Trip Planner:   Europe  /  UK  /  England  /  Kent  /  Canterbury  /  Historic Sites  /  Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury

4.4
#1 of 1,204 in Things to do in Kent
Religious Site Historic Site
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. Using our international travel planner, Canterbury attractions like Canterbury Cathedral can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
Create an itinerary including Canterbury Cathedral
map
Related Tours to Book
View more tours
Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
4,934 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We have been before so it was not too much of a disappointment to have the Cathedral closed for a few hours because they were thanking the donors who had given generously for the Cathedral's Restorati...  more »
  • The ground and church are vast, there is a lot to see and if you are interested in (religious) history, you should not miss this cathedral. Attention - not reachable (not even the churchyard) in the e...  more »
  • I went to Canterbury Christ Church University so was able to visit the cathedral for free throughout the three years. This cathedral is stunning. I'm not a religious person, but this place is full of ...  more »
Google
  • Just the absolute historical value...I followed a group of school boys, about 12 yo, who were touring with a docent, I was just fascinated by the stories of historical significance. I consume as much English history as I can, I believe I once lived in England in a past life. This site is an absolute must. Be sure you have a guide to show and tell you the information as it is a huge Cathedral. I would go again.
  • Best Mosque I've ever visited, an experience to remember, although there were crosses everywhere, so I've taken away a star ;)
  • History was recorded that Charles II was 30 when he crossed the Channel in fine May weather in 1660. His Restoration was greeted with maypoles and bonfires, like spring after long years of Cromwell's rule. But there was no going back, no way he could ' restore' the old. Two days after Charles landing, the governor of Windsor Castle was handed a note reporting that Thomas Lawrence, a dismissed soldier, had said that he was hired of Mr. Jenkin of Bishopsgate to kill the king. Dismay spread long before Charles stepped ashore at Dover. On Saturday 26 May 1660, after a service in the Canterbury Cathedral - which was almost collapsing into ruins after years of neglect - Charles appointed four new members of the Order of the Garter. The first was General Monck, and Charles told him pointedly that the honour was for his famous actions in military commands and above all that by his wisdom, courage and loyalty. The next was Montagu who was made Earl of Sandwich. Charles honoured two royalists, the Marquis of Hereford and Thomas Wriothesley, the Earl of Southampton. Charles held his first Privy Council meeting in Canterbury, within a couple of days of landing. He had already appointed Hyde as Lord Chancellor in exile, in 1658. Now, continuing his careful policy of conciliation, he chose as one of his two Secretaries of States........
  • Incredible, beautiful place. Henry IV is buried here. The first King of England since the Norman Conquest whose mother tongue was English rather than French. It's also the center of the Church of England – made so after Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church in order to divorce his first wife and marry Anne Boleyn (whom he later beheaded).
  • Canterbury Cathedral has, and always will be one of the UK's most important examples of gothic architecture. Thoroughly worth a look around if you are in the area, and guided tours are definitely worth considering too, as the tour guides are abundant in local knowledge and facts about the Cathedral. If you have the time then you should stay for an Evensong service and hear the choristers of Canterbury Cathedral sing for a truly authentic experience.

Plan your trip to Canterbury

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Canterbury

To explore Canterbury at your own pace, book your rooms at a family-run hotel in the heart of this historical city. Staying in this area keeps you close to all of the city's main historical sites, as well as its major shopping center. Family-run hotels offer traditional values, warm hospitality, and fully-licensed bars and restaurants, all at a fraction of the cost of the big hotel chains. For an equally comfortable and affordable stay, consider one of many centrally located guesthouses, which feature elegant rooms and covered courtyards.
CHECK IN - CHECK OUT
TripAdvisor
Millions of travel reviews
on TripAdvisor

Plans in Canterbury by other users

3 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in United Kingdom BY A USER FROM THAILAND August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Canterbury SEE PLAN August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Kent BY A USER FROM BELGIUM August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United Kingdom & Ireland BY A USER FROM CANADA May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Canterbury & London BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 4 days in Kent BY A USER FROM CANADA October, culture, outdoors, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Canterbury BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM August, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans