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Romantic Things To Do in Canterbury

Sinead Hanna
30th January 2024

Whether you are marking a special anniversary, need Valentine's Day ideas or are just looking for a romantic mini-break in the UK, you can’t go wrong with a trip for two in Canterbury.

We've put together a loved-up list of romantic things to do in the city and beyond, perfect for first time visitors and long time residents alike. You can always treat yourself to an extended stay with our accommodation options for indulgent hotels, cute B&Bs and unique self-catering options. 

Remember that residents can get exclusive discounts and offers across the city with the free MyCanterbury discount card - be sure to check their Instagram account for the latest deals and offers in the city - or you can give the gift of a Canterbury day or night out with the Canterbury Gift Card

Looking for events around Valentine's Day? Keep checking our What's On guide, and filter by special holidays/Valentines. 

Breathtaking Backdrops

Give your date night some dazzle at an amazing venue- and your proposal some pop!

Canterbury Cathedral is a spell-binding sight any time of year, but it’s also a great place to get down on one knee. Take a walk around the cathedral precincts to soak up the views and grab a drink in the Buttermarket beside the beautiful Christchurch Gates. 

New for 2024! The cathedral is allowing FREE access to the Precincts from 29th January to 10th March; perfect for those Valentine's Day proposals.

For the best views of the city, head to the Socialite rooftop bar for amazing scenery with your drinks or dinner.  Or lock yourselves away in one of the city’s old (but beautifully restored) gaol cells for drinks at One Pound Lane.

Dreamy Drinks

Upgrade the usual drinks on the town with something a little more creative.

Head to Corkk wine shop in the Cathedral Quarter for a spot of curated wine tasting or join one of their guided tasting sessions every month. Add a platter of nibbles to the mix to sharpen your appetite.

Alternatively, if you're more into your beers and spirits, the city's brewery and distillery The Foundry Brew Pub offers guided tours, tasting flights and hearty grub for the discerning drinker. 

If cocktails are more your thing, there are plenty of places offering immersive mixology in the city - check out our guide to great cocktail hotspots here. If you want to get shaking yourself, why not book a cocktail masterclass? Many venues offer bespoke classes including The Falstaff, The Cosy Club, The Loft, Tokyo Tea Rooms and The Cuban.

If you're simply looking for a quiet spot for a romantic drink or two, you'll get plenty of cosy vibes from Pegasus Tap Room & Gin Palace, The Shakespeare Wine Bar, Abode Canterbury's Champagne Bar and The Parrot.

 

River Cruise For Two

Snuggle under a blanket as you drift along the River Stour on a boat built for two...

Canterbury's river has a thousand stories, and gives you a glimpse of parts of the city hidden away from the main high street. The city has three companies operating boats and punts on different sections of the river, so you can dip into history or simply soak up the scenery.

Book a private boat tour with a bottle of bubbly or join a small group for a themed tour. Find out more from Canterbury Punting Company, Canterbury River Tours and Westgate Punts.

River trips are always weather dependent during February, so check with your chosen provider what is possible for your date.

Dinner for Two

Canterbury’s restaurants cater for every taste, so be sure to plan your year-round dining with our Food Lovers' guide. For a romantic meal that's sure to set pulses racing, you can’t go wrong with the views from Socialite rooftop restaurant and bar. And for a cosy vibe in elegant surroundings, Cafe Du Soleil on the River Stour will leave you feeling full. 

And remember that the district offers three options for Michelin-starred dining - The Sportsman, The Fordwich Arms, and The Bridge Arms - but book well in advance as tables are coveted all year round!

Do Battle Together

If you love a joint activity, or your love-language is uber competitive, there are plenty of fun things to do on a romantic day or night out in the city. 

In the city centre, Matches Sports Bar has shuffleboards, darts, cashless pool tables, karaoke and gaming consoles to keep you entertained. You can also head to Boom Battle Bar at the Riverside complex to test your skills at axe throwing, mini-golf, beer or Prosecco pong, shuffleboard and more! Riverside is also home to the Curzon cinema and several restaurants so it has all the ingredients for a great romantic outing. 

If you want to combine your strengths, work together at one of The Pound's escape rooms, housed in the historic Westgate Towers. 

Or take a class together and learn a new skill! Book a cooking class with the chefs at The Cook's Tale, share your love of sushi with a masterclass at Mr Miyagi, or get crafty with one of the regular creative workshops with Happy & Glorious.

For gamers, head to The Long Rest board game cafe for a table top battle with great refreshments. 

 

Book Lovers’ Day Out

Books, coffee, ancient scenery = lovelovelove.

For the book lover in your love life, take them browsing in some of Canterbury’s most beautiful bookshops.

Waterstones Canterbury has 3 storeys of stories, while independent stores The Crooked House Catching Lives bookshop, Chaucer Books, Burgate Books and the Oxfam Bookshop are packed with glorious finds.  

Finish with a trip to a cute local café for a caffeine fix or hot chocolate; Lazix Coffee House in Butchery Lane has a rich menu and vintage vibes. Burgate Coffee is perfect for people watching in the Cathedral Quarter, or enjoy a romantic afternoon tea at Tiny Tim's Tearoom

Sweet Sunsets

Get some vitamin 'sea' with a day or evening at the seaside. 

Head over to the beach at Whitstable for a wander through the picturesque high street, then build a picnic from the shops, grab blanket or bag a bench at the much loved Old Neptune and watch the sunset over the sea.

Or head over to Herne Bay for a seaside stroll with your loved one. The coastal path offers magnificent views of the sea, and you should make a beeline for the majestic Reculver Towers. This English Heritage site is a beautiful backdrop to watch the world go by, or to pop the question…

Guaranteed to give you that fuzzy feeling whatever the weather.

Glorious Gardens

On bright days, take a riverside stroll through the blooming Westgate Gardens – an Instagram favourite. Bring a picnic, pose under the medieval arch and watch the world float by.

Alternatively head to the Dane John Gardens for a stroll amidst the trees and visit Don Juan’s café for Latin-inspired food, drinks and tunes.

Countryside Capers

If you want to escape to the countryside, there are plenty of romantic excursions to enjoy outside of the city.

Animals lovers can take a stroll around the wonderful Wildwood Trust, and see the free roaming bison, the beautiful bears, howling wolves, and scores of other beautiful beasts in this idyllic rural setting. There are even packages allowing you to be a ranger for the day!

Wine lovers can also head to one of Canterbury's vineyards for a cellar door experience and a walk around the vines - all year round - such as Simpsons Wine Estate, Chartham, or Barnsole

 

A Nice Night In

If you prefer cosy nights in to big nights out, you can stock up on the essentials in the city and support local businesses while you're at it.

Get your wine and fresh produce from The Goods Shed, cheese platter from The Cheese Shop, chocolates from Madame Oiseau and board games galore from Dice and Destiny.

And if you're celebrating, pop into any of the fantastic independent gift shops for the perfect present - Rock Paper Scissors, Platform, Happy & Glorious, Walrus & Oyster, Canterbury Pottery, Wrapped and The Chamber of Ducks will give you something special for your special someone.