Recently, we spent a day in Broadstairs and overnighted at Holiday Inn Express Canterbury. The hotel was about 12 mins drive from the City Centre. Hubby pre-booked parking in the City using the Just Park app, so we wouldn’t be stressed the following day. The parking costed £6.30 and for up to 10 hours. I had hoped for day of history and culture but the majority ruled; this time we would mostly be charity shop trawling. It was my third time visiting the city; only this time I’m a parent, so, I was happy to freestyle. There are quite a few attractions in the City. You don’t need a set plan to enjoy a day out in Canterbury City Centre with kids.
Shopping In Canterbury
We began our day trawling the charity shops in Canterbury City Centre. You know the usual: Cancer Research, British Red Cross, British Heart Foundation, and The Children’s Trust Shop. We found a few deals.
My best find was a geometric extra-long shirt from TU £2.90 and a white sun hat from Accessorize for £3.99. The kids bought cuddlies and DVDs with their pocket money. The real life experience helps them with counting and understanding the value of money. Hubby bought work shirts (M&S and Next).
Alternatively, If you like your stuff brand spanking new, there are the usual major Great British high street stores. There are big department stores like Fenwick and Whitefriars shopping centre, for starters.
Eating Out In Canterbury
We enjoy a slap up pub lunch and Wetherspoon is usually our choice. We can pretty much be sure of what we’re getting. Hubby also luvs their nifty phone app which allows us to order from our table. Ang and I normally have cod and chips, which sounds like a lack imagination but in fact their do a mean cod and chips! Sometimes I have their lamb shank. Hubby and Miss V have burgers.
Their buildings are fascinating; full of character and history. In Canterbury, we ate at the Canterbury Gate Inn, Wetherspoon. It’s opposite, the medieval gateway to the City. The Canterbury Gate Inn pub is a grade II listed building which dates back to the 17th century. Their food was good.
Of course, other eatery options in the City. There’s another good and faithful, Nando’s. The Ole Weavers gastropub backs onto the river and The Chocolate Café is on Guildhall Street. I’ve not give you an exhaustive list only an example of the options.
Attractions Around Canterbury City Centre
As I said my troupe wanted to shop, but while on our walkabout I saw another side to Canterbury I hadn’t seen previously. I walked past the Christopher Marlowe Memorial en route to the Marlowe Theatre. Although, I have yet to read it or see a performance of his play Tragicall History of Doctor Faustus. The Royal Museum and Free Library (also known as The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge after its benefactor) was on our list to visit but never made it. Collections of interest for traveller/explorers would be the Explorers and Collectors room which features artefacts brought back from Asia, Africa, India and South America by some of Kent’s great explorers.
We ended our day visiting the Westgate Garden. A river runs alongside the garden where punter lay in wait. One adult ticket costs £12 for ride that lasts about 45 minutes. We spent our time exploring the garden. On the premises sits the Tower House. It’s called Tower House because it incorporates one of the towers in the medieval city wall, which were built as defensive structures but became used for living in. Nowadays, it can be hired for functions.
Additional Points Of Interest
Other areas of interest include Canterbury Cathedral. It is a must if you have never been to the City. I visited on my first trip because I’d read the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket during my semester studying Medieval English Literature at university. There also the Hospital of St. Thomas the Martyr, Eastbridge which also has a connection to Becket. The hospital dates back to the 12th Century. It was originally accommodation for pilgrims who came to the City to see the tomb and place of St Thomas Becket’s was murder (on 29th December 1170). He was made a saint in 1173 so his shrine in the Cathedral became a focus for pilgrimage. It is believed that Becket’s nephew was the first master of hospital which in those days meant a place of hospitality. The Kent Museum of Freemasonry has a collection which apparently can rival London’s.
Final Word On Canterbury
Canterbury is a picturesque university city. You are spoilt for choice of things to see and do. There’s something for all in the family as a staycation, couples’ getaway or ladies’ shopping trip out.
Have you been to Canterbury? What was your personal highlight? Maybe you’re planning a visit this year; what’s on you must see list?
(updated 25th June 2020)