Itinerary Listing - Content

Itinerary

Culture for Children 2

The city itself is compact and filled to the brim with child friendly attractions, shops and places to eat, ensuring that you will never run out of things to keep your children captivated and entertained. Canterbury is best explored on foot and due to its pedestrainised streets it is a safe place to visit with your children.

Morning

Situated just outside the city walls lies St Augustine's Abbey, part of the World Heritage Site along with Canterbury Cathedral and St Martin's Church. This must see is oftern missed by visitors, but that would be a real shame as the site includes a fascinating museum and free audio tour.
St Augustine's Abbey
Canterbury Cathedral
St Martin's Church
 

Lunch

Adjacent to The West Gate Towers is the West Gate Gardens, which is a perfect spot to have a picnic lunch and relax by the River Stour. I
Westgate Gardens
 

Afternoon

After a short break head back along the high street and into the heart of Canterbury nestled amongst the hustle and bustle to the Canterbury Heritage Museum which not only hosts the Rupert Bear Museum but is home to many characters from Oliver Postgate's stories such as The Clangers and Bagpuss with lots of hands on areas and exciting activities for all the family throughout the year.

Canterbury Heritage Museum

 

Morning: St Augustine's Abbey

Address

Longport
Canterbury
CT1 1PF

Contact Details

Tel: 01227 767345
Originally created as a burial place for the Anglo-Saxon kings of Kent, it is part of the Canterbury World Heritage Site, along with the Cathedral and St Martin's Church.

The impressive Abbey is situated outside the city walls and is sometimes missed by visitors. At the Abbey, you can also enjoy the museum and interactive audio tour.

Pre booked tours can be accommodated, during opening hours. For times and details please contact the Abbey.

For educational visits please telephone 01483 252 013

For coach parking facilities please contact the Visitor Operations Site Supervisor on 01227 767 345. There is no parking on site, but there is a pay & display car park directly opposite the site entrance.

Disabled access (all site can be viewed, but some steps). A public pay car park is nearby. For further information visit: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/staugustinesabbey

Directions

In Canterbury, a quarter of a mile East of Cathedral Close.

Prices and opening

Adults £5.40
Children (5-15yrs) £3.20
Concession (Student and 60+) £4.90
Family Ticket ( 2 adults and 3 children 5-15yrs) £14.00
English Heritage Members FREE

15% discount for groups of 11 or more visitors paying together. Free entry for coach driver and tour leader.

Joint group (of 20 or more) ticket with the Cathedral available (dependent on opening times) - call for details 01227 767345

Opening details

Season DatesOpening Hours
Sat 28 Mar 2015 - Wed 30 Sep 2015Mon - Sun 10:00 to 18:00
Thu 1 Oct 2015 - Sun 1 Nov 2015Wed - Sun 10:00 to 17:00
Mon 2 Nov 2015 - Thu 24 Mar 2016Sat - Sun 10:00 to 16:00
NotesGood Friday 3 April 2015 - 10am to 6pm
Easter Sunday 5 Aprl 2015 - 10am to 6pm
Easter Monday 6 April 2015 - 10am to 6pm
Early May Bank Holdiay 4 May 2015 - 10am to 6pm
Spring Bank Holiday 25 May 2015 - 10am to 6pm
Summer Bank Holiday 31 August 2015 - 10am to 6pm
Christmas Eve 24 December 2015 - Closed
Christmas Day 25 December 2015 - Closed
Boxing Day 26 December 2015 - Closed
Boxing Day Bank Holiday 28 December 2015 - Closed
New Year's Eve 31 December 2015 - Closed
New Year's Day 1 January 2016 - Closed
 

Morning: Canterbury Cathedral

Address

The Precincts
Canterbury
CT1 2EH

Contact Details

Tel: 01227 762862
Canterbury Cathedral has a tradition of visitor welcome that reaches back to the days of medieval pilgrimage. To all visitors we extend a warm welcome and hope that they too will enjoy sharing with us the beauty of one of the great holy places of Christendom.

Canterbury Cathedral, together with St Augustine's Abbey and St Martin's Church make up Canterbury's World Heritage Site.

The Cathedral and its history:

St Augustine, sent by Pope Gregory the Great, arrived in 597AD as a missionary and became the first Archbishop, establishing his seat (or 'Cathedra') in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and ever since, the Cathedral has attracted thousands of pilgrims, as told most famously in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

The Cathedral houses a Romanesque Crypt, dating back to the 11th century, a 12th century early Gothic Quire and a 14th Century Perpendicular Nave. Beautiful medieval stained glass windows illustrate miracles and stories associated with St Thomas.

