a station-by-station guide for UK tourist attractions

Canterbury East / West

National Rail | East CBE | West CBW

Kent Offers & Links

Canterbury and its Cathedral have seen many important historic events. Medieval walls still enclose parts of the city and the remains of the Canterbury Castle can be seen. Westgate Gardens are an attractive park beside the River Great Stour. There are good views of the city from the Mound in Dane John Gardens. Don't miss the ruins of St Augustine's Abbey, they are older than the Cathedral and provide a peaceful break from the bustle of the city centre. River trips are available along the River Stour. The city centre and most attractions are ½ mile from both stations.

The distance between East and West stations is just under 1 mile. The Bus Station is ¼ mile from Canterbury East and ¾ mile from Canterbury West station. Canterbury PlusBus tickets are valid within the urban area, including buses to the University of Kent.

Canterbury is a good place to stay for exploring East Kent by train with direct trains from Canterbury East to Dover (for the Castle), historic Rochester and (often overlooked) Faversham. Canterbury West has trains to the coastal towns of Broadstairs, Margate and Ramsgate, also the picturesque town of Rye in East Sussex (change trains at Ashford International). If you just put 'Canterbury' in the National Rail journey planner the appropriate station will be selected automatically. Note that you may find buses more convenient for places such as Sandwich and Whitstable.

TI The Beaney, 18 High Street. Tel. 01227 862162.

Canterbury accommodation (with distances from East/West stations):

Castle House Hotel (E¼/W1 mile) ABode Canterbury (E/W ½ mile) Greyfriars Lodge (E/W ½ mile) Falstaff Hotel (E¾/W¼ mile) Kent

Photograph of Canterbury, St Augustine's Abbey with Cathedral in background

St Augustine's Abbey with Canterbury
Cathedral in the background

Canterbury attractions map

Canterbury Cathedral ½ mile

Canterbury Cathedral has attracted visitors since the days of medieval pilgrimages and the murder of Thomas Becket in the Cathedral in 1170. It has some of the oldest and most beautiful stained glass windows in England.
Open M-S 1000-1700, Sun 1230-1700. Check website for occasional closures or restrictions.

The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge ½ mile

An Art Museum with a varied programme of events. Café. Admission free (except special exhibitions and events).
Open TWThFS 1000-1700, Sun 1100-1600.

Eastbridge Hospital ½ mile

Now an Almshouse, the ancient buildings have welcomed visitors since pilgrims came to Canterbury in 1190. The Franciscan Gardens are beside the River Great Stour and contain the Greyfriars Chapel.
Open Apr-Sep, M-S 1030-1700 (Gardens 1030-1600, Chapel 1400-1600).

Canterbury Roman Museum ½ mile

The Roman Museum is underground, at the level of the Roman town. Preserved remains of a Roman town house with mosaics, authentic reconstruction of a Roman market place. Excavated objects.
Open Daily 1000-1700.

Canterbury Castle ¼ mile (¾ mile from West station)

The ruins of this Norman castle can be viewed from the outside.
Open viewing from outside only.

Westgate Towers Museum ¼ mile (¾ mile from East station)

A collection of exhibits from the Westgate's history as a city gaol. Battlements viewpoint. Enter via The Pound Bar & Kitchen, then up the stairs and over the glass bridge.
Open M-F & Sun 1200-1545 but occasionally closed for events.

Kent Museum of Freemasonry ¼ mile (¾ mile from East station)

A rare collection of Masonic items including regalia and books covering all Masonic orders through the ages. Admission free.
Open expecting to reopen April 2022, see website.

St Augustine's Abbey EH ¾ mile (1 mile from West station)

The ruins of the Abbey founded in AD 598 by St Augustine. One of the most important sites in English history, it proclaimed the rebirth of Christianity in southern England. Museum and audio tour.
Open Apr-Oct, Daily 1000-1700. Nov-Mar, SSu 1000-1600.

Wingham Wildlife Park by bus

An extensive animal collection including big cats, reptiles, penguins and various primates. Pet village. Tearoom and picnic areas.
Open Daily 0900-1800 (1600 Oct-Mar).
Bus 43 from Bus Station to entrance (watch for sign shortly after Wingham), 20 minutes journey. M-S every 20 minutes, Sun & BH hourly. Operated by Stagecoach.