Give the gift of experiences this Christmas
Our guide to giving the gift of experience
Experiences bring you more happiness than possessions and material things so this year, why not give friends and family the gift that keeps on giving with one (or two) of our unique Canterbury experiences.
There is a huge amount to see and do in Canterbury all year round, and many of the city’s best attractions and experience providers offer gift vouchers or advance booking. Take a look at our suggestions for great things to look forward to in 2022, whether you need a unique present for a friend or just want to treat yourself.
And while you’re planning ahead, be sure to snap up vouchers for a spot of shopping https://www.canterbury.co.uk/info/11/inspire_me/62/bringing_canterbury_to_you and an overnight stay or hotel experience in the city https://www.canterbury.co.uk/info/11/inspire_me/71/be_inspired/4
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, home to 200 native animals, past and present, including bears, wolves, bison, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers. Or for exciting experience days and animal encounters where you can meet your favourite animals up close,Howletts Wild Animal Park is a great place for an outdoor adventure to see tigers, elephants, gorillas and many more species.
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'll take in Canterbury's stunning sites as you wind through the iconic cobbled streets. Or for something more spooky, explore the darker side of our medieval city with one of the famous Canterbury Ghost Tours. John's 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, explore their unique market garden, take a farm tour, or spend a day or evening with 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 local 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, take in a tour andtasting or buy their homegrown wines from the cellar door. Get in touch with Chartham vineyard, Barnsole Vineyard to book a tour or to check opening times for their on-site shops if you want to stock up on fizz.
Treat a friend or family member to the gift of baking with Canterbury Baking school. They offer courses in basic bread-making, artisan bread, sweet enriched bread, 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 question and hone your skills.
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's the perfect place for a 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.
One of the best ways to explore Canterbury is by water with one of the city’s fantastic river tours for a beautiful trip along the River Stour. You can snuggle under a blanket with Canterbury Punting Co., learn about Canterbury’s history with the Historic River Tours or meander through tranquil gardens and countryside with Westgate Punts. 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 paddles yourself, then book an adventure with Canoe Wild based at Fordwich. Choose from sunrise or sunset paddles taking in the lush countryside and wildlife, or buy vouchers for one of their kayaking or paddleboard courses in the new year. There’s even a New Year’s Day paddle available to book now. That’s one way to blow away the cobwebs!
Everyone needs a little pampering at this time of year, so why not make 2022 your year of proper self-care by bagging a pamper package from Pure by the Sea. Based in the lovely coastal town of Whitstable, they off a wide range of indulgent treats you can book in bulk, or plan ahead for a special Pamper Party in their Lounge for you and your crew. Now is the time to treat yourself!
All the world's a stage
Theatre vouchers are the perfect choice for your theatre-loving friends and family, gift them the experience of new memories and great shows at the Marlow Theatre and the Malthouse Theatre.
These are just some of the great ways you can give someone a thrilling experience, and an even better way to support local!