Boating on the river

Punting on the river Stour, Canterbury

Canterbury and the region

The University's location overlooking Canterbury was a big thing for me. I wanted to be able to enjoy the city and the University seperately, so the campus location is perfect for this.

~ Matt Wragg, Philosophy

Canterbury is a lovely city with medieval buildings, lively bars and atmospheric pubs as well as a wide range of shops. It has a warm and friendly atmosphere, and is within easy reach of London and mainland Europe. The Experian Inner City Vibrancy Report (2013) ranked Canterbury as the 3rd most vibrant city in England and Wales.

Historic city

Canterbury has been permanently inhabited since pre-Roman times. The city’s medieval history is easy to see in its streets and buildings and in the world-famous cathedral, which is the venue for the University’s degree ceremonies. The Cathedral, St Augustine’s Abbey and St Martin’s church make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Abbey marked the rebirth of Christianity in southern England and the church, the oldest parish church in England, is still used for worship.

Cosmopolitan environment

Canterbury has a thriving cosmopolitan atmosphere as befits Britain’s closest city to mainland Europe. The city centre has a great variety of cafés and restaurants and is a fantastic shopping location with all the major high street names as well as plenty of specialist shops. The city has a unique charm, with past and present sitting comfortably together.

Canterbury Cathedral cloisters

Canterbury Cathedral cloisters

Cultural centre

Canterbury is a cultural city with a strong focus on the arts. There are a number of galleries and the annual Canterbury Festival attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK and Europe.

The city is also home to the Marlowe Theatre, which hosts national touring productions of West End shows and attracts top artists from the worlds of dance, music, comedy, drama, ballet and opera.

Canterbury Cathedral at night

Canterbury Cathedral at night

Night life

Canterbury has lots to offer in terms of great nightlife. Clubs include Chill, which offers a unique mix of events including a weekly student night and Club Chemistry which features the best in old-school classics and party, commercial R&B/Hip Hop and dance. There are also plenty of traditional pubs and bars and Canterbury also hosts its own summer festival, Lounge on the Farm, where previous headliners have included Jessie Ware, Emeli Sandé, Example and Bastille.

The river Stour and Westgate Towers

The river Stour and Westgate Towers.

Transport links

  • Canterbury is 56 miles from London via the M2/A2.
  • Canterbury West is connected by high-speed train to London St Pancras (journey time is just under an hour).
  • Regular trains also run to London Victoria, Charing Cross, Waterloo East and London Bridge (journey time is around 90 minutes).
  • You can travel to Paris or Brussels by Eurostar from Ashford or Ebbsfleet in under two hours. Manston Airport (16 miles away) offers flights to Amsterdam.
  • The Channel ports are less than 20 miles away, and the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone is a 30 minute drive away.

The seaside town of Whitstable

The region

Canterbury is situated in Kent, known as the ‘Garden of England’, and offers you the opportunity to live and study in one of the most picturesque areas of the country.

East Kent has 120 miles of coastline. The nearest coastal town to Canterbury is Whitstable, where you can get involved in water sports such as yachting, windsurfing and water-skiing.

During their second and third years, many students choose to live in the local towns of Whitstable, Herne Bay and Faversham, which are on bus routes to Canterbury and have direct rail links to London.

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Last Updated: 23/04/2014