All you need to know about Canterbury

City Facts - Canterbury

Canterbury is a cathedral city in Kent, England. It overlooks the River Stour and is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to wondrous architecture and green spaces. It has a population of over 55,000, and the predominant language spoken is English. Canterbury is twinned with several cities including Reims (France), Esztergom (Hungary), Vladimir, (Russia), Molndal (Sweden) and Tournai (Belgium).

Canterbury has a history dating back to prehistoric times. The city was built by the Romans, who adorned it with new streets, a theatre, a temple and public baths. In the years that followed, Canterbury became known for its pottery, textiles and leather. During that time, Canterbury Castle was built, and was captured by former French King, Prince Louis.

In the 18th century, Canterbury experienced growth to its infrastructure. Canterbury prison was opened, along with Canterbury and Whitstable Railway – which, at the time, was the world’s first passenger railway. The city suffered heavily during World War 2, and took the best part of 50 years to properly recover.

In the last 20 or so years, Canterbury has experienced considerable growth. Whitfriars shopping Centre was redeveloped and extensive restoration was carried out on Canterbury Cathedral. Nowadays, the city is home to over 4,000 businesses and has an economy worth more than £1.3 million. It is home to two universities – the University of Kent and Canterbury Christ Church University – and has low overall unemployment rates.

Attractions include Canterbury Cathedral, Christ Church Gate, The Kent Museum of Freemasonry, St. Martin’s Church and Greyfriars Chapel and Franciscan Gardens. For live productions, head to the Marlowe Theatre, and, for nature, visit Howletts Wild Animal Park. Other points of interest are the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, and Canterbury Roman Museum. 

Canterbury is easy to reach, and fairly straightforward to commute around. It is served by the A2 road, which runs all the way from London to Dover. The city has two railway stations – Canterbury East and Canterbury West – which connect London, Ramsgate, Margate and Chatham. There is an hourly coach service that runs to and from Canterbury, and the city is also served by a number of buses. The closest airport to Canterbury is London City Airport, at roughly 60 miles away.

Complete your trip to Canterbury with a stay in a SilverDoor serviced apartment.