Canterbury, at only 60 miles from London, is an easy day trip and a good walking city.
The small city has been a destination of pilgrimage for almost 1400 years - ever since St Augustine of Canterbury was sent from Rome to convert the Anglo Saxons in 597. Later, Chaucer's pilgrims headed there to venerate St Thomas à Becket, killed in Canterbury Cathedral on the orders of an angry king in 1170.
Use these information resources to compare travel alternatives and plan your visit.
How to Get to Canterbury
Southeastern Trains run train services:
- every 20 minutes to half an hour from London Victoria to Canterbury East
- about every half an hour from London Charing Cross to Canterbury West .
- about every half an hour from London St Pancras International to Canterbury West. Some St Pancras trains require a change at Ashford in Kent.
The journey takes from just under an hour to about an hour and a half. Advance round trip fare for off peak services starts at £29.40 (Summer 2016).
- Read More About Train Travel in the UK
- Plan a Trip with The National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner
- Book Train Tickets for the UK
UK Travel Tips - If you are staying in east London, in the trendy Shoreditch area, near the Olympic Park or in the Docklands, you can save time by leaving from Stratford International Station. Southeastern Trains run hourly services starting at about £50 (in 2016) for an off peak, advance purchase round trip when purchased as two 1-way tickets.
If you can be flexible about the time of travel, you can save about 75% of the cost by using the Cheapest Fare Finder. In July 2016 I was able to find several round trips for £13.50 each way at times that were not inconvenient. When filling out the cheap fare finder template, make sure to enter "All Day" when choosing the time of travel.
And do be careful to choose Stratford International Station and NOT Stratford London. Trains from Stratford London require two changes and cost a great deal more.
If you arrive at Canterbury West, visit the Goods Shed , a daily farmers' market, food hall and restaurant next to the station. it's a French-style food and flower market where you can stock up on goodies or have a bang up lunch.
National Express run buses from London to Canterbury. The trip takes about 1h50min with one-way tickets ranging from £5 to £7 each way (in 2016). Buses travel hourly between Victoria Coach Station to Canterbury Bus Station.
Bus tickets can be purchased online. There is usually a 50pence booking fee.
UK Travel Tip - Use the "Fare Finder" on the National Express home page to find special, online-only fares, called "fun fares". You'll be taken to a calendar page that shows fares by date. If you can be flexible about dates and times you can save quite a bit. On this journey, fun fares of £5 each way were being offered in 2016.
Canterbury is 60 miles due southeast of London. It takes about 1h40 to drive along the A2 and M2 motorways as well as local roads. Gasoline, called petrol in the UK, is sold by the liter (a little more than a quart) and the price is usually between $1.50 and $2 a quart. The center of Canterbury is congested and parking is expensive. Canterbury Park&Ride, with several parking areas just outside the city, is convenient and cheap. In 2016, the price was £3 for all day parking for a car and up to six passengers, plus unlimited travel through the park and ride area, throughout the day.
- Use the Automobile Association Route Planner to map a route with suggested stopovers and gasoline stations.
- Check Daily Petrol (Gasoline) Prices