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Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury

Must see · World heritage site · Church · Tourist Spot
Dating back to 597, Canterbury Cathedral is the oldest and arguably the most famous Christian structure in the UK. Forming part of a World Heritage Site, the cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Reconstructed in 1174 after a devastating fire, the building was greatly enlarged to accommodate the flow of pilgrims visiting the shrine of Thomas Becket, the archbishop who was murdered in the cathedral by the order of King Henry II. A fine example of Gothic architecture, the cathedral is also noted for its collection of over 30,000 books and pamphlets printed before the 20th century. Put Canterbury Cathedral and other Canterbury attractions into our Canterbury trip planner, and watch your holiday take shape.
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Canterbury Cathedral reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
6,991 reviews
  • Wonderful place to spend an afternoon the architecture is stunning along with all the stained glass. One has to pay an entrance fee but it is very much worth it  more »
  • Do not miss a visit to the cathedral, it is vast, but a bit expensive to get in, but well worth it. The stained glass windows were very fine.  more »
  • The tour lasted the best part of two hours so we got our money’s worth. However it seemed scripted and the off script knowledge was poor. The tone was of a schoolmaster and the dramatic pauses...  more »
  • Spectacular and touristy Impressive building which seems even bigger on the inside, despite currently being covered in scaffolding for renovation works. The cathedral precincts outside are pleasantly uncrowded after the bustle of the city centre and inside there were less people than I expected, but it a huge space and easy to lose a crowd. There were a number of staff providing tours but I couldn't see any ordained staff and this was the thing I sensed most, that the cathedral has exchanged it's spirituality for tourism and, if that's the case, then everyone loses, including the tourists.
  • A beautiful place lots of work going on and a wedding and a Belgium choir singing which was wonderful. We went on the right day! An amazing cathedral. Beautiful stained glass windows intricate ceiling designs a wonderful history. You must visit this wonderful place.
  • The outside of the cathedral is currently covered with scaffolding as the roof is being repaired but the interior is unaffected so it is still worth paying the £12.50 admission charge to visit it. Highlights include the tombs of Edward, the Black Prince, King Henry IV and Queen Joan of Navarre as well as the the spot where Saint Thomas a Becket was killed, which is marked by the word Thomas in red letters on the floor. The cathedral has several levels and chapels so it can be difficult to find your way around but there are volunteer guides, wearing yellow sashes, who can help you.
  • Beautiful and iconic building with incredible architecture full of history and secrets. Survived the WW2 and bombings unscathed. Super tip: Free to visit on Sundays after 3 pm. So if you are a tourist visiting Canterbury save your cash and go in for free.
  • Visited as a kid and only just gone back! Beautiful building steeped in history and lots of volunteers who can tell you a tale or two about the tombs, the windows, the history. Would recommend it. Lots of renovations being done so don't expect nice photos of the outside of the building but lovely photo opportunities inside.

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