Visitor facilities range from guided tours and audio tours to private evening tours and 'behind the scenes' tours to the Stained Glass Studio, Archives and/or Library.

The Cathedral is very much part of the local community. It is used regularly for local, regional and/or national services and events. Some or all of it may, therefore, at times be closed for general visiting. Please contact the Cathedral Visits Office before visiting to check up-to-date opening times and possible closures.

Please note that the east end of the Cathedral, including the Quire, will close every day in preparation for Evensong from 16.30 (Monday-Friday) and from 14.30 (Saturday & Sunday).

For information on Cathedral closures please visit the website or view the pdf. For further information visit: http://www.canterbury-cathedral.org

Directions

The Cathedral is located in the centre of Canterbury, within walking distance of both Canterbury East and West stations. Canterbury is only 30 minutes drive from Dover (continental ferries) and Folkestone (Eurotunnel), making it an ideal stop-over en route to London. Fast speed trains bring passengers from Canterbury to London within 56 minutes.

Prices and opening

There is a charge to enter the precincts and the Cathedral unless you are attending a Service. This charge contributes towards the upkeep of the Cathedral and its activities.

Adult £10.50
Concessions £9.50
Children (under 18) £7.00
Pre-booked groups (Adults and Concessions) £9.00

The Cathedral is very much part of the local community. It is used regularly for local, regional and/or national services and events. Some or all of it may, therefore, at times be closed for general visiting. Please contact the Cathedral Visits Office before visiting to check up-to-date opening times and possible closures.

Opening details

Season DatesOpening Hours
NotesTuesday 26th May - Quire and whole east end of the Cathedral will be closing from 12.30pm for a Memorial Service.

Weekdays (incl Saturdays):
Summer 09:00 - 17:30
Winter 09:00 - 17:00
The Crypt 10:00 - 17:30

Sundays:
Throughout the year including The Crypt 12.30 - 2.30pm

Last entry half an hour before closing time.

The Cathedral or parts of it may be closed for Services and/or special events. Always check opening times before visiting. Contact the Visits Office for up-to-date opening details.
 

Morning: St Martin's Church

Address

North Holmes Road
Canterbury
Kent
CT1 1PW

Contact Details

Tel: 01227 768072
England's oldest Parish Church is still regularly used for Christian worship as it has been for over 1,400 years. It was here that St Augustine worshipped in 597AD with his 40 companions until King Ethelbert granted him the land for the abbey and the cathedral which, with St Martin's, now form the Canterbury World Heritage Site.

St Martin's was the private chapel of Queen Bertha of Kent in the 6th century before Augustine arrived from Rome.

Shortly before 1844, a hoard of gold coins which may date from the late 6th century was found in the churchyard, one of which is the Liudhard medalet, which bears an image of a diademed figure with a legend referring to Liudhard.

The churchyard contains the graves of many notable local families and well known people including Thomas Sidney Cooper, RA (artist) and Mary Tourtel, the creator of Rupert Bear. For further information visit: http://www.martinpaul.org

Directions

On foot from Longport take the main A257 pass the prison and then left followng the prison wall. The Lytchgate is straight in front of you on the first corner of North Holmes Road.

Prices and opening

Free entry

Opening details

Season DatesOpening Hours
NotesThe church is open for visiting at the following times:
Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays: 11am to 3pm (4pm in summer)
Sundays 9.50am to (approximately) 10.20am.
Please check times before visiting. Groups may book to visit by prior arrangement at other times.
 

Lunch: Westgate Gardens

Address

Westgate Grove
Canterbury
CT1 2DB

Contact Details

Tel: 01227 862162
The Westgate Gardens can be found close to the City centre, just next to the West Gate Tower.

The eleven acres of public gardens provide an ideal setting for a gentle stroll along the banks of the River Stour, while the less energetic can sit back, unwind and absorb the tranquil beauty of the garden and its wildlife.

The meandering river provides the perfect environment for swans, ducks and moorhens to settle and raise their young. In the summer, the garden provides an ideal setting for open air events, exhibitions or as a picnic area.

This site has been a public space since the Middle Ages, although late Iron Age and early Roman pottery has been found on site.

During the 1400s, this area was called the Rosier - with five gardens and meadow land. Throughout this period many disputes arose between the residents and the Prior of Christ Church concerning the site's ownership.

In 1427, the Prior claimed that the townspeople had stolen hay from the meadow lands. They in turned accused the Prior of diverting the course of the river to feed one of the mills.

Judgement was made by Archbishop Chichele, who decided that they hay had been stolen and the monks should return the river to its natural course.

