Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent
Canterbury Cathedral - © Mattana

Canterbury Cathedral is located in Kent and forms part of the World Heritage Site (WHS) in Canterbury. The Cathedral offers visitors a chance see a significant and historic building and one known for its outstanding architecture and art. Along with St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church, the Cathedral here forms part of the WHS in recognition of the outstanding value of all three buildings. The Cathedral had witnessed a number of significant events over the years and today is still the seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the leader of the Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Cathedral is in active use with daily services and a variety of local, regional and national events throughout the year. The Cathedral attracts both tourists and pilgrims year round.


Canterbury Cathedral offers visitors the chance to visit a historic place at the heart of the Anglican Communion and the seat of the Archbishop. The Cathedral is famous for the spectacular stained glass and the architecture and design. Each year many visitors including tourists and pilgrims visit the Cathedral, there is additional significance with the central role the Cathedral plays in the worldwide Anglican Communion and its place in the Canterbury World Heritage Site along with St Augustine’s Abbey, and St Martin’s Church.

The history of the Cathedral goes back many centuries to 597AD, when St Augustine first established his seat in Canterbury. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral and since this tragic event the Cathedral has attracted many pilgrims from around the world.

The Cathedral itself is seen as a masterpiece and a great example of both Gothic and Romanesque architecture. The stained glass windows which the Cathedral is well known for dates back to the 12th century and there are medieval tombs here including that of King Henry IV and a number of archbishops.

Visitors to the Cathedral can see the medieval buildings and ruins that surround it, the Cathedral is both grand and impressive to view. The Water Tower used to provide the water supply whilst the Chapter House is the largest of its type in England, in the present day the Chapter House is available for hire for events and receptions.

The famous Romanesque Nave was put in place back in the 14th century and is seen as a great example of English Perpendicular Gothic architecture and design. The Quire had to be rebuilt after the fire of 1174, the Crypt from the 11th century is the oldest part of the Cathedral and many original details from the period are still evident today. Inside a modern memorial located where Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered is a place where many pilgrims visit each year.

There are gardens around the Cathedral which include the Kent Memorial garden, the new herbarium and others contain a number of fine trees, plants, herbs and flowers. The gardens that surround the Cathedral provide a wonderful backdrop to the Cathedral and provide some great scenery along with a tranquil environment.

The Stained Glass windows tell a number of stories both religious and those involving local people from the area. Today there is a stained glass conservation studio at the Cathedral, with was set up in back in 1973. There are a number of specially trained conservators. The studio has gained a fine reputation in the conservation and restoration of stained glass and also helps other churches and Cathedrals across the UK.

There is plenty of history, culture and religious significance and importance at the Cathedral, visitors here can also visit St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church located close by in Canterbury to see the World Heritage Site.

How To Get There

The Cathedral in Kent is assessable by both car and public transport:

By Car:

Canterbury is connected to the UK Motorway network with both the M2 and the M20 motorways connecting the area to the rest of England. Canterbury has a number of car parks where car drivers can park.

By Train:

South Eastern trains operate a regular train service from London Victoria and London Charing Cross stations to Canterbury East station and Canterbury West station. Visitors that arrive at either of the Canterbury stations will find the Cathedral is just a short walk from the station.

There are also train services from Ashford to Canterbury West for those using Eurostar services.

By Coach:

Stagecoach East Kent buses provide local bus services in Canterbury and the surrounding areas. The Canterbury bus station is located in the centre of Canterbury and a short walk from the Cathedral and both train stations.

National Express offer a number of coach services in to and out of Canterbury. From London Victoria coach station there are services available to Canterbury, offering visitors a cost effective way to visit the area.

Contact Details


Canterbury Cathedral
Cathedral House
11 The Precincts,
United Kingdom

Telephone: +44 (0)1227 762862

Fax: +44 (0)1227 865222


Website: Canterbury Cathedral

Facilities and Information

Opening Times:

The Cathedral is usually open around the year. On religious days in the year, the church may have varying opening times.

The usual opening times are:

Monday to Saturday: 09:00-17:30

Sunday: 12:30 to 16:30

Note: Last admission is half an hour before closing time.

Further Information:

Admission Fees:

Adults: £7.50 approx

Children & Concessions: £6.50 approx


View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Canterbury Cathedral Map

Tips & Other Considerations

There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year and other factors. Visitors are advised to double check before going to ensure the Cathedral is open and avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your surroundings and environment. Follow travel safety advice and ensure your belongings in particular your wallet/purse and valuables are hidden away from public view (particularly at tourist attractions & places with crowds). If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to Canterbury in Kent ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. The Journey Planning tool offers useful door to door directions for public transport and car journeys.

If you are looking for local car parking in Canterbury, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex if you are not sure it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.

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