Giving the gift of experience
It's well known that experiences bring you more happiness than possesions and material things. When you can't live in the moment, give yourself and others something to look forward this year. To help, we've compiled a list of some of our favourite local experiences to inspire and make 2021 a year to (positively) remember!
There is a huge amount to see and do in Canterbury all year round, and many of the city’s best venues and tour providers are offering vouchers and advance booking for their Covid-safe events.
Good things come in small packages, and Huckleberry Woods Micro Animal Farm has lots of adorable little things to see! The farm offers one to one micro and miniature animal experiences, including walking the micro pigs, miniature donkeys or Teddy Bear sheep around an ancient Kentish orchard.
You can also head into the ancient woodland of Wildwood Trust, which is home to 200 native animals, past and present, including bears, wolves, bison, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers. Or for a touch of the exotic, a visit to Howletts Wild Animal Park is a must. A dedicated animal conservation charity, it is a great place for an outdoor adventure to see tigers, elephants, gorillas, and many more species.
You can rest assured of high-level Covid safety measures at all venues. The sites are open for advance booking and gift vouchers are available.
Discover the light and dark of the city
Step back in time and learn about Canterbury’s fascinating history with Canterbury Guided Tours. Run by expert Green and Blue Badge Guides, you will take in some stunning sites in safe small groups as you wind through the cobbled streets. Take a virtual tour online now or book in advance for a live tour with your pals.
Or for something more spooky, explore the darker side of the medieval city with one of the famous Canterbury Ghost Tours. The 90 minute walking tour covers some of the grim and gruesome stories buried in the city’s past.
Salt of the earth
Get out into nature with a trip to The Wonky Parsnip for a farm tour, or pre-booked to spend a day or evening for like-minded food lovers. Known for growing weird and wonderful veg, the Chartham farm offers farm tours, growing courses, and supper clubs with chefs from restaurants across Kent and London. So you can brush up on your kitchen skills with delicious local produce.
Walk among the vines
The Kent countryside produces some of the finest sparkling wines in Europe, so treat yourself to a trip to an award-winning vineyard. You’ll be able to experience beautiful scenery and cellar door tastings (Covid restrictions permitting!). Get in touch with Chartham vineyards, Barnsole Vineyards or Simpsons Wine Estate to book a tour in 2021 or to check opening times for their on-site shops if you want to stock up on weekend fizz.
Treat a friend or family member to the gift of baking with a gift voucher for Canterbury Baking school. The school offers courses in basic bread-making, artisan bread, sweet enriched breads, sourdough, pasta, pizza, and vegetarian and vegan cooking, and all experience levels are welcome. A unique present for the keen cook! Classes are kept small for a more personal experience, so you will have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and will be assured of safety.
Explore the cathedral
No day out in Canterbury would be complete without a visit to the historic Canterbury Cathedral. Pilgrims and visitors have made their way to the holy site since the Middle Ages, and it remains one of the most visited places in the country. It is the perfect place for a safe family day out, with enormous grounds to explore and tons of history to entertain all ages.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, there is something wondrous to discover on every visit. Visit their website to find out if and when services are taking place.
One of the best ways to explore Canterbury is by water. Book vouchers for one of the city’s fantastic river tours for a beautiful trip along the River Stour this spring, summer and autumn. You can snuggle under a blanket with Canterbury Punting Co., or learn about Canterbury’s history with the Historic River Tours – whichever route you choose, you’ll see hidden parts of the city and learn fascinating facts in dreamy surroundings.
If you prefer to take to the oars yourself, then book an adventure with Canoe Wild based at Fordwich, Britain's smallest town. Choose from sunrise or sunset paddles taking in the lush countryside and wildlife, or buy vouchers for one of their kayaking or paddleboard courses for later in the year.
Everyone needs a little pampering at this time of year, so why not make 2021 your year of proper self-care by bagging a pamper package from Pure by the Sea. The Whitstable based salon offers a wide range of indulgent treats that you can book in bulk, or plan ahead for a special Pamper Party in their Lounge for you and your crew. After the year we’ve all just had, it’s time to treat yourself!
All the world's a stage
Covid has cancelled so many cultural events in 2020, so make sure your theatre-loving friends and family get the chance to experience great shows and experiences in the New Year. The Marlowe Theatre, and The Malthouse are all offering vouchers or advance flexible booking for shows and experiences in 2021.
A great way to give someone a thrilling experience, and an even better way to support local arts and culture.
Businesses across Canterbury, Whitstable, and Herne Bay look forward to welcoming you back into our city and towns after lockdown. They continue to work hard to keep you safe and follow the government’s covid guidelines. For example, adapting their spaces to allow you to maintain social distance, wearing face coverings, having hand sanitising stations, introducing one way systems and reduced capacity, taking online bookings only, offering contactless collection and delivery, and, where applicable, following the government's Track and Trace guidelines.