What's on in Canterbury this summer
Whether you're looking to escape the everyday, are planning a short getaway or want to know what's happening on your doorstep, here's our guide to what's coming up over the next few months...
What’s on outdoors
Go al fresco with tours, concerts and sports
City Feast Street Food Market
Canterbury’s one and only street food market returns with an ensemble of the most diverse and exciting culinary offerings and expertly crafted drinks, all within a completely unique setting.
Christopher Marlowe's Canterbury Connections trail
Following Marlowe’s footsteps from birth, you’ll walk the paths that he would have taken more than four hundred years ago, so take in the history and intrigue to his life, which was tragically cut short at the age of 29 in slightly suspicious circumstances.
NEW! Uncover your inner sleuth
A brand-new outdoor detective experience in Canterbury – from the makers of Sherlock: The Official Live Game. Sherlock needs your help! Uncover a series of clues, conundrums, and codes that need to be cracked in this original Sherlock-inspired challenge. Gather your most esteemed group of intrepid friends to find key evidence and solve the mystery.
Brewery and Micro Distillery: Tour and Tasting
Learn about multi-award-winning Canterbury Brewers & Distillers craft process of handmade grain to glass beers and spirits, taste a selection of their beers and spirits, and discover how they were made and how they got their name. Many involve the amazing history of their Victorian Foundry building.
Vineyard Tours and Tastings
What’s better than going out to explore the countryside? Exploring it with a glass of locally produced, award-winning wine in your hand, of course. Brush up on your knowledge of flavour notes and grape varieties in beautiful surroundings.
Guided tours - Ghost, River, and City
Home to some of our country’s most fascinating stories, Canterbury is an endlessly interesting place, and our knowledgeable guides can teach you everything - from historical titbits to supernatural stories.
The Hound of the Baskevilles
21 July to 1 August
The 'barking mad' West-End comedy smash hit comes to the Westgate Gardens. Join the world’s finest detective, his faithful side-kick Doctor Watson, and a host of far-fetched characters in the most celebrated Holmes story of all, a masterpiece of mystery, suspense and a bloody big dog. So scary… it’s funny! Will Sherlock Holmes solve the mystery of the blood-thirsty hound? Will Watson hold his nerve? Will Arthur Conan-Doyle ever forgive us?
The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence is one of the oldest grounds on which first-class cricket is played, having been in use since 1847. The summer of cricket set to take place 2021 will carry on the long Kentish tradition of this popular sport.
Chartham Food and Wine Tour
7 August and 11 September
Take a tour of The Wonky Parnsip’s market garden and discover, pick and sample some of their 150 weird and wonderful varieties of produce, including Cucamelons and Tomatillos. You’ll join a special tour and tasting at Chartham Vineyard, an award-winning family-run artisan vineyard, followed by a riverside farm-to-fork lunch back at the farm.
Few of us can resist a good festival - the promise of music, feasting and fun is just too much of a temptation! Canterbury’s array of sparkling celebrations promise to provide the perfect opportunity for shared experiences and magical moments with family and friends.
Summer in Barham
3 to 11 July
A nine-day bitesize-festival in Barham, a beautiful village in the Canterbury countryside, featuring walks, talks and live music. What could be better than spending balmy summer evenings listening to live music in idyllic surroundings?
Herne Bay Cartoon Festival
Various dates in August
This truly one-of-a-kind festival sees cartoonists flock like seagulls to Herne Bay to show off their traditional seaside art and satirical humour! Expect exhibitions throughout the town, talks, workshops plus live cartooning and caricatures on the Pier.
Whitstable Oyster Festival
27 to 30 August
Whitstable’s renowned summer celebration of music, food and oysters returns this August bank holiday with the Landing of the Oysters, Grotters and the World Famous Oyster Eating Competition alongside an extended Food Fair, live entertainment and profusion of culinary delights.
bOing! International Family Festival
28 to 29 August
Reunite with family and friends this August for an amazing weekend of the very best in theatre, dance, films and fun for all the family, packed with magical performances and experiences on the beautiful University of Kent campus in Canterbury.
A spectacular celebration of LGBT+ identity for the whole family set in the heart of Canterbury, featuring a parade through the city centre, followed by live entertainment with food and drink in the stunning Dane John Gardens.
Canterbury Food and Drink Festival
24 to 26 September
Closing the summer season in style, the Dane John Gardens once again becomes the home of the finest food and drink Kent has to offer. Fill up on delicious local and lovingly prepared food, or treat your friends and family to scrumptious edible souvenirs from all the Kentish produce on offer!
Kent Green Hop Beer Festival and fortnight
24 September to 10 October
A celebration of Kentish hops and beer making, and tasting newly released beers made from just-harvested hops produced by more than 30 of Kent’s finest brewers. It kicks off with the Green Hop Festival from 24 to 26 September - an ‘hopportunity’ not to be missed!
Saturday 16 October
Canterbury Medieval Pageant returns for more, free, medieval mayhem for all ages (even middle ages!), including a colourful parade, knights on horseback, giants, family trail and live music.
16 to 20 October
Canterbury Festival returns this October, crammed with exciting events throughout the city. Experience a two-week extravaganza of music, performance, theatre and dance, comedy, talks, walks, family events and science!
What’s On Indoors
Rediscover indoor entertainment and experiences
850 years ago, one of the most famous events in Canterbury’s history took place – the murder of Thomas Beckett in Canterbury Cathedral. Since then, millions have made their way to the holy site, and it remains one of the most visited places in the country. No day out in Canterbury would be complete without a visit to this fantastic UNESCO World Heritage site!
Guided Whitstable Photo Tour
Discover Whitstable’s colourful maritime past, fascinating present and exciting future. You’ll see and experience the history and heritage, and receive help in creating photographs of all the classic views and secret corners with your guide and local pro photographer Alex Hare.
Preserving one of the UK’s only remaining in situ Roman pavement mosaics, the Roman Museum is built around a real Roman townhouse and makes for a truly fascinating visit.
Now an Almshouse, the Eastbridge once served as a hospital and has welcomed visitors since the first pilgrims came here in 1190. Located in the city centre, you can explore its ancient history as the home of hospitality, the UK’s first Franciscan settlement and the first English Franciscan Friary.
Cocktail Masterclass at the Falstaff
If you are an aspiring pro bartender or a home cocktail ninja, or if you want to learn when to shake and when to stir, The Falstaff’s cocktail masterclasses might be just the thing for you! Learn from the Falstaff’s talented mixologists how to create the perfect cocktail - perfect for impressing your friends and family!
Make up for lost time and stay for longer
With so many things to do, both within the city and on its doorstep, staying and exploring from Canterbury opens up a chocolate box of treats to explore over a short break or long weekend.
You can make the most of your visit by booking an overnight stay at one of Canterbury’s wonderful hotels, or arranging a short break where you can really get to know the area. Whether it’s waking up to spectacular views of the Cathedral at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge or relaxing in landscaped gardens at the Best Western Abbots Barton Hotel, you can find something that perfectly fits your needs.
Due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, the details of events, festivals and attractions may change or adapt throughout the year. While we will endeavour to reflect these changes in the information we provide, we recommend visiting the official event website for the latest information prior to travelling or booking accommodation.