales Private Tour

10. Canterbury Cathedral and the Famous Tales Private Tour

Travel by car through the lovely Kent countryside along the route pilgrims followed for centuries to Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church for the Anglican faithful around the world. On this 6-hour private tour you’ll visit both the Cathedral and the city. Enter through the imposing front gates and marvel at the magnificence of Canterbury Cathedral both inside and out. Explore the interior and see the many memorials and dedications, and the chapels that offer opportunity for silent prayer and meditation. You may want to light a candle for a loved one before visiting the spot where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered by the king’s knights – an act that contributed to his eventual sainthood. There will be time to explore the city’s winding lanes and to admire its many fine buildings as well.

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What people are saying about Canterbury, UK

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 577 reviews

After reaching the meeting point, I found the pickup to be smooth and there were adequate seats to sit socially distanced from each other so that was a relief. We stopped at Canterbury around 10.30 and started with a walk to the city center. The cathedral was lovely and there was enough time to have a lunch. Around 2 we reached the Dover castle, we had plenty of time there as well. We reached the white cliff around 4.30 and by 5 we started our journey back. I was entertained by a bonus song sang by Clive, our driver. Overall a good trip. I wouldn't do it any differently.

Very knowledgeable and amazing driver who was very patient with me when I got lost at the white cliffs of Dover. Even though it delayed our group, he allowed extra time at the Cathedral which allowed me to attend their daily service. I would definitely go with the driver again as he made it an unforgettable day!

Delightful day out of London into history,murder and castles. Brenden was an excellent guide who gave us so many facts in a fun way. Free time was ample as well.

I enjoyed the trip very much. Nice staff, and very clean coach. Our guide provided us a lot of information and we have got plenty of time to visit around.

Every easy company to be with. The driver was very knowledgeable and fun. We were given time to see everything. Comfortable travel bus.