What better way to start your day with a visit to Canterbury Cathedral, a World Heritage Site and one of the worlds most important pilgrimage centres. The Cathedral dates back to 597AD when St Augustine became the first Archbishop establishing his seat in Canterbury. You will see where its most famous Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170 and view the numerous tombs and monuments including those of Edward the Black Prince and King Henry IV. Marvel at one of the cathedrals greatest glories; the stained glass collection which dates back to the 12th and 13th century, depicting miracles, royal connections and biblical stories and regarded as the finest in the country.
The cathedral offers a wide range of facilities to ensure that you receive a warm and appropriate welcome. You may wish to wander around with a guidebook or audio tour (available in 7 languages). Alternatively general tours take place throughout the day with a fully trained Guide who will make the Cathedral and its history come to life.
For a guided tour allow 90 minutes.
Historic River Tour
The morning ends with a Historic River Tour where you will discover the hidden secrets of the River Stour, a focal point of the citys heritage. Each boat is rowed by a tour representative who will provide a light hearted commentary as you pass a variety of historic buildings and monuments set against some of the most picturesque backdrops of the city.
Allow 60 minutes.
Alternative option to Historic river tour:
The Canterbury Tales
Experience the sights, sounds and smells of medieval England as you join
Chaucer and his colourful band of Pilgrims on their journey from London to
Canterbury in this entertaining re-creation of life in medieval England. Audio
guides for adults and children are provided as part of the tour.
Allow 45 minutes.
Escape the busy pavements and lay back into the cushions, meander down the river and see the City as you never could on foot. Listen to historic Canterbury's rich and fascinating story as you sip champagne and view medieval buildings.
Step into medieval Canterbury and accompany Geoffrey Chaucer and his colourful characters on their magical pilgrimage from London to Canterbury.
Choose from a variety of restaurants that cater for all appetites and tastes. From sandwiches to pizzas and three course meals, you will find many restaurants serve fresh and local produce from Kent.
St Augustines Abbey
Explore the ruins of the abbey that marked the rebirth of Christianity in
South England. Founded by St Augustine in 597AD and originally used
as a monastery it is now part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site.
Detailed tours of the abbey grounds are available when pre-booked four
weeks in advance.
Allow approx 90 minutes
You may wish to consider visiting one of Canterburys museums, all
providing a wealth of historical information:
You will be whisked back in time when you visit the Roman Museum and discover the buried Roman town of Durovernum Cantiacorum, which flourished for almost 400 years where Canterbury stands today. See the remains of a Roman house with its mosaic floor as well as other archaeological finds and authentic reconstructions.
Allow approximately 60 minutes.
Museum of Canterbury
Housed in the medieval poor priests hospital you will discover the story of Canterbury in new interactive displays for all the family. The museum has a display of exhibits from pre-Roman to the present as well as the Rupert Bear Museum. You will also have the opportunity to view the Royal Museum and Art Gallery displays and collections while their current home undergoes major refurbishment.
Allow approximately 90 minutes.
Westgate Towers Museum
Explore one of Englands finest medieval fortified gatehouses. This gateway to the city has been standing for over six centuries and is now home to an impressive display of armaments dating from the Civil War to World War II. See the prison cells, find the `murder holes and explore the turrets with panoramic views from the battlements.
Allow approximately 45 minutes.
The Canterbury Roman Museum is underground at the level of the Roman town. It's an exciting mix of excavated real objects: authentic reconstructions; and preserved remains of a Roman town house with its famous mosaics.
An entertaining blend of history, humour and haunting amongst the old city, as the shadows gather meet the ghosthunter for a 75 minute tour of the spooky side of Canterbury.
Group Visits at Canterbury Historic River Tours
Group Tours 'Perfect Introduction to the City' Our award winning forty minute guided tour is perfect for all groups visiting Canterbury, the intimate style and humorous manner in which our tour is conducted makes us the ideal attraction. We are well versed in taking groups of all ages, froms schools to seniors as well as groups of all sizes and nationalities throughout our season. Group prices are pendant on age, number and the time of booking, with morning tours receiving the best group rates. Call or email for details. Over the years we have often been used by visiting parties as the perfect introduction to the City, and are able to offer a meeting and greeting service, where one of our guides can collect your group from the coach park or designated drop off point and bring you directly to the tour. Our ideal location in the centre of the High Street, and only a five minute walk from Canterbury Cathedral gates and coach drop off points, means that we can easily be part of a structured tour programme for your visit. Please feel free to ask us for itinerary ideas for your group.
For groups over 20 in size, a discount programme is available. These discounts are dependent on total participating numbers and the time of which the tour will take place. There is no charge for tour leaders and coach drivers. Please note that although the tour itself lasts roughly 40+ minutes it is necessary to allow for up to one hour in order to allow the time needed for loading and unloading the boats.
Overseas and Language Students We specialise in providing tours to foreign language students. Speaking slowly and clearly our guides tailor the tour towards their target audience, taking into account competency with the English Language and understanding of English/Local History. We are able to provide students with interaction with native speakers, as well as a fun environment in which they can enjoy some of the history and culture of one of England's principal cities.
The Tour - Our guided tour firstly takes you to a small Franciscan island, also known as The Greyfriars, which is home to a beautiful 13th Century chapel which spans the river and is the oldest example of Franciscan architecture in the country. We then pass under the 12th Century Eastbridge Hospital and the King's Bridge (1134), continuing down river past some medieval industrial buildings, including The Old Weavers House, The Kings Mill, and the Cromwellian iron forge. After some wonderful views of the Cathedral, the tour then passes through the Dominican priories, built by the Blackfriars in the 14th Century, and ending up is Solly's Orchard the site of the old Abbots Mill in the city. We then return, passing The Marlowe Theatre, to our starting point which is home to the infamous 'Ducking Stool'. Due to the specific nature of our business and previous experience with group enquiries/bookings we have found that to best serve your requirements it can be easier to contact us directly by telephone. Our direct number is 0044 (0) 7790 534 744. You are welcome to leave your number on our answer phone service and we will get back to you at the earliest possible convenience.
See location on Google maps.
Map reference: TR 147579 Lat: 51.28038 Long: 1.07810 The river tours are idealy situated in the centre of Canterbury's High Street opposite the Eastbridge Hospital and a 2 minutes walk from the cathedral.
Public Transport : 1 mile from Canterbury East/West station