Disputes over issues such as who owned the fishing rights continued until 1500 when the mayor and residents took up arms and seized the area by force.

The mayor was formally charged by the highest court in England, the Star Chamber. This was run by monarchy and was considered more influential than Parliament. Historic records show that no expense was spared on the amount of entertainment used to bribe the lawyers, ensuring that the town won its case and kept the land.

In 1641 Oliver Cromwell's army destroyed part of the city walls situated in the gardens. A parchment factory was built between the Norman arch and the Westgate entrance in the early eighteenth century and was pulled down in 1850.

In 1886, Stephen Williamson, a prominent Canterbury businessman and owner of the tannery, bought Tower House. Two ornate Victorian wings were added in 1870 but taken down to provide a suitable setting for the riverside walk and pleasure gardens. He and his family lived there happily from 1886 until 1935 and cultivated the gardens into what you see today.

In 1936, his grandson Stephen Williamson and his wife Catherine Ellis Williamson, gave the house and gardens to the city corporation. During this time, Catherine was a city councillor and was responsible for the redevelopment of the house and gardens in conjunction with the city architect. Catherine Williamson subsequently became Canterbury's first woman mayor and served for two years from 1938 to 1940. The deed which preserves the site as a public space and garden for the benefit of Canterbury's residents is still upheld by the present day city council.

What to see:

The 200 year old and 25 foot wide, Oriental Plane (Platanus Orientalis), is rumoured to contain a circular cast iron seat which used to stand around it. Other plants worth looking out for are the Copper Beeches and the Magnolia Stellata.

The Norman archway and other medieval ruins probably taken by the Victorians from St Augustine's Abbey and used as grand garden ornaments can still be seen today.

The war memorials of the Burma Star Association and the Itay Star Association.

The site of the foundations of the London Gate of the Roman City of Canterbury (Durovernum Cantiacorum) For further information visit: https://www.canterbury.gov.uk/leisure-countryside/things-to-do-in-the-district/parks-and-gardens/westgate-parks/

Directions

10 minutes walk from the main bus station. 5 minutes walk from Canterbury West

Prices and opening

Free entry

Opening details

Season DatesOpening Hours
NotesPlease be aware that the gardens close at dusk. Check signs on site.
 

Afternoon: Canterbury Heritage Museum

Address

Stour Street
Canterbury
CT1 2NR

Contact Details

Tel: 01227 475202
Includes Anglo-Saxon treasures, Oliver Postgate's Thomas Becket story, the Tudors, Joseph Conrad's study, the Blitz gallery, Stephenson's original Invicta railway engine, Rupert Bear and the real Bagpuss.

Around the museum are over 30 exciting hands-on activities for families - you can write your name in Viking runes, sniff medieval poo, investigate finds like an archaeologist, try on Elizabethan costume and listen to wartime memories.

Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin created their much loved children's programme just outside Canterbury. See the real Bagpuss in Emily's shop window, original Clangers, Ivor the Engine and Noggin the Nog. And discover some Bagpuss secrets!

Rupert Bear was created by Canterbury-born Mary Tourtel. Discover his fascinating story, join in his adventures, see inside his house, and enjoy lots of fun activities including a giant snakes and ladders game.

Built in 1373, the museum was originally a medieval hospital for poor, sick and retired priests. Explore this magnificent timber-framed building to discover fascinating stories of former uses from medieval hospital, to workhouse and World War Two ambulance station, and marvel at its magnificent crown post roofs blackened by centuries of smoke.

Spend some time relaxing or picnicking in the medieval herb garden.

Free Digiguide Tour - see and listen to animated stories about famous Canterbury characters, key artefacts and aspects of the building's history on the museums hand-help computer guide. A highlights tour in English, French, German and Japanese. For further information visit: http://www.canterbury-museums.co.uk

Directions

Entrance through Stour Street, which is 5 minutes walk from the City Centre. 10 minutes walk from Canterbury West or 15 minutes walk from Canterbury East train station. 10 minutes from the City's Park and Ride terminal and bus station.

Prices and opening

Adults £8
Discounts £6
Children - free to a maximum of 2 per paying adult, £1.50 per child thereafter

Joint ticket for Heritage and Roman Museum
Adults £10.00
Concessions £8.00

Free to MyTownMyCity users, except for some special events.

Opening details

Season DatesOpening Hours
Wed 25 Mar 2015 - Sun 27 Sep 2015Wed - Sun 11:00 to 17:00
NotesClosed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day. Circumstances may cause changes in opening times - please ring to check before making a special trip.