A 48 Hour Trip – Things to do in Canterbury, Kent

Exploring Canterbury in 48 hours won’t be easy, but we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you don’t miss a thing – let the countdown begin!

DAY 1

48 hours in Southampton
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9:00am

Canterbury Cathedral

No matter how brief your stay in Canterbury may be, it is vital you take that time to see one of the oldest and most famous Christian structures in England. The cathedral has been a place of worship for more than 1,400 years and was also one of the five designated ‘Magna Carta Towns’ in England.

Prepare to be blown away by its rich history and striking architecture. The extraordinary height of the ceilings found in the Nave, Quire and Trinity Chapel will leave you perplexed - how was this 72-metre tall construction was achieved back in 597AD?

The average visit varies, but for history buffs you can safely assume that your trip will last hours and not minutes.

Location: Cathedral House, 11 The Precincts, Canterbury, CT1 2EH

48 hours in Southampton
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12:00pm

Westgate Park and Gardens

Be sure to pack a picnic because we know just the spot for a red and white checked blanket and wicker hamper.

Located beside the Great Stour River, the Westgate Parks are made up of four quaint spaces; Westgate Gardens, Toddler’s Cove, Tannery Field and Bingley Island – all of which are connected by a linear surfaced pathway. On a summers day, you will find yourself surrounded by brightly coloured flowers and emerald green trees, watching ducks glide effortlessly along the river as the go punts sailing by – sound like the perfect spot for a picnic, right?!

After lunch, you’ll most likely want to lie-down and soak up the rays.

Location: St Peter's Street, Canterbury, CT1 2BQ

48 hours in Southampton
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3:00pm

Howletts Wild Animal Park

Up next, a 90-acre park home to over 390 animals across 52 species – don’t worry, even on this tight schedule you won’t miss a thing.

When visiting you won’t just see the only African elephants in Kent, but the largest herd of these wonderful mammals in the UK! As you wander through this vast animal park you’ll bear witness to the likes of the Western Lowland Gorillas, Eastern Black Rhino, Indian Tiger, Snow Leopard and so so so so so many more wonders of the natural world.

By spending the day at here you’re supporting their conservation work in the UK and the wonderful wildlife who live at Howletts

Location: Bekesbourne Lane, Bekesbourne, Littlebourne, Canterbury, CT4 5EL

DAY 2

48 hours in Southampton
clock
9:00am

The Canterbury Tales

After forty winks the second legs of the trip begins.

Following on from yesterday’s historical morning, we’ve got another one in-store, but this time with a theatrical twist. Offering an immersive experience of Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Canterbury Tales’, – written between 1387 and 1400 – costumed guides bring his stories of love, infidelity, intrigue, courtship and death to life. An audio tour is provided throughout – the sights, sounds and smells will serve as a time machine back to Medieval England.

Location: St. Margaret’s Street, Canterbury, CT1 2TG

48 hours in Southampton
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11:00am

Crooked House

The literary journey continues… but slightly crooked…

The Wonky Bookshop is the second most photographed building in Canterbury, after the cathedral. Forever looking as if it’s about to topple over, the buildings tilted facade stops passers-by in their tracks and then draws them in for closer inspection – the building is now supported by a steel frame, thereby eliminating the chance of it ever falling over.

Some say this building inspired the passage “a very old house bulging over the road…leaning forward, trying to see who was passing on the narrow pavement below….” in Dickens’s David Copperfield novel. Nowadays, the building is now called home by the Catching Lives Bookshop, which sells second-hand books to raise money for the homeless and vulnerably housed.

Location: 28 Palace Street, Canterbury, CT1 2DZ

48 hours in Southampton
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2:00pm

The Goods Shed

Now time for some food.

The Goods Shed, is a farmers market, food hall & restaurant all rolled into one. This hub of local and British produce has everything a foodie could ask for. In the farmers market and food hall you will find a veg stand, butchery, fish stall, a bakery, a general store, as well as cheese and wine – we hope you’re hungry. In addition to this, there’s a restaurant on site that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner using only the local market’s produce.

Dine like a local, and grab a bite from some of Canterbury’s finest.

Location: Station Road West, Canterbury, CT2 8AN

48 hours in Southampton
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4:00pm

Escape Kent

Now for something a little unusual…

Locked in a room with the rest of your team you have an hour to decipher challenges and puzzles and (hopefully) make an escape. Escape Kent offers 7 indoor and 2 outdoor challenges, varying from 5 to 10/10 in difficulty – break out of prison, find a missing person, prevent an alien attack, escape the clutches of a kidnapper, discover a rival pirate gangs treasure, defend yourself from a possessed house, or race against your friends to see who can break free from a seemingly empty room the quickest.

Are you up to the challenge?

Location: 1 Simmonds Road, Wincheap Industrial Estate, Canterbury, CT1 3RA

Kent Holidays & Short Breaks

Choose Kent for your holiday home by the sea. Affectionately known as the 'Garden of England' its many historic towns, villages and scenic countryside give it an unparalleled and beautiful charm.

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