The modestly sized city of Canterbury oozes history and laid-back charm. It is just an hour by train from London, so a day trip to Canterbury makes a very popular excursion from the capital. It is also an important destination in its own right and a favourite spot for weekend breaks. For many travellers from the continent arriving by ferry at nearby Dover, Canterbury is often the first stop in England.
Canterbury’s famous Gothic cathedral reflects the city’s role as one of the most important centres of Christianity in northern Europe. Today, the cathedral is the ecclesiastical headquarters of the Anglican Church. But it is more than just the cathedral which pulls the crowds to Canterbury. Roman soldiers, devout pilgrims and Huguenot refugees have all left their mark on Canterbury. Take time to explore the old city walls, the gardens by the River Stour and the maze of alleys and small streets in the city centre.
Canterbury has two railway stations with desperately confusing names. Visitors might expect Canterbury East station to lie east of the city centre. It doesn’t! Canterbury East is a 15-minute walk south-west of the cathedral. It is the departure point for trains to Chatham, Dover and London Victoria station.
Canterbury West station lies north-west of the cathedral on the far side of the Great Stour River. It too is about a 15-minute walk from the city centre. From Canterbury West, it is just 16 minutes to Ashford International for connections to and from Eurostar. The fastest trains from Canterbury to London also leave from Canterbury West station, taking under an hour for the 112-km journey to St Pancras station in London.
Travel to Canterbury by train from anywhere in the UK or across Europe
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