From luxury shopping to chic coffee shops, here’s how to spend a day in the busy and bustling streets of Canterbury, Kent.
When most people think of Canterbury, images of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and medieval pilgrims usually spring to mind. Nowadays, the peasants have been replaced with flocks of tourists – this southeastern city is one of the most visited in England.
It’s a place that still retains that ‘Ye Olde’ magic – from the narrow cobbled streets to the stunning Norman architecture. The shops are modern and the streets are lined with them – as well as little farmer’s markets and street food stalls. It’s bustling, perhaps even heaving, but all of that only adds to the charm.
As well as iconic history, Canterbury also boasts a range of cool shops, attractions and must-try eateries. Grab a coat and don’t forget your fork – here’s how to spend a day in this chic cobbled city.
1 Find goodies at Fenwick
If you’re like me, then shopping comes high up on the list of priorities when perusing a new place. Canterbury is home to its very own Fenwick, the luxury department store boasting all things beautiful.
Find everything from drool-worthy handbags to jewellery and more with four floors of retail heaven.
2 Walk the medieval city walls
An essential (and less materialistic) item on the Canterbury check list is the circular city wall walk. Access them from Castle or Bond street (amongst other places) and trek along the 13th-and-14th-century walls to enjoy gazing out across the town.
3 Gawp at the cathedral
Another must-see is the cathedral – in fact, many flock here to see this alone. The focal point of the city was the first of England’s great Norman cathedrals. It’s a living textbook of medieval architecture. Building first started in 1070, before being demolished and started again in 1096. It’s survived fires, has Gothic additions and once boasted one of the most extravagent shrines in Christendom – until that ended rather awfully, of course.
TIP: Avoid visiting between 2.30pm and 4.30pm on a Saturday, as that’s when choir practice is and you’ll be limited to the rooms you can see.
4 Sip coffee at Kitch
Pay a visit to Kitch on St. Peter’s Street for a healthy dish and a cup of superb coffee. They pride themselves on running a kitchen free from refined sugars, refined flour and processed food and drink. The result doesn’t disappoint, especially the charcoal lattes!
5 Feast on French cuisine at Cafe St Pierre
I’m a sucker for quirky interiors, and this little place stole my heart. Cafe St Pierre, with its cute garden terrace and fun memorabilia decor is ideal if you’re after something delicious and indulgent.
The chalk board menu changes regularly – order a camembert and crispy bacon baguette if it’s available, then serve it with soup of the day for the ultimate warming lunch.
Make it happen
Where: CT, Kent