Canterbury is my university town and somewhere I have grown very familiar (and very fond) of over the past three years. I like to get out and about and I’ve compiled this list of my city highlights as a quick go-to guide which I hope encapsulates the best bits of this glorious historic town!
Where to Eat
My new favourite eatery in town. Serving up the best burritos in the city, this kitschy cafe/bar/take-away offers up live music nights and walls adorned with the coolest South American prints I’ve ever seen. The burritos are a reasonable £6.50 but drinks from their well stocked bar can be pretty expensive so make them last!
Cafe des Amis
Another amazing Mexican (yes fajitas and burritos do make up the majority of my daily food intake…) Rumoured to be frequented by Orlando Bloom when he’s visiting the ‘rents, this classy joint offers great student discount and is filled with works of art for sale. Their fajitas are beyond compare and are great to share between two. A firm fave.
The Goods Shed
This place is organic fresh food heaven. This old railway barn has been converted into a gathering of local traders who sell everything from home-made cheeses to fresh apple juice and milk straight from the cow. You can pick up one of their amazing sandwiches and pastries or have a more formal lunch/dinner in their restaurant. A little pricey but you can taste why!
Great for a little pit-stop lunch. Situated just outside Canterbury Cathedral, Canteen serves up healthy and nutritious grub in the form of freshly made wraps, soups and sandwiches. Most are made-to-order so think of it as a guilt-free alternative to Subway. 10% student discount here too- winner!
Where to Drink
Out of the hundreds of bars and pubs in Canterbury, I am yet to find one with a better or more interesting selection of beers than La Trappiste. A Belgian inspired restaurant and bar, La Trappiste is at its best in the summer months when you can enjoy a strawberry flavoured pint on their sun-trap of a terrace.
The best pub during those chilly winter months. Offering tasty Sunday Roasts under a canopy of hops and wooden beams, this traditional pub is Canterbury all over.
My number one bar in Canterbury. Hidden off one of Canterbury’s winding streets is Bramleys, a 1920s themed bar which makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine. Bramley’s cocktails are unbelievable (especially their Cosmos!) Head down on a Thursday night when the posh cocktails are BOGOF.
Where to Stop for Coffee
Fancy a couple of truffles with your coffee? Then the Chocolate Cafe is for you. Mouth-watering chocs, Belgian waffles and the legendary hot chocolates are worth the wait, as this place can get pretty busy. Licensed to sell alcohol, this cafe stays open late and a bottle of wine goes down great with a nice glimpse of the cathedral.
A new addition to the town centre, this Turkish cafe serves up traditional coffee in the sweetest little Turkish cups. The service here isn’t the best but it’s great if you want to try something a little bit different.
One of the high street’s highlights. Boho is definitely on the quirky side, with Jesus effigies lining the walls and brightly coloured cushions and table cloths. Their bacon and brie sandwiches are the best I have ever tasted and if you have more money to splash they do full-on meals too. Pop in for a coffee and a cupcake to soak up the relaxed atmosphere.
What to Do
Well obviously. The place is famed for its Cathedral for a reason. Amazing on the outside, amazing on the inside. Wait for the crowds to disperse and get in for free after hours. Trust me, you’ll be gasping to escape the hoards of French school kids!
A punting tour is a great way to see the city from a different perspective. The River Stour winds its way through the centre of town, gliding you past its array of beautiful old buildings. Following the river out of the city reveals Canterbury’s lovely countryside. For something different try a late-night ghost-tour or a romantic trip for two. Shop around to get the best deal and route for you.
In summer this park really comes alive. With lovingly attended flower beds and plenty of grass to picnic on, a stroll along the river side is a great way to get out of the city. Continue walking to visit the cute Highland Cattle which are left to graze in rolling meadows.