Things to do | Sightseeing | Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

World Heritage Site

Canterbury has been a key location for the Church of England for nearly five centuries and you'll find many important religious buildings and monuments in the area.

Canterbury Cathedral was founded in AD597 (that's over 1,400 years ago!) and is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion. It has a perpendicular nave, 12th-century Gothic choir, stunning stained glass windows that fill the church with colour and a Romanesque crypt.


The Cathedral is the site of the Archbishop Thomas Becket's martyrdom in AD1170. His shrine became one of the most visited in the Middle Ages by pilgrims travelling the Pilgrims' Way from London and Winchester.

Another important church is the Church of St Martin just outside the city's medieval wall, half of which survives today. Probably built as a Roman church in the 4th century, St Martin is the oldest church in England that's still in use as a parish church.

Many visitors miss St Augustine's Abbey because of its location just outside the city centre. The ruins of this once great abbey are an impressive sight. Another not to miss is Christ Church Cathedral, a breathtaking mixture of Romanesque and Perpendicular Gothic, where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170.

Must see & do:

The Canterbury Tales Experience - step back in time with this audiovisual experience of the sights, sounds and smells of the middle ages in this stunning reconstruction of 14th century England.

Canterbury West Gate Towers - One of England's finest medieval gates built as part of the city defences in the 1380s. See the exhibit featuring Canterbury's war history and visit the prison cells inside the towers.

Canterbury Roman Museum - Located underground at the levels of Roman Canterbury. Features a mix of excavated real objects and buildings and lifelike reconstructions including computer-generated images. 

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