Canterbury Cathedral

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Canterbury Cathedral: Our most recommended tours and activities

London: Canterbury Cathedral, Dover Castle, and White Cliffs

1. 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.

From London: Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral & Dover

2. 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 lake, and surrounded by 500 acres of parkland and gardens, enter the castle before the doors open to the public, and experience its magic in an atmosphere of still tranquility. Have time to explore the castle grounds and 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 villages. Arrive at Dover, to see the famous White Cliffs, standing 400 feet above sea level. Brooding above the cliffs is the sprawling Dover Castle, still watching over the town after 800 years.

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

3. From London: White Cliffs of Dover and Canterbury Day-Trip

Discover the beauty of Kent on this day trip from London. Travel aboard a comfortable and airconditioned coach to admire the White Cliffs of Dover. Follow your guide on a walking tour of Canterbury to uncover the city's fascinating history. 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, a cathedral visit, and time to explore. Arrive back in London in the early evening

Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

4. 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.

Leeds Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, Dover, and Greenwich

5. 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 experience life how 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.

Canterbury: Personalized Private Guided Walking Tour

6. Canterbury: Personalized Private Guided Walking Tour

Explore the historic sights of Canterbury on a guided walking trip with a trained guide. See The Crooked House, the Canterbury Cathedral Precincts, and more, while learning local history. Customize your tour by telling your guide about your group and personal interests beforehand.  Starting in the quaint Buttermarket, site of historic pilgrim inns and old bull stake and home to the imposing Christchurch Gate entrance to the Canterbury Cathedral. From here, set out to explore the narrow cobbled lanes of central Canterbury with its eclectic mix of historic buildings and pilgrim inns, alongside the memorable Canterbury Cathedral Precincts.  Get transported back in time as your guide tells you the stories and dark history of the city. Learn how the city has evolved over the years as you navigate the medieval lanes with their timber-framed buildings and views toward the cathedral.  Spot quirky buildings such as The Crooked House, the Old Weavers House, the infamous ducking stool, and Eastbridge Hospital, a place of hospitality for Pilgrims since 1190. See examples of modern architecture, such as The Marlowe Theatre and its very own moving statue. Before the end of your tour, you’ll get to journey around the outside of the Canterbury Cathedral and possibly see the ruins of the old monastery, the cloisters, and the grounds of the historic King's School. If you have any particular interests, from architecture to gardens or literature, or you're simply with a young family, your personal guide will be happy to tailor your tour (if communicated prior to the tour). Please note, after booking you will be contacted by Canterbury Tourist Guides to confirm your booking, and to provide your Guide details. Please contact us if you have not received anything at least 24 hours before your tour.

From London: Canterbury, Dover, and Kent Villages Day Trip

7. From London: Canterbury, Dover, and Kent Villages Day Trip

Enjoy a full-day tour from London to Canterbury, Dover Cliffs and Castle and Kent Villages, alongside one of our highly regarded, passionate and friendly guides. Departing central London we will take a scenic, guided drive through quintessential English countryside, visiting towns and cities with huge historical importance. Discover for yourself why Kent is known as the "Garden of England" - it can't be missed! We will travel through time - literally, with a visit to Greenwich where GMT began, before heading to Canterbury, with its world famous cathedral. Then a breathtaking view of the white cliffs of Dover and a visit to Dover Castle. We take the scenic route through some glorious Kent countryside, with a stop in a typical Kent village on our return to London after a full day exploring... Our first stop - Greenwich, the place where time began, and home to the Prime Meridian Line, where the eastern and western hemispheres meet and the Greenwich Observatory where the world was divided into coordinates and time zones. See the Cutty Sark, world famous 19th century tea clipper sailing ship. Enjoy views of Royal Greenwich Park and the Royal Naval College. Next - the "key to England" - Dover! Venturing deeper into the Kent countryside, through hop fields, orchards and Oast houses (curiously shaped buildings that were used for drying hops as part of the brewing process), we head towards the English channel (the stretch of water separating England and France) for a glimpse of the impressive white chalk cliffs guarding the coastline, and on a clear day we may be able to see all the way to France! Then we head up the cliffs to the imposing Dover Castle and its network of tunnels that were instrumental as a military command centre and an underground hospital in WWII. Onward, to Canterbury, with an en route stop in Chilham, a charming, quintessentially English village centred around a square with half timbered buildings and a 15th century pub. Canterbury is famous of course for its cathedral that is the Mother Church for English Christianity, and home to Royal tombs and more. Your guide will offer an optional (free) walking tour to show you some of its hidden secrets and passageways. You will have a couple of hours to explore Canterbury on your own - we'll give you a map and some tips to help you get the most from your visit. Perhaps you might like to venture into the Cathedral, or soak up the atmosphere of this modern and vibrant city with its important historical past. On our way out of Canterbury, we will drive past the old Roman walls, and should catch sight of St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church - together with the Cathedral, the 3 sites make up the UNESCO World Heritage listing for Canterbury. And then it's time to set sail back to London. Relax in comfort in one of our new, luxury Mercedes mini-coaches with all the mod cons. Traffic dependent, we aim to arrive back in central London between 8-8.15pm after a full day adventure.

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. 

Canterbury: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour

9. Canterbury: City Highlights Guided Walking Tour

Take a stroll through one of the most visited cities in England on a walking tour of Canterbury. See the towering Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine Abbey, and St. Martin's Church — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — up close and learn about their history from your local guide. Walk through history in Canterbury, marveling at these valuable historical sites from a close vantage point. Hear stories about how the city has the oldest continuously operating school in the world, when the Canterbury city wall was built, what is special about the Christ Church Gateway, and more. Continue with a stroll through the exclusive downtown Canterbury Cory. Admire the unique architecture of the city, feeling the city's coziness and charm.

Other Sightseeing Options in Canterbury Cathedral

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What people are saying about Canterbury Cathedral

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 615 reviews

It was a great day, with an informed guide to prepare us prior to each site with a bit of history and context. Dover Castle was amazing to see, but there is not enough time to see everything the castle has to offer. I was able to see the Underground Hospital, WW1 and WW2 outdoor features as well as The Great Tower (also had lunch and a stop at the gift shop!). The Great Tower is a must to climb to see the amazing view, and even on a cloudy day, I could still see France! Be prepared for walking hills, as this is a medieval castle, built with a mote, it is a bit of a walk from the coach parking area and back again. May not be ideal for anyone with mobility issues, unless they have a way of avoiding the walk to and from the castle. The view from the White Cliffs was stunning and so thankful it was apart of the tour. It was windy, so be prepared with appropriate gear. Canterbury Cathedral was amazing! So much to see and experience - and my favourite part!

The scenery is wonderful. The itinerary is orderly arranged and ample free time has been given at Canterbury. Most preferably if the part of Canterbury can be packed up a bit to make room for the Dover Castle visit. It seems that the itinerary can be enriched. Anyway, in terms of the cost and the beautiful scenery as well as the historical Canterbury Cathedral, this is a worthy tour.

A lovely day trip to Dover and Canterbury. The guide was informative, friendly and helpful. A perfect taste of England's beauty and history. We had a great day.

Great experience! The tour guide was very knowledgeable. Time to spend at each location. Didn’t feel rushed.

Beautiful day! The white cliffs are a must see when in the UK